Fact Sheet 96
From Judy Goodlet – email@example.com
At this time of year you'll find some great opportunities to pop along to a course and learn how to tame
your PC. I’d suggest you browse through all the categories – you might find something of
interest/relevance in any of them!
All colleges and Adult Education Centres offer a huge variety of courses - so if you’re a beginner why
not see if they have places on an introductory course?
Class sizes - the smaller the better
The software used - not just its name but its version - if it's a Word course, for example, is it
Word 2000 or Word XP (although there are many similarities there are confusing differences!)
Will notes be given (things don't become automatic until you've been doing them for some
Full details of courses at:
Learn Direct centres offer all sorts of free help:
You may be offered a CD to work through in your own time - these are ideal for some, I find I plod
through them but the detail doesn't really go in - you want one that contains some well thought out
exercises and a round up of details.
If you can afford it, treat yourself to some on to one training - you can make a lot of progress very
quickly - lot of small local centres offer this - again check they can use your software, keep the
sessions short (one to one can be VERY intense!) and make sure you can focus on a particular task -
otherwise you get lost! Find them in your local Yellow Pages or search the Internet for them (you
could try www.yell.co.uk). See the note about Hampshire’s “Buy with Confidence” scheme at the
bottom of this sheet.
One of the best investments you can make is in good quality and appropriate training. Sadly this too
often goes wrong because it isn't properly planned.....
If you can, organise a private course
Don't fall into the trap of just booking Beginners, Intermediate or Advanced courses.
Consider what Tasks people need to achieve (a topic that you might consider to be
advanced might need to be introduced early because it will impact on the way some-one
If you're training in MS Office don't just book a Word course if people should really be using
Word and Outlook to manage Names, Addresses, Mail Merges, etc. Encourage people to
use the integrated tools - they're what Information Technology is really all about. They
should understand the potential of Excel and Access, too!
Make sure the person booking the course knows EXACTLY what is needed (including the
software and version number)
Show the course description to all ATTENDEES BEFORE it is booked
Don't pop in a different person at the last minute unless they fit the group profile - one person
on the wrong course can destroy the training experience for everyone!
Make sure the attendees are of the same level and working on the same type of task (ask if
the Tutor can use these tasks as example). In a private course you have complete control
Consider three hour (rather than one day courses). Unless people are VERY focussed on a
particular task they will not be able to concentrate for such long period of time. Skills can
then be built on between sessions and carefully reinforced
Off site training tends to be more effective - I've been amazed how often people "have" to take
a telephone call and disappear from a session if I’ve been lured to their Company and the
Look out for accreditation from software manufacturers (Microsoft, Novell, etc) and from the
Institute of IT Training. They apply to the Centre - what qualifications/experience does the
http://www.microsoft.com/uk/skills/ - has details of specialist Microsoft courses and training centres
http://www.iitt.org.uk/public/tender/index.asp - enables you to search for a Trainer for your course
http://www.yell.co.uk - search for computer training courses in your area
Search for Computer Courses (add the County - eg Hampshire or Dorset or your nearest City – you’ll
find some great local trainers!)
FOR SOLENT SURFERS:
Many of you have enjoyed the challenge of a course was qualifications, and are keen to encourage
others to do the same - you could consider taking the ECDL - the European Driving License - it
contains several modules, including practical ones that help you understand the mysterious workings
of your computer, as well as modules on word-processing, spreadsheets and graphics. More details
at http://www.ecdl.ie/LatestNews/index.asp .
CLAIT courses help you acquire "computer literacy" - and include the Microsoft User Specialist Exams
- which REALLY help you gain knowledge of all the tools available in Office products. Details at:
Both ECDL and CLAIT are offered by colleges and Adult Learning Centres throughout the BBC Radio
The website referenced above will include details of these, too:
Courses will be starting any day now - go investigate!
There might be a Computer Club near you - where enthusiasts gather to share their hard won
knowledge - there's a list of UK Clubs at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/dane.koekoek/computer-
clubs/directory/alpha.html - although you might find others in your area that haven’t registered!
Hampshire County Council have a new "Buy with Confidence Scheme" - it's very new but it does have
a few Training Centres on it: http://www.hants.gov.uk/regulatory/bsp/compute.html