Emory Report

 December 8, 1997

 Volume 50, No. 15

Technology Source

There's more than one way to take
computer instruction classes

Jane Doe is an average computer user. She has some word processing skills, is familiar with tables using Excel and has put together a simple slide show with PowerPoint. But Jane never has been at ease on the computer. She needs more instruction, but as a faculty member, she doesn't have enough time for the standard ITD Short Courses of five hours each.

How can Jane increase her computer skills and productivity? At Emory, she has several options. In addition to Short Courses, she can obtain private consulting, participate in custom-designed groups courses, order a software demonstration, or receive training via the computer or the web. Most of these options are available through ITD Training.

Emory faculty can order departmental demonstration on how to use software programs such as PowerPoint and Excel. Demonstrations bring training to you and focus on what you need from a product-not just on the product itself. A description of how the software works is provided as well as a handout or textbook. Many departments order a demonstration because only one to two hours are required and content pinpoints users' needs.

Our fictitious Jane could also hire a contract consultant through ITD Training to come to her office and provide instruction at her individual workstation. Consultants are available on an hourly basis and will focus only on the information you need.

Those who are already comfortable using the computer and hunting through information may want to consider computer-based or web-based training through ITD.

ITD and Healthcare Information Services have been investigating a variety of web-based training packages. Most products are still in the experimental stage and are not conservative enough for popular bandwidths, or they are not interactive enough for good training. Ziff Davis University has a good web site for technical training at <http://www.zdu.com/>. Learnitonline <http://www.learnitonline.com/>, also by Ziff Davis, is good for desktop applications.

Of course, for those with flexible schedules, Short Courses are a good way to obtain beginner and advanced instruction. The average course lasts five hours, but the benefits last much longer. Advanced courses build on existing knowledge in programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Introductory courses help you acquire new skills in areas such as the use of the operating system Windows 95 or the Internet.

Customized classes may also be designed for groups of individuals with similar instructional needs. One class can cover various desktop applications like Office 97, Word, Excel and PowerPoint; another can instruct on the Internet and e-mail programs. Special or customized classes in computer training are held in Cox Hall, and ITD Training will help you design the course, find the contract instructor, order the textbooks and reserve the classroom-all for the best training price in metro Atlanta.

For more information about ITD Training, call 727-7777 and ask for Susan Goodman or Julia Leon, training administrators. Our next Short Course Guide will cover courses offered January-March 1998 and will be available Dec. 15. Visit us on the web at http://www.emory.edu/ITD/COURSES/.

Susan Teller Goodman is training administrator in Information Technology Division Training's Customer Support Center.

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