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Changes to IT Training Certificate Series

Preview of Canvas course module.

Preview of Canvas course module.

We’re changing how the IT Training Certificate Series works. Keep reading to learn more.

The first thing you need to know is that you can no longer sign-up for an IT Training Certificate. That doesn’t mean the series is going away; it’s just moving to a new format. In Fall 2017, content from our workshop-based Certificate Series will be available in Canvas courses. When you’ve completed all requirements in the Canvas format, your certificate will be issued.

If you’ve already started work on a certificate, you can register for the appropriate workshops that are offered this summer, or take them as Canvas course modules in the fall. So while the delivery method of the series is changing, the content and benefits are the same. As a reminder, here are some facts about the IT Training Certificate Series:

  • Earning a certificate from IT Training is a great way to enhance your skills in areas like Microsoft Office, web development, and creating graphics.
  • You’ll take a series of related IT Training workshops designed to build your skills in applications or topics in a comprehensive way.
  • After you’ve attended all of the workshops in a series (within a one-year period), you’ll earn your certificate.
  • In the new format, you’ll be able to “test out” of topics you’re already familiar with.
  • At the end of the Canvas-based training, you’ll take a quiz before receiving your certificate.

Find a list of Certificate Series offerings on this page, and please contact us if you have questions or suggestions.

 

Your Options for Storing and Sharing Documents Online at IU

Illustration of cloud computing.

As a member of the IU community, you have some great options for online document storage, sharing, and collaboration. This post will give you an overview of Box at IU, Google at IU, and Office 356. Visit the IU Knowledge Base (KB) to see a full comparison chart for the three services.

Box at IU

With Box at IU, you can collaborate with people at IU and elsewhere on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. Storage on Box at IU is unlimited, the maximum file size is 15 GB, and you can upload any file type. This service is a best for general purpose file storage and sharing.

Box at IU is acceptable for storing data classified as Restricted. This type of data may not be accessed without specific authorization. Two examples of Restricted data are a student’s grades and the home address of an employee. Learn about the different types of institutional data on this page.

With Box, you can edit Microsoft Office documents in your browser using Office Online, or open documents with your desktop Office applications. Box for Office Online automatically saves files as you work, and each auto-save creates a new version.  Box retains the 100 most recent versions of your Office documents.

Google at IU

 

Google at IU is similar to Box at IU. Storage is unlimited, and you can share and collaborate with both IU and non-IU colleagues. The maximum files size is 5 TB, and Restricted data is permitted here.  With this service, you’ll use Google Docs, Google Sheets, and other Google applications. Your file storage is on Google Drive. Google also offers version control for your documents.

Groupspaces is a useful feature that might make Google at IU the preferred choice for those involved in projects, committee work, organizations, and group activities. With Groupspaces, you get template consisting of a Group, a Calendar, and a Site. Watch this IT Training webinar to find out to get started with Groupspaces. Check out this post for more info on Google at IU.

Office 365

Office 365 is similar to the other services, but it offers only 1 TB of storage and a maximum file size of 10 GB. University-Internal data is permissible on this service. This data may be accessed by eligible employees and designated appointees of the university for purposes of university business. This type of data is a level below the Restricted category.

There are a few downsides to Office 365 including:

  • You cannot transfer ownership of files to another person.
  • There is no commenting feature for files and folders.
  • It doesn’t allow group accounts.

About Accessibility

If you’re concerned about accessibility, be aware that Google at IU and Office 365 may not offer the best experience for people with disabilities. Box, on the other hand, offers an accessible interface (https://a.box.com) that might be easier to use, but it only provides a subset of service’s features.  Keep your audience in mind when choosing a collaboration tool.

Making a Choice

In the end, the tool you use is a matter of personal preference, so be sure to check the comparison chart in the KB. You will likely end up using more than one of these services during your time at IU.

IT Training Certificate Series–Updated

Illustration of certificate ribbon.

Earning a certificate from IT Training is a great way to enhance your skills in areas like Microsoft Office, web development, and creating graphics.   Office 2016 is here, so we’ve updated some of the series workshops (note major changes to the Access series). The process is the same. You take a series of related IT Training workshops designed to build your skills in applications or topics in a comprehensive way! After you’ve attended all of the workshops in a series (within a one-year period), you’ll earn your certificate.

We offer certificates in five different areas, so you’re bound to find something to meet your needs.

Office 2016 Productivity (6 workshops)

We’ll introduce you to a variety of Microsoft Office applications and demonstrate ways make them work together. You’ll learn the basic skills for day-to-day office activities from creating a spreadsheet in Excel to creating a PowerPoint presentation. The required workshops are:

1. Outlook 2016: Managing Your Email
2. Outlook 2016: Calendar Essentials
3. Word 2016: The Basics
4. PowerPoint 2016: The Basics
5. Excel 2016: The Basics
6. Access 2016: The Basics

Read the rest of “IT Training Certificate Series–Updated” »

Cross-Platform Keyboard Shortcuts in Office 2016

The good news for MacOS users is that support for cross-platform keyboard shortcuts in Office 2016 has dramatically improved; potential downsides include the cross-platform shortcuts are PC-centric, and may interfere with some default Mac OS key assignments you may be accustomed to using (e.g., switching between desktops, or Show Desktop). You can also make the Ribbon appear more like the Windows one by enabling the Group Titles*, which can make finding a particular tool easier, particularly if you are using our workshop materials in self-study mode.

