Nathan Moss graduated on June 20, 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in information technology from Globe University-Wausau. In one of his final courses, Information Technology Capstone, he was tasked with a two-part training project for campus staff. The first was centered on the SMART Board interactive whiteboards and the second on Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheet software.
The SMART board training consisted of Nathan mastering how to use the board and becoming an expert. His instructor, Jim Yulga, helped Nathan learn about common SMART board uses in the classroom and worked out the idiosyncrasies inherent to all technology.
Nathan had two tasks to complete. The first was creating a how-to video covering the common uses of the whiteboard that can be viewed by current and future campus staff. The second task was to develop a one-hour training session for campus faculty. He then presented his session during a faculty in-service meeting.
Using a PowerPoint presentation he developed, Nathan walked staff through how to use the interactive whiteboard. He covered the various whiteboard tools for drawing, highlighting and typing, plus other features such as the board’s software and hardware buttons and markers. Finally, Nathan covered navigating various types of software (Windows, Word, Internet Explorer, etc.).
Through his preparation, Nathan learned that it can be difficult to perform every software procedure using only the whiteboard and not occasionally relying on the use of the connected computer’s keyboard and mouse. Because of his practice and research, however, Nathan conducted his entire session using the whiteboard and not referring back to the computer. Faculty in attendance were impressed with his knowledge of the board and his ability to present training using this form of technology.
For the Excel portion of the project, Nathan’s task was to act as a software consultant who would provide training for campus staff. He developed a questionnaire and interviewed campus staff about their Excel knowledge and needs. From that list, he developed a one-hour, hands-on training session and presented a proposal to campus director, Adam Smrcka, to present the training.
With Adam’s approval, Nathan conducted a training session in May in one of the campus’ three computer labs. Staff in attendance walked through Nathan’s spreadsheet that he had prepared for the session. Topics included formatting, using multiple worksheets, formulas, and charting. Because of his work with the SMART Board, Nathan was once again able to perform the training using SMART board techniques. Attendees left knowing many tips and tricks they are able to use in their daily tasks at Globe University.
What did Nathan think of the course? “It was an awesome opportunity to learn how to use the SMART board in class and get hands-on experience with it,” Nathan said. “Making a video on the SMART board was something that was fun to work on but also a challenge being the director and the only actor. The involvement of the staff members at Globe University-Wausau was phenomenal. I know that learning technology like the SMART board or Excel can be hard even for experts, so I like to do everything I can to help others make their day-to-day jobs easier.”
As a result of the course, Nathan was able to apply his IT problem solving skills to technology and use his new found expertise to train others in a formal setting. In the IT field, employers seek this type of individual that can successfully adapt and learn new technology and tasks and present that knowledge to others.
by Jim Yulga, Information Technology Program Chair, Globe University-Wausau