PROMOTING MICROSOFT OFFICE ONLINE TRAINING
“Once the UCD EDTL Team had a comprehensive knowledge of the online Microsoft Office Training, it was possible to frame their messaging and build their branding”
What problems were being addressed?
- The promotion of online Microsoft Office training
- The need to direct students to the resource
Who was involved?
The UCD EDTL Team consisted of the Senior Project Manager, Marian O’Connor, and student intern, Aoibhinn Gilmartin. They worked with UCD IT Services, the Registry Communications Office, the Students’ Union and the College Office teams.
How was the problem addressed?
Traditionally, the UCD training in Microsoft applications was delivered on-campus and in-person. However, when the pandemic hit this needed to move online too. A decision was made to partner with a 3rd Party performance-based assessment and test preparation tool, ensuring the Microsoft Office training smoothly transitioned to an online course. Interestingly, the biggest difficulty facing the UCD EDTL Team was creating awareness amongst students, who needed their digital skills more than ever.
The UCD EDTL Team knew the students were receiving an overwhelming amount of information daily. It was essential for the team to develop an effective and informative promotional campaign, which meant they needed to gain a thorough understanding of the 3rd Party training platform and the benefits for students, who decided to take the course.
Once the UCD EDTL Team had a comprehensive knowledge of the online Microsoft Office Training, it was possible to frame their messaging and build their branding. Then, it was time to start spreading the word.
Here are some of the key messages that the team chose to focus on:
- The range of courses available to students – Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook
- Students could choose the level and version most appropriate to them
- There was a follow-along workbook and an assessment after every section, allowing students to self-assess and reflect on their learning
- Students could earn a digital badge and certificate, which could be added to their CV or LinkedIn profile, signifying their digital competency
- The training aligned with the European Digital Competence Framework for Citizens
The UCD EDTL Team created a series of short video tutorials that focused on the practical application of the course’s curriculum, as well as demonstrating the positive effects it could have on their coursework, such as how features in Microsoft Word can make the task of referencing easier, or how to include animations in your course presentations and indeed how excel formulas can speed up data analysis.
The next consideration was the communication channel to use. The networks available through the College Office and the Registry Communications Office proved to be a crucial tool, as they were able to promote the Microsoft Office training through the programmed office channels and the Student Information System. It was also possible to target new incoming students within the Introduction to UCD Orientation module, ensuring the UCD EDTL Team’s message resounded at every level of the student population.
The UCD Student Union provided invaluable support by promoting the course on their social media platforms. The UCD EDTL Team sent out a series of informative emails, matching the social media campaigns and the banners posted across the campus and the central websites, once again continuing to extend their reach and create awareness.
The positive response to the course was evident in the number of students who enrolled. The UCD EDTL Team observed through focus groups an enhanced awareness of the students’ digital self-awareness and capabilities. Students continued to access the system beyond the duration of the course, as well as using the knowledge gained to benefit their course work.
Arising from this campaign were two questions that we were interested in finding answers to. And were subsequently explored in a focus group with students who had taken the course.
Here they are:
- Should the course be outside of term-time when students have more time on their
- Does the online format deter students because of the amount of screen time they are already prescribed?
There was no clear consensus on the answers to those questions, with some students preferring the flexibility offered by an online course and others preferring face-to-face delivery and the option of being able to ask questions and troubleshoot issues. A key insight gained from the focus group is that students had some basic knowledge of the application before commencing the course – however it was only the tip of the iceberg. By engaging with the material, it had a benefit to their course work both in terms of time saving and confidence in using the application.
A key insight gained from the focus group is that students had some basic knowledge of the application before commencing the course – however it was only the tip of the iceberg. By engaging with the material, it had a benefit to their course work both in terms of time saving and confidence in using the application.