Austerity Measures: Reducing the duration of MS Office 2010 “What’s New” Training

16 Nov

Currently we are running an MS Office 2010 “What’s New” training course that is approximately 7 hours long (1 day course) and covers Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint. The course begins with a “What’s Common” section that is 1 hour-long. This section covers the common features across Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint, such as the ribbon and backstage view. See course outline below:

Feedback from the attendees indicated that although they were happy with the course, the duration of training was too long. Personally I noticed energy levels dropping during the afternoon, when the instructor covered Outlook and PowerPoint.

So how could we reduce the duration of training without compromising the course?

I believe that the duration of the course could be reduced to either ½ day or 2 hours. However, either approach would mean significant cuts to the content of the course outline.
If the duration of the course was reduced to ½ day that would mean either removing the Outlook and PowerPoint sections of the course or targeting specific content across Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint sections to remove. I would keep the “What’s Common” section intact.

If the course was reduced to 2 hours that would mean keeping the “What’s Common” section and either spending 1 hour on Word or alternatively 15 minutes each on a key aspect of Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.

If these cuts to the course outline were enacted, learners would have less classroom time in which to learn what’s new in MS Office 2010. However, reducing the course from 1 day to ½ day or 2 hours may appeal to more learners who are unable to commit to 1 day training.

Reducing the duration of the course may also mean that learners only receive training that is directly applicable to their work. For example, the current course covers Pivot Tables in Excel. Not all learners when asked use Pivot Tables in their day-to-day work.

I would recommend reducing the duration of the course down to ½ day. This would appeal to more learners unable to commit to 1 day training and keep energy levels up during the whole training course.

How to reduce the duration needs further investigation. Removing the Outlook and PowerPoint sections could compromise the integrity of offering a “What’s New” in MS Office 2010 training course. The alternative of targeting specific content for removal from the course outline may be the best approach.

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