Monthly Archives: June 2013

Microsoft Excel 2013

Speed Up Your Work With These Simple Excel Tricks

If it has been a while since you attended a brush-up course on Microsoft Excel, you’ll know this feeling; you leave the seminar inspired. You can’t wait to get to work and use the new tricks at work, but over the course of a few weeks, you’re lucky if three or four of the new shortcuts you learned make it into your daily rotation. Sound familiar?

Here are some simple Microsoft Excel 2013 tricks you can share at your weekly meeting to keep coworkers up to speed.Microsoft Excel 2013

Select All. Quick keyboard commands can shave seconds, which quickly add up to minutes and hours, off of your everyday computer tasks. [Ctrl]+A can be used to select all of the data in your Excel spreadsheet at one time. It also works in Word and other Windows applications.

Copy/Transfer Formatting. Here’s a trick you’ll really thank us for. The Excel Format Painter Tool is often neglected, but not for long. When you want to transfer the cell formatting (not formula), simply select the cell and right click. See the paint brush in the bottom-right corner? Select it. Then click on any other cell(s) and the identical formatting will be copied.

Display formulas. When you hit [Ctrl] + ~, all of the formulas in a spreadsheet will be visible, allowing you to edit/tweak them as needed.

Labyrinth Learning
has a host of Microsoft Excel 2013 products that can teach your employees basic and advanced skills, or can be used for a FastCourse refresher at your next training seminar.

Microsoft Office 2013

Discover Some of The Most Underused Features of Microsoft Office

While a single computer course can teach you the basics, seminars, additional training sessions, and advanced computer courses are the best way to break out of your routines and learn new tricks to enhance your performance.

To prove a point, we thought we’d share some of the most underused features of Microsoft Office 2013, compliments of Office 2013

  • Find a recent file. How many times have you saved a file one day, and then struggled to find it the next? The search feature can take forever, which contributes to the frustration. Instead, you can click on “File” and then select “Recent.” Voila! Your most recent saves will appear. This works in both Word and Excel.
  • Create your own templates. If you find you use the same format over and over again, it will save time if you simply create your own template. In older versions of Word, this was a bit complicated. The new Microsoft Office 2013 Suite has simplified the process. Click here to learn how to make easy templates of your own.
  • Quick Excel tables. If you use Microsoft Excel on a regular basis, you will save a good deal of time and energy by learning all you can about the table features. It is easy to transform a range of data into a table for easier data formulating and manipulation.

Maybe it’s time for you company to splurge on a Microsoft Office seminar for your trainers and employees. Contact Labyrinth Learning to discuss software options that will enhance employee performance.


Online Classroom

MOOCs Role in Today’s Community Colleges

Community college MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, are being scrutinized as more community colleges strive to meet the needs of their students while managing significant budget cuts. The online publication Community College Week recently published an article titled, “Survey: Community Colleges Remain Wary of MOOCs,” summarizing the results of a recent survey regarding MOOCs and their role in community colleges.Online Classroom

Here are two survey findings we feel are particularly interesting.

Completion rates of MOOCs are low. While completion of MOOCs may be low, students who participate in traditional distance learning methods seem to do just fine, “The gap between distance learning and face-to-face student completion rates has significantly narrowed.” This tells us that distance learning is doing something right, and MOOCs need to find the right combination of learning materials and method before their completion gaps will catch up.

Learning materials matter. The key to student success, whether it be face-to-face or online, is directly related to, “…course quality and design, faculty training and preparation, course assessment, and improvements in student readiness and retention.” The materials we create here at Labyrinth Learning are designed to do just that. Our textbook and eLearning tools incorporate self-paced, hands-on learning strategies, effective assessments, and ample resources for students and instructors.

Labyrinth Learning textbooks and online resources are designed for both face to face and MOOC environments. Contact Labyrinth Learning to learn more.

Photo Source: Shutterstock

Community College Student

Divide for Disadvantaged College Students Continues to Grow

The divide for disadvantaged students at community colleges continues to widen. Reasons for this are complex. However, if one were pressed to define the problem it boils down to resources. “Government funding skews toward universities with more advantaged students, due in part to research support and tax breaks,” says Paul Fain in his article, Equity Gaps Widen, published on College Student

Students attending community colleges have far fewer resources than their four-year college counterparts. And, because community colleges are more affordable, a larger sector of their student populations are from underprivileged backgrounds. So, what are the resources that community college students lack?

Per student costs. When you eliminate the higher cost of on-campus housing and faculty research funding typically found at 4-year institutions, 2-year colleges are able to spend about $5,000 per student. That figure is doubled to $10,000 at public research colleges, and quadrupled to $20,000 at most private research colleges.

