Entirely classroom with some props. No getting dirty unless you spill lunch on yourself. Very remedial is a good description but as I said earlier, Brian and Carol made it a bit better than just getting the paper - though that's the main thing.
Doug, ~12 years ago did the course for weight shift control. Last year I stayed after at Oshkosh for the fixed wing airplane version so I could get the certificate for my Avid. This time from Brian and Carol Carpenter/Rainbow Aviation, guessing same folks for you?. I got more out of it than I expected, Brian and Carol did a great job. I don't recall the balance other than a fair bit of time on the regs as some have a hard time getting it. Don't worry about prior knowledge, you'll do fine from what I've seen on the list. You'll be bored at times but it works out okay.
I'll try to get some pics after work tomorrow night. This is a Matco unit, you might give them a call, probably can buy complete for less money and the engineering is done. I don't know for sure if the spring section is solid or hollow, guessing solid, steel but unknown alloy.
You should be able to purchase an RV6A assembly (the one of your pics with the unfinished wheel pant). That's what I have on mine (including Avid drawings for same). I'm planning on taking mine off later this year to install Grove taildragger gear I purchased. Thought about selling it but I'm kinda thinking of hanging on to it as a boost should I sell in the future when the Bearhawk is done. Although I'm really falling in love with this bird. Thinking about the possibility of the enclosed trailer route for retirement ( or pre-retirement) travels...
As Ed mentioned, it also provides stabilizing compared to the original style Avid nose gear as it puts the wheel farther forward.