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Office Software Thread, How much training have you recieved in your current job on using Office? in Technical; I generally pick up the knowledge myself via everyday use and guides online, then I deliver training to our staff ...
  1. #16

    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    I generally pick up the knowledge myself via everyday use and guides online, then I deliver training to our staff when I can. However, with only 4 INSET days a year, getting time for IT training is extremely difficult.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    I hate to drag up an old argument but if you understand the basics of a WIMP GUI system, understand the rudimentaries of file systems and file management and have just the slightest of clues on text formatting and what you want to do with it - what training do you need in Word Processing? The same can easily be asked of Spreadsheets, Desktop Publishing, Image Editing and Presentations. I'd accepts that the 'arty types' would get more out of some application specific training and databases are a whole specialised world of pain. But really if you understand the basics of how to use a computer, using an office package isn't exactly rocket science. As Synack said, above, "Make a sentence and you'll find what you're looking for in the menus".

    Most of the more advanced stuff, especially with spreadsheets and macros, etc, really require you having a real world problem to solve and thus you'd probably go googling for the answer any way. This more advanced stuff I'm convinced most people would forget how to do within 10 mins of driving away from any course.

    EDIT: (30sec of thinking later) - I suppose what I'm trying to get at is that a lot of office training in my opinion is too narrowly focused and specialised. I think the training, where required, needs to be alightly broader than just office and encompass more the the OS and it's use, and touch more lightly on each of the various office applications and thier uses.
    Last edited by tmcd35; 27th October 2010 at 07:47 PM.

  3. #18

    GREED's Avatar
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    Steve, I am liking that way of thinking!!!

    @tmcd35: I fully respect you opinion and experience of ICT training, speaking on behalf of the profession I am sorry that is how you feel. I cannot say that is the opinion I am fed back.
    We get 100s (maybe even into the 1000s) of delegates a year coming to us, a lot being repeat business, wanting to know how to make better use of the software, not to resolve a specific problem, but how to make more efficient use of a) the software, b) their time using it, and often c) how to make use of a and b to make document/spreadsheets/presentation more professional. I am in the fortunate position to be able to follow up delegates training to see how they are using their new skills in their place of work, and have many a case study documenting real ROI for themselves and their workplaces.

  4. #19

    nephilim's Avatar
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    I am the Microsoft Trainer at my school, along with my boss. The kids get more out off me doing the training than the staff do, and 7/10 times a member of staff will call upon one of the children for help than myself or my tech, simply that I have told them, the children have done the training they didnt want to do. If staff need help, I will book then in for a wed night training, if they dnt show up 3 times in a row, I dnt train them, and i have that from the slg In writing that I can refuse based on their negligence. same applies for any other software/hardware training here.
    Last edited by nephilim; 27th October 2010 at 09:07 PM. Reason: fixed my awful spelling

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    The big problem with getting people to Google for what they want to do (or come up with a descriptive sentence) etc is that this only works if you even realise that you might be able to do this. For example, styles were mentioned earlier. I think they're one of the most powerful features of a word processor (or DTP package or web design) and yet they're rarely used - people don't ask "how can I apply formatting and then easily make sure it's consistent across documents and can be updated at will without having to change every file". They ask "how can I make the heading bold and centred"

    I think it's useful to learn about all the things you can do with the package - hopefully, you'll then know "I've seen something like that before; I'll Google how to do it" but I'm well aware that even to briefly look at every facility in even the major Office packages could take rather a lot of time!

  6. 2 Thanks to srochford:

    GREED (28th October 2010), tmcd35 (28th October 2010)

  7. #21

    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Ive only used office up to 2003 - Im guessing training is all DIY and that is down to RTFM or using the in built office help or online help ie google / bing ??

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    GREED's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    Ive only used office up to 2003 - Im guessing training is all DIY and that is down to RTFM or using the in built office help or online help ie google / bing ??
    Depends how much time you have to 'play' I suppose!

  9. #23

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srochford View Post
    The big problem with getting people to Google for what they want to do (or come up with a descriptive sentence) etc is that this only works if you even realise that you might be able to do this. For example, styles were mentioned earlier. I think they're one of the most powerful features of a word processor (or DTP package or web design) and yet they're rarely used - people don't ask "how can I apply formatting and then easily make sure it's consistent across documents and can be updated at will without having to change every file". They ask "how can I make the heading bold and centred"
    (I'm beginning to wonder if my last post was a little too "bull-ish"?) I think you are right in that there a lot of features in a modern office package that hardly get touched and would make life a lot easier if we knew how to get the best out of them.

