I performed a search to find out a good free tutorial for Microsoft Word as part of a way to help adults and youth that are not familiar with Word to to become so. In my search for happiness in tutorials I came across two sites that I feel deserve a comparison. I intend to give a basic appraisal of the sites rather than an exhaustive critic.
FREE. I like free! Microsoft Word is one of many popular software used by millions of people the globe over for many different reasons.
Because the use of the software is so broad, many institutions create tutorials to familiarize their students or employees with the program.
During research on the Microsoft Word list of available tutorials, I found the following two that popped up immediately under.
The tutorials are from Baycon Group for employees and Florida Gulf Coast University for students and faculty.
I am not inferring that each group specializes for one group or the other, but I think one works better for students and the other for employees--time constraints and all.
Both tutorials were comprehensive covering the material in an organized pattern so that the user could locate information about the Microsoft Word software.
Baycon Group website
The first tutorial form the Baycon Group website consists of five lessons about the features of the Microsoft Word program. The lessons cover the entire program and is in a format that could be used in a classroom or office.
My first visit, the actual lessons had too much text for individual study ease and the lessons seemed long and involved. The table of content did not functional to locate the user to information listed but directed the user to the first lesson of the tutorial. The navigation links at the top of the page allowed a user to go forward or backwards in the tutorial, but other than that, the functionality was limited.
It is not a school that sponsors this tutorial so I do not expect it to be as glamorous as such. Schools must have better software tutorials to justify being an institution of learning. I would be hard-pressed to send a kid to a school with a dinky tutorial. What would that say about the academic programs?
Upon another visit to the site I found that Baycon Group revamped the tutorial and corrected all of the reasons I found for pause. The site is more user friendly and the table of content actually functions. The content in each lesson still seems to be less than concise, but it is thorough and reduced from its previous bulkiness.
I give them a B + on this FREE tutorial. In fact, I think it very generous that Baycon Group offers such top-notch tutorials on software for free.
Should I complain? No, but I recommend this site as a good source to become familiar with Word and other software for free.
The Florida Gulf Coast University Tutorial
The Florida Gulf Coast University tutorial is the more superior of the two tutorials starting from the table of content on the first visit. Since FGCU did not need to change its site it gets an A right out of the gate.
It has headings with functions to move to the next topic and a comprehensive table of content that allows the user to travel to a specific topic covering all the function of Microsoft Word.
The text is informative and not over exhaustive and the transition between pages is easy, while the information does not contain unfamiliar terms--concise!. The user can move forward or backwards in the tutorial and can jump from topic to topic depending on the need.
This functionality is great for students on the go who just need a quick reminder or employees who just need to brush up.
Though there exists no assessments or comment section for the user as does the tutorial for Baycon group, FGCU tutorial is the best suited for users as a reference tutorial and/or a learning tutorial. The most important part of a tutorial is its entertainment value.
To entertain means to hold the attention of the user. Florida Gulf Coast University tutorial has a higher entertainment value because it allows the user more control over what to learn. The search for pertinent information is quick and over!
In choosing between the two. I would of course go for the quicker FGCU tutorial, but there is something to be said about the thoroughness of the Baycon Group. If you are not familiar with Word to begin with, after you finish, you will be well informed--where as with FGCU tutorial you may be forever dependent on returning.
The question is, do you want to learn how to fish or do you just want to eat a fish?
Well another "the question" is if you know how to fish, do you still eat the fish if it is handed to you. Actually, I think I am confusing myself. I will just state that I like them both for different reasons; but for me, the quick reference FGCU tutorial works.
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