Every student deserves a great start in using a computer and essential tools like Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Desktop Pro provides you with a positive experience in developing the skills you need to succeed in a digital world.
If you have limited experience using computers, Microsoft Office, or online courseware, don’t worry! You can do it. Over 1.5 billion users of Microsoft Office have learned to use the software and you can too. Desktop Pro is simple to use and the technology, materials, and the method of learning will have you feeling confident by the end of the class.
There are no shortcuts in learning Microsoft Office. It takes time to master skills needed for success. As you go through the course, take advantage of the opportunity to practice what you are learning. Time spent now will save you valuable time in the future and will significantly help you throughout your formal education and career.
Each section begins with a few short videos that demonstrate the new skills you’ll be practicing. For most students, watching the videos is the best way to gain initial exposure to the new material.
Desktop Pro provides two kinds of information sheets in each section.
The majority of your time will be spent in 3 levels of simulated labs. All of the labs simulate the look and performance of Microsoft Office and will give you the best learning experience. Desktop Pro uses simulations instead of Microsoft Office software because simulations allow for video and text hints along with instant feedback. It also means the simulations will not stop you from making a mistake, just like the software. Because learning from our mistakes is a critical part of the learning process. In the Give It a Try section below, you will have an opportunity to try one of the labs.
Depending on how fast your computer can process information, your experience can vary greatly in terms of loading times, responsiveness, and overall time needed to complete the lab.
Be Patient - TestOut is going to space and back!
Yes, it really is! The videos, text lessons, and labs are going into space, bouncing off satellites, then returning to wherever you are, so give it a few seconds. However, if the labs don’t load or seem extra slow, give our amazing support team a call at 1-800-877-4889.
We've created a list of specs your computer should have for this course to help things run smoothly.
To check internet speeds, we recommend freshly restarting the computer, resetting your router, and turning off any other devices that use your internet connection to reduce the possibility of interfering factors. Then navigate to Fast.com (chosen for its simplicity and acceptable accuracy).
Labs require an internet speed of 3.6 Mbps per user to have good loading times. After initial loading is completed, the lab uses very little internet, although it is crucially important to maintain an internet connection. (Do not close your laptop or put it to sleep during a lab or your results may not communicate properly to our server.)
Fast.com will automatically begin to run its test and tell you your download speed. If you suspect the result you see is inaccurate, reload the test once or twice. If you see Kbps instead of Mbps then your internet speed is inadequate. 1000 Kbps = 1 Mbps. If you find that you are below the minimum internet speed, see section 7.5 for more ideas.
We recommend using Google Chrome web browser for the best experience and highly recommend you close any browser tabs and as well as other web browsers when using Desktop Pro.
Before getting started please watch the two video tutorials before moving on to the next section.
This is not like watching a video on youtube. Learn how the interactive script and other features give you control on how you learn best.
Since you will spend many hours in the course a few extra minutes will be time well spent.
If you are waiting for access to the Desktop Pro course and want to get started, we've made the first 3 sections available for you. Click on the links below to launch each resource to begin learning. They may take a moment or two to load. Note: These resources will not be scored or recorded. You will have to redo the labs once you gain access to the full course in LabSim. These are here to simply give you a jump start learning some of the basics of the course.
If you are waiting for access to the Desktop Pro course and want to get started, we've made the first 3 sections available for you. These sections are available on PCs, Macs, and Chromebooks. Please return to this page on a supported device and the links referred to in this section will be available to you.