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In today's computer-centric world, library users often bring software problems to library staff for help. Knowing how to coach people who are struggling with Microsoft Word can save time, improve customer service, and help users work more independently in the future.

Does any of these situations sound familiar?

  • A library user brings in a disk to print a document that has been saved in a word processing program other than MSWord.
  • You look at a user's document and it is in ALL CAPS, or the print on the screen is tiny even though the font size box says 18.
  • Somebody screams because all of the text on the screen has disappeared!
  • The waiting list to use one of the library's few computers grows longer and longer while inexperienced users take forever to complete simple tasks.

If knowing how to anticipate and help users through these and other problem situations would make everyone's day go more smoothly, then this course is for you! You will get an overview of Word features that will help you to identify and resolve the kinds of difficulties a novice user is likely to encounter. The course will also cover useful techniques for teaching new computer skills to adults.

Workshop Description: This all day, hands-on workshop is designed to give you an understanding of how to work with novice computer users to solve word processing problems in a library setting. The course will include an overview of important Word features. Participants will have the opportunity to practice teaching without touching the keyboard. Some basic techniques for teaching adults and novice computer users will be included. Everyone will have time to practice teaching the Word skills covered in the class.

Preliminary Course Outline:

  • Overview and Practice of Word Features
    • Toolbar icons and paragraph marks
    • Select text to change font style, size, color, bold...
    • Copy/ paste, Undo
    • Format document-line spacing, margins, status bar
  • Opening and Saving Documents From a Disk
    • Opening documents from different word processing programs
    • Save documents using different file types
  • Working with Novice Computer Users
    • Identify a user's needs
    • Teach without touching the keyboard
    • Discussions of typical problems
  • Solutions for Common Printing Problems
  • Creating a Customized Word Help sheet for your library

Workshop Instructor: Sarah Haman