Tag Archives: course management software

We Loved Working with the Students at Suffolk County Community College

Suffolk County Community College
Teachers at Suffolk County Community College found our eLab materials to be very beneficial for the students in their Intro to Computer Applications classes.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

We can write all we want about the benefits of our eLab Course Management system but, truly, the proof is in the pudding. That’s why we wanted to share a recent case study in which Labyrinth Learning partnered up with instructors at Suffolk County Community College to help with ongoing issues experienced with their Intro to Computer Applications course.

The course is a prerequisite for certain educational tracks and is recommended for many others. The challenge, typical of any educational setting, was that students entered at different levels and while some were flying through course material, others lagged behind or failed altogether. Plus, instructors were concerned that students “sailing through” the course weren’t necessarily retaining the materials. Another challenge was that with hundreds of students to serve, it was difficult to keep up with and return assessments in a timely manner.

One instructor used the eLab course materials, one opted to use both the materials and the course management system and the third instructor stuck to the typical routine using a popular computer text book. The instructors who chose the eLab options were thrilled with how easy it was to familiarize themselves and set up the course materials.

Within a short amount of time, they noticed a significant difference in the classroom, including:

  • Improved student performance
  • A narrowing of the achievement gap
  • More independent working
  • Greater concept and materials retention
  • More streamlined and timely assessment feedback for students

Both instructors plan to continue using Labyrinth materials in their future courses.

Take your cue from Suffolk County Community College and partner up with Labryinth Learning. We’ll provide the eLab materials and the course management system to improve student performance and outcomes in your classrooms.

Join the Labyrinth Learning Textbook Authoring Process

textbook authoring program
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If you have ever thought about leveraging your knowledge in a particular field and authoring a text book, the Labyrinth Learning textbook authoring program has a unique and potentially very rewarding opportunity for you.

Currently, Labyrinth Learning is seeking authors who can write on a broad variety of computer and technology issues. In particular, we are most interested in the topics of business and accounting, computing, software applications and social networking.

Candidate authors must demonstrate a mastery of the subject matter by being a classroom instructor at the university level and also understand the specific writing needs of the projects. These include the ability to work independently and on a deadline and exhibit an keen understanding of the details of the project.

Our evaluation process is quite simple. Initially, we require a resume and writing sample on the topic you wish to cover. The sample should be 2-3 pages in length and, since we are an eLearning site, at least one screen capture to demonstrate your facility with this concept.

Upon tentative approval, you will most likely be asked to write a sample lesson which, if acceptable, will be compensated. Simply put, we are looking for a serious group of writers who can act independently but still provide the quality content that we need.

For more information on the Labyrinth Learning textbook authoring process, please contact us at Labyrinth Learning.

Learn Why Payroll Accounting is Important for Students

teaching resources
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Like so many other occupations, accounting has now become a career choice with specialized fields. There is specific training for areas including construction accounting, tax accounting, and one of the most security sensitive: payroll accounting. When teaching students payroll accounting, it is important they understand how having a separate payroll accounts and an accountant assists in maintaining proper internal controls:

  • One reason to separate the payroll account is for reconciliation simplicity and time management. When payroll checks and taxes are paid out of the same bank account as routine general ledger invoices, it generates numerous transactions which in turn makes monthly bank statement reconciliation more complicated and time consuming.
  • Internet identify theft and online scams in relation to payroll services is rampant these days. By creating a separate payroll account, which is linked to the company’s main banking account, money can easily be transferred to cover payroll with an additional protective layer of security guarding against fraud and theft.
  • A payroll accountant is privy to personal information including social security numbers and financial legal proceedings such as wage garnishment. Employing a separate payroll accountant who understands the confidentially requirements helps keep internal controls in place and ensures only authorized personnel have access to private payroll files.

For accounting instructors, Labyrinth Learning has a new solution available: Payroll Accounting: A Practical Real World Approach by Eric Weinstein. For information on our other outstanding curricula and teaching aids, please contact us today.

Technology in Education Trends to Watch in 2014

Technology in Education Trends to Watch in 2014

Technology in Education Trends to Watch in 2014
Source: morgueFile

In 2013, many pundits debated the limitations of online courses. But overall, it was seen as a very good year for those who support technology in education. For example, online degrees got the green light from the U.S. Department of Education.

Here are some education trends you can expect to see more of in 2014:

  • Openness:  Open-source software is free and encourages students to work together to build and customize solutions. These communities may grow into hotbeds of innovation.
  • Analytics: Analytics will provide performance metrics that will produce data that can be used to understand learning strategies. Students can track of their grades, assignments and upcoming lessons in just a few clicks.
  • Cloud: The cloud will allow for email, calendars, and other utilities to all be shared in one place. Technology in education will only continue to improve as software and support improves.
  • More focus on course design:  Online courses work best when integrated with in-class sessions. Our online courses offer a variety of resources available to educators.
  • Gamification: The Research & Innovation Network has found that games help students learn faster. Learning might actually be (even more) fun in 2014.

Technology in education will continue to place a larger role in 2014. If you want to see how our solutions can help you in the classroom, feel free to contact us at Labyrinth Learning.

How to Pick the Right Technology for Your Classroom

How to Pick the Right Technology for Your Classroom
Source: morgueFile

With the boom of education technology (or ed tech), there are now more solutions for the classroom than ever. It’s great to have plenty of tech options to choose from, but it can also be confusing instituting them in a class.

The next time you find yourself wondering what solution to pick, simply view the situation from your students’ point of view. What will they find interesting and engaging? What will motivate them to study harder? What will they find easy to use?

