Mar 26, 2014 by
Information Technology Editorial Board
This is a free online course (part of the Saylor Foundation's Professional Development program). The site is designed with adult learners who need "on the job" training. This online course has readings, syllabus, media, and practice activities.
Type of Material:
Online course, tutorial, industry training, adult learners in business, information management, and administration courses
1. Solid continuous high speed internet access with browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome
2. Basic computer literacy
3. Basic proficiency in Office 2010 (Powerpoint, Excel, Word)
4. English language competency
5. Prerequisite course completion (Word Processing Using Microsoft Word-Saylor Foundation course)
6. Thorough familiarity with course policies (Saylor Foundation Student Handbook)
Identify Major Learning Goals:
These are very explicit for each site and the overall course:
describe the function of information management and processing;
explain how to identify, validate, and secure data /information to address business requirements;
explain how to design and construct solutions to business-related issues, using information management tools and processes, as well as perform this task.
define the term information as it is used in the context of a business environment, and identify the difference between information and data;
define the concept of information management and processing in a business environment;
identify how data is turned into information and how the business environment software tools are most commonly used;
define the term business requirement;
identify a business information-management need, and develop an effective business requirement to reflect that need;
explain the role of the business owner (client) in data selection and validation;
explain how public and proprietary data and information is used;
identify the common functions of the word-processing tool, and explain how the word-processing tool and its various functions can be used in a business environment to help inform business decisions;
explain how to design basic word-processing documents using free formats, templates, wizards, and other common word-processing tool functions, as well as perform this task;
identify a successful presentation, and explain how the set of slides within the presentation work together to deliver an effective message;
identify the tool functions that allow for integration and sharing across the word-processing and presentation tools;
identify basic functions of the spreadsheet tool, and explain how the spreadsheet tool is used in a business environment to help inform business decisions;
explain how to design and create basic spreadsheet documents, including business forms and charts, using free formats, templates, and wizards, as well as perform this task;
compare and contrast structured and unstructured data within a spreadsheet;
identify how information is structured and entered into a database, and identify the business needs that require a database solution;
explain how to design and construct a database solution and reports in order to address a business need, as well as perform this task;
identify various types of databases;
explain the process and techniques used to create a database and how a database management system is used in a business environment;
explain how database content can be integrated into a spreadsheet document and how an office suite can be integrated to produce business documents to support business decisions;
explain how to design and construct a word-processing document with integrated presentation, spreadsheet, and database content, and perform this task; and
explain how to design and construct a presentation document with integrated word-processing, spreadsheet, and database content, as well as perform this task.
Target Student Population:
Working professionals; undergraduate students in business administration and MIS
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Prerequisite Saylor courses are recommended, however, students with related work and education experience can take the course without the prerequisites.
Evaluation and Observation
This course give a thorough background in management and information processes. It's a self-directed module with an extensive selection of web media and readings for business students and professionals.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
There are very clear objectives in the beginning of the course. It's very structured and provides an introduction to information management and processing. Students will learn practical approaches and techniques (integrating content from various sources and constructing graphs to show data relationships). Students will learn critical data analysis, information security concepts and web resource evaluation skills. The course uses standard office suite tools.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The course is very clear and very organized. It's interactive and the guide through the topics is easy to navigate. The course design is high quality. All the readings and materials are easy to access. The activities are varied and challenging.
Perhaps add links to additional free web resources such as Office 2010 tutorials and free online books on specific topics.
Please offer a video orientation to the course. Time advisories may vary for learners.
Other Issues and Comments:
Very clear learning outcomes are shown at the beginning of each module. Parts of this course could be used by students and adults taking continuing education studies on their own regardless of their field. The information contained in this class can help any working professional (see unit 4, for example, "Presentation Basics").