Dec 31, 2011 by
Information Technology Editorial Board
This module is an interactive tutorial for Word 2010. When the user clicks on the site, there are also links to other Office 2010 tutorials, including Excel 2010
Type of Material:
This is a tutorial
Anyone who wants to learn how to use Word 2010 starting with the basics to the program's full potential.
The latest version, if possible, of Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome browsers.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Mastering Word 2010 from basic to advance options.
Target Student Population:
middle school, high school, college, adult education, working professionals who want to impress their boss!
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
basic computer skills; some familiarity with Word 2007 may be helpful (radical mind change for the user in working with Microsoft Office)
Evaluation and Observation
This is an excellent tutorial on Word 2010-beats Microsoft's office tutorials. It is done very professionally and in sequential order, though, of course, the users are free to "jump" between topics as needed
Lessons: text with very clear instructions, introductions, and screenshots. The lessons are available for printing, if necessary. In addition, Droid and Iphone apps are available for download (addressing the needs of various users). The learners have multiple options to master the topics: read, view videos, play with the program (by clicking on each topic to learn more about it in the program interface videos), download the app-do everything!
The videos are professionally done (not too fast, not too slow, clear, no blurs, no “mouse jerking”). The speakers are excellent presenters; the voiceovers are very clear. It is obvious that the presenters had a lot of practice and are professional instructors.
Each video contains help link to instructions on what is needed to run the clips.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The interactive simulation portion of the modules is impressive. The users can practice working with the software by clicking on each topic and learning more about it in the interactive portion. They can click on any part of the program in the screenshot. A screen pops up with an explanation as the users click on a function on a simulated Word tool pane. The topics are structured in such a way that the users can immediately apply them to a project at hand.
The learners have multiple options to master the topics: read, view videos, play with the program (by clicking on each topic to learn more about it in the program interface videos), download the app-do everything! The videos are professionally done (not too fast, not too slow, clear, no blurs, no “mouse jerking”). The speakers are excellent presenters; the voiceovers are very clear. It is obvious that the presenters had a lot of practice and are professional instructors. Each video contains help link to instructions on what technical set up is needed to run the clips.
The highlights of the modules and the site in general are the following:
• Clean, clear instructions
• Excellent navigation
• Very easy to understand and to follow tutorials
• If the users go beyond Microsoft Word, there is a plethora of excellent resources on other topics (including Powerpoint, Access, and Excel 2010).
Anyone who starts reviewing the tutorials will learn the program. These tutorials are highly effective as an in depth learning tool, a supplement to class labs, or an on demand "just in time" learning module. If a user forgets how to do a task or needs to learn a new task, the modules are set up in such a way that it is easy to find a specific set of instructions, a video clip, and an interactive simulation.
The users have to dig a little deeper (go to through the whole site), to find the list of course outcomes. There are free classes available on the site (http://www.gcflearnfree.org/classes), and the outcomes are listed here: http://www.gcflearnfree.org/classes/word2010/outcomes. These are equally applicable to the tutorials; it may be helpful to the users to see these linked to the main tutorial site.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
This is an excellent tutorial! There are varied options, from reading the instructions with clear screenshots, to watching the videos "how it's done," to actually playing with the program in the interactive simulation and learning more about each function by clicking on Word 2010 pane options. The navigation through the tutorials and the site in general is crisp and clear. The course topics are linked in progressive sequence but the users may pick any topic they need to review or study in more depth.
This site is highly recommended for learners who use Word 2010 for work or for class, I highly recommend this site!
Other Issues and Comments:
No issues. Learnfree org is an excellent site. I would highly recommend going through it completely. There are links to other tutorials,including Excel, Powerpoint, and Access 2010, a nice set of free apps for Ipads, and Droid devices, a blog definitely worth reading (http://blog.gcflearnfree.org), and other courses as well as tutorials on everything from Office to beginning social media use,to Googledocs, to math.
From what I've seen, all tutorials are very user friendly, and professionally done. The overall site is very professional.