Access to learning resources
. While a community college is able to supply a moderate amount of technology for students and their learning process, students often have to rely on their own technology to complete online courses, write papers, do research, etc. Most large universities provide a more ample supply of technology for students, even though the general student population comes from more affluent backgrounds, and already has access to technology at home.

As a company that prioritizes streamlining the learning process, Labyrinth Learning is hopeful that emerging reports on existing disparities will help to shift to create a more equitable funding solution.

Photo Source: Shutterstock

Cloud computing for multiple devices

More Colleges are Turning to Cloud Computing

Between college students who juggle full-time work and school schedules and those who return to school while after having families of their own, colleges need to make continuing education as efficient, available, and relevant as possible. This is one of the reasons many colleges are turning to cloud computing technology.

As Scott Cornell points out in his blog, “professors across the United States and Canada deliver coursework to their students through cloud-based classroom software.” There are several reasons for this trend:Cloud computing for multiple devices

  • It’s efficient. Cloud technology takes much of the onus of hardware responsibility away from the campus and onto the Cloud host. This can free up campus infrastructure and maintenance dollars, which is critical in today’s financial climate. In fact, as cloud computing becomes more of the norm, a majority of on-campus computers will require minimal storage capacity saving colleges even more money.
  • It’s mobile. Students want to be able to access their work from a variety of sources, including tablets and smartphones. The Cloud makes it easy for anyone to access their data from anywhere on the planet as long as they have internet service.
  • It’s personal. Cloud-based technology can be used for more personal message and video conferencing, which is especially beneficial in an era where many students attend their classes online. Regular video conferencing or Cloud hang-outs can enhance the professor-student and/or student-student relationship.

If you are a college professional, or student, attending a college that has migrated to cloud computing technology, Labyrinth Learning would love to hear what you think.

Microsoft Excel

Excel Makes Quick Work for Your Accounting Needs

It’s easy to get comfortable in a work routine, but that doesn’t mean the routine is efficient. This is why it’s important for management personnel to encourage the accounting team to keep up to date in accounting software and programming updates. For example, the shortcuts available in the new Microsoft Excel 2013 software can up your company’s accounting game and make quicker work of your day-to-day procedures. Here are some Excel shortcuts that can help. Microsoft Excel

  • Select an entire table. Ctrl+Shift+Space Bar. This handy shortcut allows you to select all of the data in an Excel table so the it can be quickly copy/pasted/manipulated elsewhere. This won’t work if one of the active cells is outside of the specified range.
  • Formula reconnaissance. New to a set of data and aren’t quite sure which cells are linked to which formulas? You can click into formulated cell, and press Ctrl+Shift+{ and the linked cells will be highlighted, giving you a deeper understanding of the unfamiliar data.
  • Mouse-free Selection Extend. Tired of selecting an the accurate spreadsheet selection only to bump a key or mouse and have it disappear? Then you’ll love the keyboard shortcut for extended selections: F8. Hit the F8 button on your keyboard, then use the directional arrows to click left to right, and up or down, to select the appropriate cells. You can’t go wrong.

The best way to learn Microsoft Excel 2013 shortcuts is to host a company-wide training seminar using Labyrinth Learning’s FastCourse Series for the serious professional. Contact Labyrinth Learning today.

Learn Computerized Accounting Through Your Local Community College

Is your business using manual accounting practices to keep track of day-to-day financial operations? If so, it’s time for HR trainers and staff to learn QuickBooks Pro. This top-selling computerized accounting software will immediately enhance the accuracy of your company’s accounting department. Best of all, you can learn how to implement computerized accounting at your local community college.

QuickBooks Pro 2013

Labyrinth Learning provides effective, engaged learning software to community colleges across the nation. Our QuickBooks Pro (QB) products are some of the most sought after resources on the market because they teach business owners and employees the skills they need to improve their accounting departments.

  • Save time. Data entry is significantly faster than manual accounting methods, which increases the efficiency of your accounting department.
  • Accounts Payable. No need to set up manual reminders or calendar updates in order to keep track of your bills. QB will help you keep track of invoices and bills automatically.
  • Accounts Receivable. Not only is it faster to create consistent invoices and payment plans, QB will track the progress and timeliness of payments, billing, and income.
  • Manage benefits. Benefit management is a complicated task, at best, when done manually. Once you learn QuickBooks Pro, employee benefits, vacation/sick pay, etc. will be managed for you.
  • Reports. You can generate customized reports, in real time, to have access to critical financial information when you need it most.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of switching to computerized accounting methods. A few community college courses are all your employees need to transform your business’s financial outlook.

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