Life is going pretty good for me lately and I have a whole lot of reasons to be excited. To start with, I’m a University of Nebraska football fan — five national championships, 46 conference championships, and the most wins and highest winning percentage of any program over the last 50 years. “HUSKER POWER” all the way! It’s also TestOut’s 25th anniversary, and to help commemorate it, we just released Desktop Pro Plus, the newest addition to our Microsoft Office training series.
Desktop Pro Plus includes our industry leading high-fidelity simulations, designed to give students the best virtual hands-on experience as they learn to configure hardware, create secure networks and use operating systems and applications. The courseware teaches basic computer skills and builds true proficiency in Microsoft Office’s 2016 applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access. Desktop Pro Plus will give students confidence and prepare them to pass the Microsoft Office Specialist exams.
Creating great courseware is like building a great football program — you need talent, desire and a whole lot of practice. And this is exactly what our team did. Our highly-talented development team had the desire to give users the best possible courseware on the market. Then we put in a ton of practice working out the bugs, upgrading the content, and creating an all-in-one solution.
In 2015, we released the Desktop Pro course for Microsoft Office, and we knew right away it was only the beginning of our involvement with Office applications. Schools loved what they saw and began making the switch to TestOut. They appreciated how our courses made a difference in how students are able learn the skills, practice in lab simulations, and receive instant feedback on their progress.
Even though the response to Desktop Pro was positive, our biggest issue was that it didn’t map to the MOS exam objectives. As a result, schools were unable to use the course in all of their classes. It was clear that we needed to expand the content, and one year later, with the release of Desktop Pro Plus, we have — touchdown!
Desktop Pro Plus includes everything Desktop Pro offers and more. It includes more advanced skills like PivotTables and Collaboration, text lessons, lab simulations, Office skills and, of course, lots of great exam prep for MOS candidates. I know we did something good with Desktop Pro Plus, but I've still been surprised at the overwhelming response from K-12 schools. Their phone calls and emails requesting demos have been keeping our team busy.
The school year is ending and teachers have only a few more weeks before they have to make a decision on courseware they will use for fall. I’m confident that Desktop Pro Plus is going to be a “game winning” play, both for teachers and for TestOut.
About the Author — Jeff Randall is the product manager for the incredible Desktop Pro series of courses. He has been in the training and certification arena for Microsoft Office for the last nine years. Outside of work, he believes in God, family, and Husker football, and even paints a red “N” in his lawn for the first football game of the season. He remains fully invested despite the fact that the Huskers won a bowl game in 2015 and still finished under .500 on the season.
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- Tags: certification, Desktop Pro, Desktop Pro Plus, Microsoft Office, TestOut Continuing Education