To enable the Control key shortcuts for Office 2016 for Mac, the process is simple, but the labeling is less-helpful than many might wish. To enable the cross-platform shortcuts, Click System Preferences… -> Click Keyboard -> Click the Shortcuts tab, and then Click the “All controls” radio button. Closing the window will keep your changes.

When enabling the cross-platform keyboard shortcuts, the dialog box will look like:
System Preferences Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box, with All controls radio button selected
Read the rest of “Cross-Platform Keyboard Shortcuts in Office 2016” »

Creating Research Posters

A research poster about cats playing video games, with the text Creating Research Posters superimposed over the bottom of the image.Have you ever had to make a research poster, but weren’t sure where to start?  Ever wondered how to put together a poster in a specific design program so it prints nicely?  This video series is for you!  Creating Research Posters is a Canvas course that’s open to everyone to view, and will be especially helpful if you need to make a research poster for an academic class, conference presentation, or any other reason.  If you’ve never made a research poster before, this course will help you learn design principles used in making an effective poster.  You’ll also learn how to set up a file for optimal poster making in the design program of your choice, and how to make sure it prints correctly on a plotter!  We’ve also collected some resources for effective poster design, as well as examples of good and bad poster designs, to help inspire you as you design.  Watch the whole series for your chosen design program, or just watch the part you need!

Check out the Creating Research Posters course here!

Using Office 365 at IU

IU students, faculty, and staff can now access Office 365 at no cost. Office 365 provides multiple options for accessing Office 2016 for Windows and OS X.  You can download the Office applications to your desktop and use cloud-based Office Online apps, and mobile apps for your smartphone or tablet.  You can install Office on up to five PCs or Macs, five tablets (Windows, iPad, and Android), and five phones.

Getting Started

To access Office 365,  go to https://office.iu.edu. Enter your username and passphrase when prompted. Click “Install now” to start the download. Notice that boxes are checked indicating that you will be making Bing your default search engine, and MSN your browser homepage. If you don’t want this to happen, deselect the boxes.

Screenshot of Office 2016 install page.

Screenshot of Office 2016 install page.

 

Run the download installation package and follow the on-screen directions. See the KB article “About Microsoft Office 365” for more information. Once you’ve installed Office, you will have to sign in to your Office 365 account at least once every 30 days to keep the software activated.

Features

Office 365 includes:

  • Office 2016 for Windows and OS X
  • Office Mobile apps for your smartphone or tablet
  • Office Online
  • OneDrive for Business (Learn more about OneDrive for Business here).

With the Office Online suite, you can create and edit files using lightweight versions of Office applications via your web browser. The Office Online apps include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, and OneNote. The Office Mobile apps are scaled-down versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Learn how to access Office Mobile apps here.

More Software

IU students, faculty, and staff have access to numerous low and no-cost software titles. Read the KB article “At IU, how can I get university-licensed software?” to find out how to get it! And remember to check out the IT Training website when you’re ready to learn how to use your new software.

 

Which version of Office are you using?

While it may seem like a very basic question, knowing which version of an Office application you are using is becoming much more important. The core Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook) are available on multiple platforms now, and an application’s feature set may vary now not just by version, but also by platform.

And the many ways you may be able to get to a particular application may make it seem like finding out would be even more complicated now. Luckily, that isn’t quite true.

Read the rest of “Which version of Office are you using?” »

Where did that {Office app} feature go?

As Microsoft Office applications are made available on more and more devices and platforms, some of the things you may actually do with them can vary. Sometimes wildly. It’s a good thing that Microsoft shows what we may be able to use (or not).

For their flagship Office applications, these Microsoft Support site articles provide an overview of feature comparison by application version:

As a bonus, for those of us who may use different operating systems to get our work done, they provide a much more detailed comparison of differences between Excel 2013 and Excel 2016 for Mac.

Preventing cat-like typing

I was assisting in one of our online workshops from home recently. After my cat’s morning nap, he decided to join me. My laptop had been on for quite some time and was warm. So Bailey, of course, decided that was where he wanted to sit.

When I am working from home, I have a monitor, keyboard and mouse attached to the laptop, so I didn’t really mind that he was sitting on it. However, the laptop keyboard still was active, so the folks attending the workshop saw something like this:

Chat window from Connect with several messages of random characters that were entered by cat sitting on a laptops keyboard.

 

 

 

Luckily he didn’t hit manage to step on enter again after he proceeded to type in an entire paragraph of c’s.

So what can you do about this?

Read the rest of “Preventing cat-like typing” »

“We need to remove some older apps” error during Office 2016 installation

So you’re very keen to install and use the new Office 2016 suite on your PC? Please be certain to take a few moments before you do that, so you won’t unexpectedly see the error “We need to remove some older apps”:
Subtle error message prompting removal of Office 2013 stand-alone apps

Are you running any of the following standalone Office 2013 applications?
Read the rest of ““We need to remove some older apps” error during Office 2016 installation” »

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