Remember that even though ed tech is steadily growing, using technology in the classroom is still not fully mainstream. Some of your students may find it challenging to transition from traditional methods to tech solutions, so it’s advisable to anticipate what their concerns will be.

Also, don’t forget to check if the tech solution you’ll pick actually addresses the needs of your students. It’s easy  to be impressed by sleek designs and cute graphics, but it takes close attention to determine if a tech solution serves its intended purpose.

To discover more ways to make learning easier for your students, visit us at Labyrinth Learning and drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you!

Lighten Up with These Fun Uses for Excel

Lighten Up with These Fun Uses for Microsoft Excel

Lighten Up with These Fun Uses for Excel
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Excel users have found that the software can be used for much more than just spreadsheets. Have fun with Excel by trying some of these creative ideas that will help students and employees become more familiar with the software.

  • Turn photos into spreadsheets. Through utilizing the conditional formatting feature, you can convert photos into spreadsheets to make pixel art.
  • Create works of art. With the shapes and illustration tools in Excel, you can create beautiful pieces of artwork. The only limit is your imagination.
  • Create animated GIFs. By treating every cell in the spreadsheet as a pixel, you can make form cartoon pictures that can be easily transformed into animated GIFs.
  • Play a game. Arena.XIsm is a free role playing game created for Excel featuring more than 2,000 enemies at different difficulty levels, 12 pre-programmed arenas, and four endings to the story. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, you can even modify the game.

For more ideas for teaching software in your organization or school, contact us at Labyrinth Learning.

Improve Your Business With FastCourse Learning Series

Microsoft Office has set the standard for desktop publishing. It would be considered rare if a business doesn’t use at least one MS Office program as a part of their day-to-day processes. It’s great when employees have Microsoft certifications, but have you checked the years on those certifications lately?

How can you determine whether or not your employees are on the same page in terms of their MS Office knowledge? Time passes quickly and a failure to keep up with evolving software changes can mean your employees’ skills are lagging.FastCourse Series

Our Labyrinth Learning training materials include a FastCourse series that is just the thing for office-wide training updates. Each FastCourse text is designed for instructor-led courses for one day or less. Teach one or combine them for a multi-day course to keep your employees up to date on the latest Microsoft innovations and software changes.

FastCourse materials are available for Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 currently while the 2013 texts will be released in October covering the following applications:

  • Word
  • Access
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Outlook

Courses are available in three levels — so that you can choose the one that fits your employees’ needs or combine all three to provide complete coverage. All texts include a full set of instructor support materials.

Please contact Labyrinth Learning to learn more about how to strengthen your Microsoft Office training with FastCourse texts.

Teacher helping two students working in computer classroom

Tech Classrooms’ Benefits to Education

Teacher helping two students working in computer classroom
Source: Shutterstock.com

The benefits of the tech classroom are many. This is especially true for classrooms designed for technology education, such as computer courses, career training seminars, and IT classes. When students have access to the right textbooks, multimedia resources, and assessments, they can work at their own pace, utilizing the learning modalities that work best for them. The result is a student that feels empowered and successful in the classroom.

Here are ways technology education enhances the classroom experience.

Your classroom is everywhere. Online learning resources, such as eTextbooks, web tutorials, and assessments allow students to practice, learn, and work anywhere there is a computer and an internet connection. This paradigm shift is providing the opportunity for full-time workers and homemakers, who couldn’t have furthered their education otherwise, to obtain advanced degrees.

Video Tutorials. In the traditional classroom model, students have to grasp the material in the allotted time slot, as they sit and listen to the instructor lecture or watch demonstrations. Any concept or technique that is forgotten can’t be practiced until the student has the opportunity to meet again with an instructor, TA, or tutor. Video tutorials allow students to watch any skill-set repeatedly, 24/7 until they get it right.

Online assessments. Simulation questions and online reviews and quizzes allow students to assess their performance, and review the areas where they are weak. Professors can check in using Course Management systems to see where students are at at any given time.

Contact Labyrinth Learning to find out more about technology to enhance your classroom.

The Hidden Benefits of LMS

Learning management systems (LMS) are becoming increasingly popular. From community college courses to corporate training programs, there are multiple benefits to using an LMS, including these 6 highlighted by the Training Zone:

  1. Comprehensive management. From email text reminders to full course management, a good learning management system takes a holistic approach, including sign-in sheets and certification.Labyrinth_learning
  2. Simple reports. Your reporting shouldn’t have to be complex. Whether it’s remembering upcoming certificate expiration dates or handling compliance issues, an LMS should be set up so simple, easy-to-access reports are delivered right to a manager’s inbox.
  3. Department training expenses. At a single glance, managers should be able to see which funds are being allocated to each department to better facilitate the training budget.
  4. Meet your regulatory requirements. Regulations and compliance continue to become ever more complicated. An LMS can help to eliminate human error. Even complex healthcare and financial industry regulations and compliance can be managed using a good LMS.
  5. Empower Employees. No need to schedule mass training sessions or a month of Saturdays to keep certifications, training, and compliance up-to-date. Your employees can navigate the LMS on their own clock in order to meet deadlines and keep their education and training current.
  6. Say goodbye to IT nightmares. A good LMS will be web-based or hosted by the LMS provider, meaning you can allocate costly IT management costs elsewhere.

Is your institution using a Learning Management System? Browse Labyrinth Learning’s selection of learning solutions that easily integrate with your LMS.

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.

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