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Prepare for Microsoft® Office XP Certification!
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The Preston-Ferrett Learn series is designed for students who want to master the core competencies of particular software in an efficient and effective manner. We use the rubric EDU to organize the text into sections labeled "Explain It," "Do It," and "Use It." The books use extensive visual cues to provide immediate feedback to the students. Each step is accompanied by a figure displaying the result of doing that step. Highlights and callouts identify key screen elements. Steps are divided into paragraphs that give specific directions and paragraphs that explain the results of those actions. Special fonts and colors are used to identify the objects of actions and what the student should type. Deeper understanding is provided in asides called "In Depth." Places where students are likely to go astray are identified by asides labeled "Caution." The series uses visual elements, such as buttons and icons, to make it easier for beginners to learn the software. However, it recognizes that students who need to use the software at work are interested in speed. Asides called "Quick Tips" give directions on how to use keyboard shortcuts to accomplish tasks that are likely to be common in the workplace. The exercises at the end of each lesson promote increasing levels of abstraction similar to those described in Bloom's taxonomy. The "Comprehension" exercises test students' knowledge of the facts and their ability to recognize relationships and visual elements. The "Reinforcement" exercises provide the opportunity to apply these new skills to a different assignment with less-detailed instructions. "Challenge" exercises require students tolearn a new skill that is related to the skills covered in the lesson. "On Your Own" provides students with guidelines for applying the newly acquired skills to a unique project of their own. The guidelines specify general requirements to give the student and the instructor a common ground for evaluation but otherwise allow for creativity and innovation. Books in this series give beginners very detailed step-by-step instruction while providing challenging options for more advanced learners.
Each of the books in the Learn series is structured the same and contains elements that explain what is expected, how to do the tasks, and how to transfer this knowledge into daily use. The elements—"Explain It ,"."Do It," and "Use It"—are described in detail below.
Students are provided with a cognitive map of the lesson where they see a list of the tasks, an introduction, and a visual summary.
The EDU design relates to the lessons.
Each lesson has an introduction that describes the contents of the lesson to provide an overview of how the tasks are related to a larger concept that is identified by the title of the lesson.
A visual summary displays the expected results of performing the tasks. Callouts are used to show the student and the instructor where to look in each file to identify the results of following the instructions correctly.
Once students are oriented to the objective of the lesson and are aware of the expected outcome, they proceed with the task. Tasks begin with an explanation of the relevance of the tasks and are followed by step-by-step, illustrated instructions on how to "Do It."
Why would I do this?
The authors draw upon their experience in education, business, government, and personal growth to explain how this task is relevant to the student's life. Students are motivated to learn when they can relate the task to practical applications in their lives.
Instructions are provided in a step-by-step format. Explanations follow each instruction and are set off in a new italicized paragraph.
Each step has an accompanying figure that is placed next to it. Each figure provides a visual reinforcement of the step that has just been completed. Buttons, menu choices, and other screen elements used in the task are highlighted or identified.
Three recurring note boxes are found in the Preston-Ferrett Learn series:
CAUTION: An area where trouble may be encountered, along with instructions on how to avoid or recover from these mistakes.
IN DEPTH: A detailed look at a topic or procedure, or another way of doing it.
QUICK TIP: A faster or more efficient way of achieving a desired end.
The end-of-lesson material, "Use It," consists of four elements: "Comprehension"; "Reinforcement"; "Challenge"; and "On Your Own." Students are guided through increasing levels of abstraction until they can apply the skills of the lesson to a completely new situation in the "On Your Own" exercise.
"Comprehension": These exercises are designed to check the student's memory and understanding of the basic concepts in the lesson. Next to each exercise is a notation that references the task number in the lesson where the topic is covered. The student is encouraged to review the task referenced if he or she is uncertain of the correct answer. The "Comprehension" section contains the following three elements:
"Reinforcement": These exercises which provide practice in the skills introduced in the tasks, generally follow the sequence of the tasks in the lesson. Since each exercise is usually built on the previous exercise, it is a good idea to do them in the order in which they are presented.
"Challenge": These exercises test students' abilities to apply skills to new situations with less-detailed instructions. Students are challenged to expand their skills set by using commands similar to those they've already learned.
"On Your Own": This exercise is designed to provide students with an opportunity to apply what they have learned to a situation of their choice. Guidelines are provided to give students and the instructor an idea of what is expected.
New words or concepts are printed in italics and emphasized with color the first time they are encountered. Definitions of these words or phrases are provided in the text where they occur and are also included in the glossary at the back of the book.
