Office of Information Technology offers classes

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    By Ashley Dickson

    BYU students and faculty hoping to improve their knowledge of computers can turn to classes offered by the Office of Information Technology.

    QuickSkills classes are single-topic seminars that focus on a few skills in a certain application.

    The classes meet once for two hours and are offered in Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, Word, Access and Outlook, said Lisa Erickson, Senior Instructor for IT Training.

    Courses are also offered in graphic design, including Adobe Photoshop and Web development, which encompasses the Macromedia Suite of Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Flash.

    QuickStart classes are more thorough and deliberate than QuickSkills classes. They last seven weeks and meet once or twice a week for two hours. QuickStart classes are offered in the same applications as QuickSkills classes.

    “The main offering is Quickskills,” said Relia Smith, manager of IT Training. “It allows you to pick specific classes within a certain subject. Instead of 14 hours all about PowerPoint, you can sign up for specific seminars on features within PowerPoint, which are two hour classes.”

    QuickSkills classes are offered at introductory, basic, intermediate and accelerated levels. The accelerated QuickSkills classes are new, and are designed to teach an entire application.

    “Basically they [accelerated classes] are for people who feel especially comfortable with technology and want to learn to master a program in a very fast-paced environment,” Erickson said. “So, for instance, we offer a PowerPoint A to Z class that will teach them pretty much everything they need to know about the entire PowerPoint application. So they can build powerful and dynamic presentations, just by attending a two-hour class.”

    Smith said students wanted the higher-level classes at a fast pace.

    “It”s an accelerated pace, which is more conducive to people with a technology background or to people who are computer savvy,” Smith said.

    Although classes have been offered before, the Office of IT wants to target the student population.

    “I know that there are a lot of students who would like to take our classes, but they just don”t know about them,” said Erickson. “I really think that if the student population understood what we offer, they would be running to our doors. There”s something for everyone. We”ve created so many different types of courses that you should be able to find something for whatever you”d like to learn at whatever computer literacy level you”re at.”

    Janet Heier, records center supervisor in University Records Management, has taken QuickStart classes in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

    “I”ve learned a lot and I”ve been able to use it in my office,” Heier said. “It has improved my productivity. I didn”t come from the generation with computers. To come to the work setting and all of a sudden have computers was a little overwhelming. I thought, I can”t be in the dark ages. I can”t be marketable and I can”t advance in my job skills.”

    Heier said the classes gave her self confidence and helped her to not be so afraid of the computer programs.

    The classes are taught by student employees who are experts in the field, said Smith

    “They”re just fantastic,” Smith said. “They”re students who want to be teachers in addition to loving technology. They do an excellent job.”

    QuickStart classes are $50 for seven weeks. QuickSkills courses are $10 per session. Schedules and other information can be found at it.byu.edu/training.

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