The Basic Computer Skills Course, a free and interactive Massive Open Online Course, is now available worldwide.
Created as part of the INTERFACE grant, a $23.1 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant project from the U.S. Department of Labor, this course is designed to provide hands-on training to Trade Adjustment Act-eligible dislocated workers, Veterans and other adult learners looking to improve their information technology (IT) and computer skills.
The course was created in modules, making it easy to customize for varied participants and settings. Instructors and students have the ability to complete one, some or all modules, depending on the needs of the student. The basic computer operations and IT skills gained through this course will help learners successfully navigate Wisconsin Technical Colleges, complete electronic employment applications and more.
The Basic Computer Skills Course is available to Wisconsin Technical College System colleges, learning centers, job centers and virtually anyone anywhere with internet access. By January 18, 2016, it had already received over 17,266 total page views.
Robert Keown, Executive Director of Georgia Virtual Technical Connection at the Technical College System of Georgia, saw the course at www.wisc-online.org. Wisc-online is a repository of high-quality educational learning materials developed by subject matter experts from the Wisconsin Technical College System and Fox Valley Technical College’s Learning Innovations team, and available at no cost to learners and educators.
“We are interested in reviewing this course to see if it would be a fit for our basic skills training,” Keown said. “It addresses universal or standard competencies, and, as a peer reviewed product, we expect the quality to be high. Why reinvent the wheel if there is already something created that we can adapt for use within our college system?”
Heather Nilsen is an Employment and Training Specialist with the Department of Workforce Development, Bureau of Job Service – Milwaukee. She works collaboratively on the TAACCCT INTERFACE Grant with the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board. Nilsen and other staff have worked with many job seekers in Job Service Resource Rooms across Wisconsin. The majority of these job seekers have limited computer skills, so staff focus on providing basic instruction to help them with their job search or other employment-related tasks. This can include creating an email address, registering on job sites, performing a job search, submitting online job applications or word processing and emailing resumes.
“After previewing the INTERFACE Basic Skills Computer Course, I found the lessons and course material to be right on the mark and at a pace that would not overwhelm a new or inexperienced computer user,” Nilsen said. “This program helps solve a significant, long-term workforce training need by helping job seekers increase their computer skills.”
Each course module addresses at least one IT competency. Digital learning objects, including videos and activities, are specifically designed to promote learning through hands-on interaction. Topics include how to operate computing devices, navigate operating systems, input data, create documents, use email, manage files, use the internet and social media, access learning management systems, navigate college information systems and safely manage personal data.
The Basic Computer Skills Course is available at no charge via WWW.WISC-ONLINE.COM, where students can track their progress and earn educational badges for lesson completion. If students are not taking the course online they can still email their progress and results to their instructor. The course – in full or in part – can also be downloaded from WWW.SKILLSCOMMONS.ORG and Wisc-Online.com, and delivered through any college learning management system. An “unplugged” version of the course is also available at SkillsCommons.org for use where there is limited internet access.