Students may wish to become certified by Microsoft in the core competencies by taking the Microsoft Office User Specialist (MOUS) examination in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Access. There is a separate book for each of these applications that covers all of the skills required for core-level certification. The first four or five lessons of each of these books are included in the Learn Office XP book. Students may purchase one of the individual topic books on their own, or instructors may request that the additional chapters from one or more of those books be bundled with the Learn Office XP book to provide a complete set of lessons covering all of the MOUS core objectives in one or more of the applications.
Personal note from the authors to the student: Microsoft Office is a tool that we have used in our professional and personal lives for many years. This experience helps us explain how each lesson in this book relates to practical use. Between the three of us, our interests range across a broad spectrum of activities. We have chosen four themes throughout the Learn series that are based on our personal use of Microsoft Office. We hope that one or more of these themes will be of interest to you as well.
Business: Sally's financial experience and Bob's personal experience in pool and spa sales provide the background for the exercises dealing with business. We use a fictional company named Armstrong Pool, Spa, and Sauna Company to illustrate the use of Microsoft Office XP in a business setting. Armstrong is a regional company that was founded in 1957 in Ypsilanti, Michigan. They have expanded to eight locations in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio, and have sales of around $10 million a year. Armstrong has been trying to improve the communication between their locations and has recently installed Microsoft Office XP You will see how a company can use Office XP to communicate with customers, manage finances, organize data, and make presentations.
Travel: All three of us love to travel, so we created the fictional Alumni Travel Club, which is an organization that provides travel packages to the alumni of a local college. This theme illustrates how an organization can benefit from the use of Microsoft Office XP The pictures used for this theme were taken by either Bob or John.
Social Science: Bob's personal interest in genealogy and historical research provides the background for several lessons. Bob's family is from Alcona County, which is a small rural community in the thumb of Michigan. Immigrants from Canada, England, Germany, and other predominantly European countries settled there in the late 1800s. Bob Ferrett and his brother Don gathered data from U.S. government census records for that period of time and have published a book on the subject. This information provides interesting clues about the life of people in a rural community before the 20th century and gives us insight into how much the role of women has changed. You will see how Microsoft Office XP applications can be used to explain, tabulate, record, and illustrate research data for a social science project.
John teaches several classes on the Internet and has written papers on how this new form of communication affects the way we learn. These documents are used in the Learn Word 2002 chapters where you practice formatting long documents.
Science/Environment: John's physics background and interest in energy and the environment are the source of material for several documents and presentations. Every summer he teaches a class on utility power generation to junior high school science teachers.
Bob collaborates on weather-related research and has published articles on the risks associated with tornadoes and lightning. We have included a database of all the tornadoes in the United States from 1950 to 1995 so that users of this book can learn how to use Access and Excel to answer real research questions using a real database with over 38,000 records. We enjoy the excitement of doing this type of research with the tools found in Office and hope to share this excitement with our readers.
There are lots of supplements available for both students and teachers. Let's take a look at these now.
Companion Web site (www.prenhall.com/phmoustest): Includes student data files as well as test questions that allow students to test their knowledge of the material and get instant assessment.
Instructor's Resource CD-ROM: Includes Instructor's Manual, Test Manager, PowerPoint presentations, and the data and solution files for all four applications, which are available for downloading.
All terms mentioned in this book that are known to be trademarks or service marks have been appropriately capitalized. Prentice Hall cannot attest to the accuracy of this information. Use of a term in this book should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.
We would like to acknowledge the efforts of the forest team of editing professionals, with whom we have had the pleasure of working. We have worked with editors from four other publishing firms, and none have done as thorough and professional a job as the people who have labored diligently on this series.
Our most frequent contact was with Melissa Whitaker. She did an outstanding job of coordinating the efforts of a diverse team, spread across the country, working around the clock in an all-electronic environment. Melissa has been ably supervised by David Alexander, who kept in touch with the project and was available when an executive decision needed to be made. The executive editor, Mickey Cox, deserves credit for assembling a team of this caliber and doing the work behind the scenes, of which we are gratefully ignorant.
Other team members include:
Kerri Limpert - Assistant Editor
Marry Ann Broadax - Editorial Assistant
Cathi Profitko - Media Project Manager
April Montana - Project Manager, Pearson
Gail Steier - Manager, Production
Pat Smythe - Design Manager
Jeri Carley - Project Manager, Pre-Press
The authors wish to acknowledge the contributions of students at Eastern Michigan University. These students, most of whom are in the Technical Writing Degree Program, worked under the instruction and guidance of Professor Nancy Allen to ensure the accuracy of the final product. The students who participated in this project are: