This document explains hands-on labs in Cloud Academy. This feature is available to all Cloud Academy users. If you don't already have a Cloud Academy account, you can start a free trial.
This document contains the following sections:
What Are Hands-on Labs
Hands-on labs are a kind of lab — Cloud Academy's interactive learning tool. Hands-on labs guide you through practical experiences in live cloud environments, such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, with more arriving continually. You can find the list of existing labs in the Cloud Academy library, and see the Upcoming Content list to see what hands-on labs are scheduled for the future.
Unlike tutorials where you only read or hear information, hands-on labs give you the chance to also try your new skills. Hands-on labs help you learn faster and better because the lab offers the ability to practice and experiment.
You do not need your own account credentials to use the hands-on labs. When you start a hands-on lab, the system launches all the necessary resources and starts the timer. The technology you are learning about appears on your screen with clear instructions to guide you.
The instructions take you through a set of steps to demonstrate the functionality in a a secure sandbox environment with no additional costs, no new accounts, and no test instances to clean up. After you successfully complete the assigned steps, the hands-on lab is complete.
Enterprise users can customize hands-on labs using Content Engine. You can clone an existing lab and change the base environment or steps in the lab to match your technology stack. A customized hands-on lab helps your learners safely become comfortable in the context of your environment without you having to provision test accounts or risk your own infrastructure. Bridge Mode lets hands-on labs to work behind your corporate firewall.
What to Expect From a Hands-on Lab
Like all content, hands-on labs offer detailed information before you begin the lab. You can find the name and description, plus the amount of time allotted to complete the steps.
Completing a hands-on lab updates your skill profile. If the lab is part of a learning path, then completing it continues you on the path. You can stop a hands-on lab in the middle, but if you do, your progress is lost, your profile is not updated, and the learning path (if applicable) cannot be completed. You must start from the beginning if you want to return to the lab. You can restart the lab as many times as you like.
When you complete a hands-on lab, a feedback tool appears where you can rate the lab with a number of stars. The average rating from all learners who have already taken the lab appears for your reference when you're choosing a lab to take.
How to Use a Hands-on Lab
You encounter hands-on labs as you discover labs on topics that you want to learn about. Tip: When you search for a lab on a topic, you can use the filters on the left side of the screen to limit the results to hands-on labs.
Use the following steps to start a hands-on lab:
Click the hands-on lab that you want to start. A page appears with detailed information about the hands-on lab.
Click on the Start Lab button. The lab content appears and the timer begins.
Complete the steps.
When you finish the lab, you can share the result and return to the labs list.