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Starting MS Office Class - Need help please

By Catadmin ·
Greetings, All.

Over the past few years at my current job, I have spent some time teaching individual users how to do minor things in Outlook & MS Office. "Here's how you add a signature", "This is what you do to wrap text", etc. Now, however, the district manager has asked me to teach a formal class of about 6 or 7 students how to get the best out of Excel, Word and Outlook (2000 mainly, but some have 97).

As a fairly strong intermediate user (and probably one of the most knowledgeable people in our district), I know a good deal, but suddenly I find myself at a loss as to how to approach this situation. Usually, I am responding to "help me do this!" types of queries instead of setting up any type of formal or official class.

So, I'm asking for help. Does anyone know where I can go to get some decent un-technical resources to help me structure this class? Any suggestions as to what YOUR most commonly asked Office/Outlook questions are that I could include? Unfortunately, I don't think the boss is going to give me more than 3 or 4 hours to cover these topics and truthfully, most of these people don't use the really advanced options in these programs (such as merging mail lists, setting up web pages/public folders, or linking objects into documents & spreadsheets).

Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, All! (This is also posted in the Client Support discussion group)

Catadmin
MCP,MCSA

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by dmiles In reply to Starting MS Office Class ...

I would suggest that cold calling some computer training schools or a friend that knows a instructor in computer training that could give me some resource tips and training manuals on the basic office training.
It would be helpful to check with the local college in your area that will have instructional manuals for student training in basic learning of office suite.

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by Catadmin In reply to

Okay, will do.

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by sgt_shultz In reply to Starting MS Office Class ...

i would ask my students. and boss. put out pre-course questionairre. with 6 or 7 you can really target what they want to know.
spell check
headers footers
styles
hanging indents
keyboard shortcuts
wizards - letter, mail merge
e cards
interfacing with palm or handspring
simple summing formulae
sorting in excel
password protecting your sensitive document
email etiquette (don't forward virus warnings, how/when to use bcc: using priority tags)
recovered documents
auto save
views in outlook
stationery in outlook

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by Catadmin In reply to

Hey! Thanks for the list. I didn't even think of half these things.

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by DKlippert In reply to Starting MS Office Class ...

Here is a collection of tutorials I've put together over time:

http://tinyurl.com/p39z

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by DKlippert In reply to

Thomson Course Technology has a number of books

http://www.course.com

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by Catadmin In reply to

Thanks for the URL. May I use some of these?

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by maxwell edison In reply to Starting MS Office Class ...

You have 7 people to train, you think that you'll be limited to 4 training hours, and your training material is not developed.

No problem. I think you may have an easier time with this than you think. Training can be an extremely rewarding experience for everyone involved - especially the trainer. But the first thing you need to do is to approach it with confidence and enthusiasm. Here are some additional tips that may help.

?h Develop the materials. Without knowing what you do, how you use the software, how it??s all applied or shared, and other particulars about your needs, I??ll not list a bunch of things that you ??could?? talk about. But rather I??ll suggest that you simply do an Internet search, and use search queries like, MS-Office Tips and Tricks, Excel tips, Excel training material, Outlook Tips, and so on. You??ll get scores of hits to pages with just about anything you can think of. You can then pick and choose the topics and subjects that best apply to your applications and situations, add the ones that you already know you have to discuss, and leave the rest up to the students. (I??ll explain later.) You may want to buy a book or two, but you could probably get by with what you have, what you find on the net, and by using the help functions within the software. Print out things from the help files and from what you find on the net to aid in developing your material and handouts. And yes, you??ll want some handouts. (One such example: http://ndcse.med.navy.mil/About-Us/MID/Tips/msword.html )

?h Plan to spend about two hours to develop your material and plan your presentations for each hour of training time. So if you have 4 hours of training time to cover, you??ll need 8 hours (at least) to plan, prepare and organize. This is probably a minimum, as you could spend more time, especially considering the fact that you need to first find your materials.

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by maxwell edison In reply to

Have handouts, even it is not much more than a copy of your training outline. But let them hear it, and let them read it.

Have a computer setup to demonstrate. If you tell them something, they might remember it. If you show them something, they?re more likely to remember it.

Have a ?homework? exercise for them to do. If they do something, they?re most likely to remember it.

I would suggest that you not try to cover everything in one long session. You could try to do 4 hours of training over a 5-hour period of time, stopping for 15-20 minute breaks a few times, but there are more reasons to extend it over a longer period of time. (The reasons will become clear below.)

Personally, I would want four one-hour sessions. This is for two reasons. First of all, it?s hard to talk for much more than an hour at a time without getting worn down. You?ll stay sharper and fresher if you spread it out. Second, it?s also hard for the students to stay focused for much longer than that. In addition, the retention rate will be better if it?s broken up a bit, and it will provide some time for them to try the things they learned, perhaps later asking questions about something that came up. So I would suggest a one-hour session, once a week, for four weeks.

If you can get the company to spring for lunch, a lunch seminar would be a great setting. (Lunch for 7-8 could be purchased (and delivered) for $100 or less, and it?s a great little enticement to get the students to eagerly approach the training.)

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by maxwell edison In reply to

I said earlier that your students could help you determine the necessary material and subjects to cover. In your first session, you could plan to spend about 30-40 minutes discussing and demonstrating some known issues. The remaining 20-30 minutes could be spent discussing the answers that the students will provide to a questions you ask of them. Ask them, What is it you want covered in these training sessions? What are you unsure of? What have you struggled with? What do you need help with? And so on. The students will let you know what they need to know. This could also be one of the handouts ? a questionnaire ? that they will fill out and turn it. Or better yet, both a questionnaire and a discussion.

After that first meeting in which you?ve gathered the student feedback, you can complete your training plans and materials for the next three meetings.

Don?t be afraid to say, ?I don?t know?. In fact, in my training sessions, I often find myself saying something like; "I?ve never run across that before. Can anyone else shed any light on that? Has anyone else found a way to do that, a way around that?? No one knows everything about everything, not even the trainers. Moreover, a little class participation is always better than just sitting and listening. (Actually, I kind of like that situation, as it gives me a chance to take a slight breather ? and take a bite of my club sandwich.)

Encourage questions and participation. One person?s question or comment will surely tweak a thought or idea in someone else. You could even see your role as a facilitator of training, rather than the sole trainer. This, of course, depends on the students. (However, be careful of the person who might want to dominate the discussions.)

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