Recommend an online course for a computer newbie?
November 2, 2017 6:19 AM   Subscribe

We have a new employee who has somehow avoided using computers over the past ever. Any particular recommendations for an online course that teaches the basics: Navigating via keyboard and mouse, finding your way through drives and folders, basic commands like copy and paste, using menus, email, navigating and searching online, etc.? Additionally, the basics of Microsoft Office would be good in the same or a separate course.
posted by SampleSize to Education (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Could an ECDL/ICDL course be suitable for them? The base modules might work for them, at any rate.
posted by teaspoon at 6:35 AM on November 2, 2017

You can find a lot of stuff on Udemy. (Which operating system are you using?)

If it is Windows, here's a basic one for Windows 7, as an example, which includes stuff on the mouse. Here's Windows 10.
posted by gudrun at 7:05 AM on November 2, 2017

Bear in mind that, for a complete newbie, an online course (which usually assumes you are already familiar with keyboards, mice, interacting with a web page, reacting to on-screen prompts, etc.) can be a daunting experience.

If this is the case for your employee, they might require a period of in-person tuition to get them to the point where they are comfortable working through an online course. Regardless of the age of the employee, you might want see if there is a local course for seniors, since that is an age group that is commonly in this situation.
posted by oclipa at 7:25 AM on November 2, 2017 [4 favorites]

Our local community college offers very basic computer skills courses.

My wife was forced to take one because it was a requirement for a certificate course she was working towards and was bored silly because it was pretty much as rudimentary as what you're looking for.
posted by duoshao at 7:27 AM on November 2, 2017

Mousing Around is great for teaching how to use a mouse. There are also mousing exercises and practice games.
posted by jabes at 8:04 AM on November 2, 2017

I agree with oclipa.

I do tech support for a user base that includes some people who avoid computers like the plague and use them only under extreme duress. Trying to give instructions to them over the phone or with screenshots is an exercise in futility. Using computers effectively is about so much more than knowing where to click. I also recommend some kind of face-to-face class such as at a community college, or arranging with a local technical training outfit.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:57 AM on November 2, 2017

check with your public library. many offer excellent help in this area!
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 11:41 AM on November 2, 2017

I teach reluctant learners how to use computers for one of my jobs. It's very likely the the issue here is not just "I don't know how to use a mouse" but "I am a reluctant learner and sort of don't want to do this" so part of whatever you choose will be getting this person ON BOARD with whatever it is they will need to know how to do in order to do their jobs effectively including scaffolding techniques to get them to where they need to be for the job and possibly contracts about what they agree to learn.

There are a lot of places to learn online, but "digital readiness" requires not just the ability to do basic things (mouse, click, double-click) but also know how to troubleshoot at a basic level ("That click didn't work, now what?") to even be able to take an online course.

So like others I will also suggest some sort of tutoring/mentor isse presuming the person doesn't have any other mental or physical challenges that might require special attention.

To your original question

- Mousercise for basic mouse skills
- GFC Learn Free has some nice super basic starter stuff
- has tutorials worth the money
posted by jessamyn at 11:46 AM on November 2, 2017

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