Oct 16, 2007

Students struggle to master new Microsoft Office 2007

by Charles S. Goss

    Microsoft Office 2007 is here, but that does not have to mean confusion and failure for students. About half the freshmen and new transfer students who took the recent computer assessment test passed, according to Ann Rowlette, assistant professor of Information Technology.
    Those who did not pass must either retake the computer assessment during their first semester  or enroll in INFT 110 within their first 45 credit hours, Rowlette said. INFT 110 is a three-credit elective that instructs the students in the 2007 version of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
    Rowlette said students can only retake the test once. According to a Liberty splash page announcement, students who desire the retake must sign up by Friday, Oct. 19 in the School of Engineering located in the back of the computer lab.
    To ensure students pass the test the second time, Rowlette said, “We’re providing as many avenues as we possibly can. The student has to show his own initiative and self-discipline.”
    Rowlette said freshmen and new transfer students can pick up a transition guide CD free of charge in the School of Engineering. It highlights specific changes from the interface of Office 2003 to that of Office 2007.
    Rowlette said that a big change is that toolbars have been replaced by a ribbon.
Students who have taken the test once can access online training through the “myitlab”  program, which is the software used for the test, according to Rowlette.
    Students who desire to take the training should follow this link: https://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=118.
    She said the program can give hints and show students how to specifically do a task in Word, Excel or PowerPoint, and this training can be used for their entire time at Liberty.
    In addition, students can purchase Microsoft Office 2007 online for their personal computers at a reduced rate through Liberty’s ResNet Web site. The Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007 Suite, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and more, costs only $13.95 with a shipping charge of $8.95.
    Finally, students can do a little online research of their own and discover resources from places like the Microsoft Office Web site or Liberty’s Digital Information Service Center that will help with issues like installing the new software and navigating the ribbon.
    According to Rowlette, there are no plans concerning upperclassmen who have already passed INFT as to how to integrate them with Office 2007. However, these students should still try to familiarize themselves with the new software.
    “Once you actually get into it, it’s not as different as it (appears),” Rowlette said.

Contact Charles S. Goss at csgoss@liberty.edu.

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