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Three Practical Strategies You Can Use To Help Students Master Excel Course Material Better
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One of the major challenges you are likely to encounter, as an Excel trainer, is that of making your students master the Excel course material well. It is not really that Excel course material is hard to master. As a matter of fact, Excel, like most other Microsoft programs, is designed to be intuitive: such that a reasonably smart person can even make use of it without undergoing any formal training. Still, some (indeed many) of the concepts in Excel turn out to be too alien to the people who sign up for training courses in Excel. And that is what can bring about difficulties. Thankfully, there are some strategies that you can use to help students master Excel course material better. Those include:
1. Using a proper course structure: a proper course structure builds on what the students already know, to introduce new concepts. The objective should be to get the students to genuinely understand the concepts, without having to cram things. Another aspect of good course structuring is where you endeavor to first introduce the students to Excel features, before proceeding to train them on the applications of those features. It is important to identify the prerequisites to learning various advanced concepts, and ensure that the students first have a good grasp of those prerequisites, before moving onto the advanced concepts.
2. Using simple language in teaching: the reason as to why Excel seems hard to many students is in the fact that the training materials used contain too much jargon. If you want to help your students to master Excel course material better, it makes sense for you to keep the jargon to a minimum. You should train the students in a language they can relate to: the language they use everyday. Of course, this becomes tricky when the ultimate objective is not to help the students perform tasks in Excel per se, but rather, to help them pass external exams. In that case, you have to balance between teaching the students in a language they can understand and teaching them in a language that will ultimately impress the external examiners.
3. Using many practical illustrations: it is always worth remembering that the students are more likely to master the things they do practically. Doing things practically also enhances their confidence (such that, by the time they come out of the course, they are confident of doing various things in Excel). So the practical illustrations we are making reference to here shouldn’t be practical illustrations that you perform by yourself on the blackboard or on your (instructor’s) computer. Rather, they should be illustration tasks that you have the students actually perform by themselves. This is actually the key to getting your students to genuinely master Excel course content.
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