Introducing Our New Drupal Training Program: DrupalTutor.com

After months of hard work, I’m happy to announce the launch of our new Drupal training program: DrupalTutor.com. DrupalTutor.com combines the best of aspects of in-person and online training to make comprehensive Drupal training classes conviently accessible to more people at an affordable cost.

What’s wrong with existing Drupal training options?

Drupal training is currently offered in two basic formats:

Self-Teaching

This consists mainly of books and online videos, supplemented by a lot of Google searches and (hopefully) some visits to local Drupal user groups. This approach is common because it’s inexpensive and easy to get to started. However, it has a lot of drawbacks. Drupal is pretty complex, and it takes a long time to learn. It’s easy to get lost when following along with books or videos or to run into errors that you don’t know how to fix. Books and videos can get out-of-date fairly quickly, and don’t address all the possible ways to combine modules to accomplish various tasks. Students who follow this approach often tell me they know how to do a lot of individual tasks, but they can’t put it all together to get their site up and running.

Formal In-Person Classes

One of the best ways to get a comprehensive understanding of Drupal is with an in-person training class. These classes are offered by many development firms, ours included. With a formal class, you get the benefit of being able to ask questions and get help when you get stuck. However, we have found that they can be difficult for students to manage. First off, they’re expensive. A typical “site builder” level course costs $800 - $1200. Second, the classes are taught in a particular place at a particular time. Students wanting to take the classes often have to travel to neighboring cities, which is inconvienient. Finally, Drupal classes are often multi-day intensive programs, which can be too much, too fast. A typical site builder’s course is 12 − 15 hours, over two days. In my experience, that’s too much for a normal person to absorb.

Experimenting with Online Training Classes

Last fall, we ran a trial of an online, live course. I taught the same material as our normal in-person site builder’s course, but I delivered the training in evening sessions over GotoWebinar. (There were six 3-hour sessions.) This format far exceeded our expectations, and from the feedback we received, those of the students, as well. (see the reviews) The evening classes, accessible from home, were convenient, and the ability to ask questions and have me troubleshoot error messages was seamless. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and several of the students asked for more advanced classes to continue their progress.

The Next Iteration: DrupalTutor.com

Taking what we learned from last fall’s trial, we’ve designed a new approach to online Drupal training, DrupalTutor.com. Classes at DrupalTutor.com will be delivered as a hybrid of pre-recorded video, online assignments, and live lab sessions. For example, for the Building Websites with Drupal 7 course will consist of six weekly video lessons (2 to 2.5 hours each), a weekly online assignment, and six 1-hour live lab session. While the bulk of the instruction will be covered in the weekly videos, students will be able to use the live sessions to ask questions, get advice, and have the trainer troubleshoot errors they may have run into. Some students may also choose to work on the assignment during the lab session, so they can ask questions if they get stuck.

With this new approach, we expect to be able to deliver more classes than ever before, available more conveniently than ever before, at more afforable price than we’ve ever offered. Our first class will be Building Websites with Drupal 7, will start January 25 and costs $295. In late February, we plan to add PHP Bootcamp, followed by Drupal 7 Module Development. Drupal 7 Theme Development should be available in the Q2 of 2013.

To read more detailed information about our classes, see our course descriptions page on DrupalTutor.com.