Sunday, March 9, 2014

My Excel Experiences

In comparing the online Excel training videos with the in-person instructor led sessions, it became evident that both methods had pros and cons. While the exercises and video tutorials on the Lynda.Com site offered me a chance to go at my own pace, rewatch portions of lessons that were unclear to me, and skip ahead of basic concepts I had already mastered, they could not ensure my focus. As someone who has never taken an online class, I have admittedly become conditioned to my learning taking place in spaces that have been designated as "educational environments." Knowing I have to show up to a certain room for a given amount of time, focusing on a specific subject has always been the way I mentally prepared to learn best.

However, this is not say that the Excel training session led by the University of Wisconsin's DoIT staff was clearly a better experience. I still ran into portions in which I got lost, missed key steps, and had questions. And while the instructor was quite adept at checking for understanding, it was embarassing to think that my screen did not match those of my peers, who were so quickly following along with the teacher. Thankfully, the instructor had mastered the ins and outs of the program, and was swiftly able to diagnose my missteps just by looking at the data on my screen.

Overall, I was thankful to explore the resources available on the Lynda site, because I have since been able to recommend them to other students who were struggling with technological questions. In terms of Excel, I believe I still prefer the face-to-face instruction. The embedded nature of the training, along with the aforementioned familiarity with the process, helped motivate me to stay focused on the task at hand.


(taken from

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