    However, In my experience, for the non-IT genereation (this problem will naturally correct self over the coming decades) there's a certain fear of technology and lack of understanding that comes with using computers. If you a) understand how to use the computer, b) know what the program your using is designed to do, c) have a clear understanding of what you are try to achieve - then I'd say most people could easily accomplish 90+% of their jobs in Office without any real effort. From what I've seen the problem usually comes down to either (a) or (c).

    I'm not sure what can be done about (c) - maybe that's where this training courses come in? - but if I was pointed in the direction of a quality course that addressed (a) then I can think of a number of members of our admin staff who'd seriously benefit from it.

  10. #24

    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    Depends how much time you have to 'play' I suppose!
    Not sure 'play' is the correct term lol

    True ref how much time you have, if you are trying to assist a member of staff with excel or the likes then I normally google / bing for an answer / resolution and depending on the complexity of the issue, I have had it sometimes where a macro is required or there is a long formula or something of the sorts

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    (I'm beginning to wonder if my last post was a little too "bull-ish"?) I think you are right in that there a lot of features in a modern office package that hardly get touched and would make life a lot easier if we knew how to get the best out of them.

    However, In my experience, for the non-IT genereation (this problem will naturally correct self over the coming decades) there's a certain fear of technology and lack of understanding that comes with using computers. If you a) understand how to use the computer, b) know what the program your using is designed to do, c) have a clear understanding of what you are try to achieve - then I'd say most people could easily accomplish 90+% of their jobs in Office without any real effort. From what I've seen the problem usually comes down to either (a) or (c).

    I'm not sure what can be done about (c) - maybe that's where this training courses come in? - but if I was pointed in the direction of a quality course that addressed (a) then I can think of a number of members of our admin staff who'd seriously benefit from it.
    Would be good if MS did the same as what they do when they test beta office packages and get feedback of what each department uses the most in regards to formulas, macros, templates etc

    That way when they first launch office it can prompt them and request what department the said user works in and this will determine what forumla / functions are shown - not to say that the remainder ones are disabled but they will be at the bottom of the list

    Like on websites where they request what country you reside in - you can put

    USA
    UK
    Germany

    or whatever near the top and then other countries that are least likely at the bottom ie

    India
    Afghanistan
    China
    Japan

    Not sure if that would help or not ???

  12. #26

    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    With more and more work being done online I would have throught training on the tools of Office
    By "online" do you mean using some kind of web-based tool, or do you just mean "on a computer"? If the first then I can forsee MS Office getting less and less relevent.

    What course would you recommend for pupils who wanted to obtain some kind of vocational certificate in MS Office skills? What is there around that can be fitted in to a school curriculum, maybe done in elective ICT classes?

    --
    David Hicks

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    I personally have had ZERO Training in regards to using Office, I just picked things up as I went along for the versions that were out (XP/2003/2007/2010). I don't call myself an advanced user, but as Dos_Box said if I am asked to do something that I have not done before I'll just go away and learn how to. Just like most things to be honest.



    James.

  14. #28

    GREED's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EduTech View Post
    I personally have had ZERO Training in regards to using Office, I just picked things up as I went along for the versions that were out (XP/2003/2007/2010). I don't call myself an advanced user, but as Dos_Box said if I am asked to do something that I have not done before I'll just go away and learn how to. Just like most things to be honest.



    James.
    That is a common comment on this subject, for me personally if I am learning something that is EXACTLY what I do.

    Please everyone don't get me wrong I am not saying that training is the way forward, I am very interested in the opinions and experience you guys are giving me back, for or against!

  15. #29

    GREED's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    By "online" do you mean using some kind of web-based tool, or do you just mean "on a computer"? If the first then I can forsee MS Office getting less and less relevent.

    What course would you recommend for pupils who wanted to obtain some kind of vocational certificate in MS Office skills? What is there around that can be fitted in to a school curriculum, maybe done in elective ICT classes?

    --
    David Hicks
    David, I was referring to 'on a computer', thank for you helping clarifying that point!

    In terms of fitting a course into a school curriculum, there are several options. If you want it to be recognised as part of, say, a GCSE or similar, Microsoft are offering a 'Digital Literacy' course for MS Academies that is accredited by OCR.

    If looking for something that can sit alongside the curriculum as a stand along and 'optional' course, you can either go for something like a foundation learning course (14-19) which will come out with a qualification (Award, Certificate or Diploma at Level 1), or if you just want the training, there are multiple courses that can train/teach (with a certificate of completion, of course!).

    I for example [NOTE to admins I am answering this question, not advertising! ) teach both adults and foundation learners in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, with all the tools at various levels (basic, intermediate, advanced).

  16. Thanks to GREED from:

    dhicks (28th October 2010)

  17. #30
    rad
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    No training given when we went from 2003 to 2007, we had it installed on our Tech computers for 3 months before installing site wide. Most staff are happy with it and just picked things up straight away.

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