Will try to help, but Im not certain from your description exactly what its happening. A course may not help with this unless they can show you how to use your own machine.
What beans and grinder are you using? Or are you using preground?
When you say it spurts out the delivery spout, is it around the edge of the portafilter, our the holes in the bottom where it is supposed to?
If you are using a pressurised basket, or a single basket, change to the normal double basket (straight sides, you should be able to see light through the holes in the bottom). Make sure the machine has had at least 5 min warm up, 10 is better.
Try pulling a shot with no coffee at all, just an empty double basket. It should trickle out in a steady stream, if not there is a problem.
One suggestion is to buy some preground beans, not ideal, but useful for initial testing and learning. I have managed to get some crema with Grinders pre ground coffee.
I you have accurate digital kitchen scales, place the (pre warmed) filter handle with basket on the scales and zero it. weigh out 16grams coffee into the basket - a yoghurt pot with the base cut off helps to avoid mess when filling it. Tamp it down well and latch FIRMLY into place on the machine. Now remove it and look at the top of the tamped coffee, if the surface has been disturbed, then you had slightly too much coffee, reduce amount and try again.
Assuming all is well with quantity (dose), relatch the filter handle and press the pump switch. It should, ideally, extract about 60 grams of coffee into your cup in about 30 seconds. First attempts will probably be much quicker, but measuring time and weight will give some ideas what is happening.