Conditions of Use
Although the addition of an index and glossary would improve this text, Basic Computers 365 provides an excellent overview of Windows 10 and Office 365 programs: Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint. In addition, the “Personal Computer Basics”... read more
Although the addition of an index and glossary would improve this text, Basic Computers 365 provides an excellent overview of Windows 10 and Office 365 programs: Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint. In addition, the “Personal Computer Basics” chapter offers a brief overview of computer systems and devices as well as file management, screenshots, and keyboard shortcuts. The history section could be expanded (or added as an Appendix) and more information about operating systems, RAM etc. would help provide a good foundation. A chapter on Outlook might also be a good addition.
A strength of this text is the ability to provide clear, accurate steps for how to use tools and shortcuts. The instructions provided for the practice assignments are easy to follow, and the author was quick to respond to a request for the files to review. There was no evidence of errors or bias that I detected.
This 2019 text acknowledges that it is based on Windows 10 and Office 365. As versions change, it will need to be updated no doubt, but for now seems accurate, error-free and unbiased.
Computer books can be deadly to read. This was easy to read and provided good explanations and visuals to support the content. Marcus Lacher provides a conversational tone to the text which mimics what students are used to hearing in a traditional classroom setting. Good job with a tough subject!
In terms of layout and design, the text is consistent throughout and uses terminology that matches what the applications use. For example, “cut, copy & paste” are terms that students know and that are part of the Office experience.
Overall, this is an easy text to read and to explore. There are lots of sub-sections and bold type to draw in the reader. The excellent use of images will also help the visual learner. That said, many of the paragraphs could be divided into smaller reading sections. Especially when providing step by step instructions or when wrapping an image, there seemed to be a need to break the information down into smaller sections for readability.
The topics are presented in a logical way and probably would follow many existing course syllabi. In some cases, faculty may want to reorder the topics. For example, an intro to computers for business students may want to start with Excel because they might need that tool in some other courses during the same semester. Most students are familiar with the basics of Word and PowerPoint, so those could be covered later in a course.
Overall, the text is free of significant interface issues, however the online and XML versions seemed to have fewer spacing and display issues than the PDF edition. In the PDF version, image wrap and justification seemed off at least on my PC.
As a former English major, I have been accused of being a “grammar cop.” I didn't find any issues in this text.
Although the text does not seem culturally insensitive or offensive, I wonder if some of the examples and practice assignments could provide an opportunity to infuse some global perspectives. But then again, individual faculty could modify the assignments to do so if desired.
For years, I’ve used free, online resources and faculty-developed materials as an alternative to expensive textbooks and costly online publisher-provided materials. This text is the best overall resource that I’ve found. I will be using it – but adding some sections and swapping out some assignments.
The text covers the essentials areas of Microsoft Office Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint. The text also has an excellent introduction chapter which defines basic computer terminology, outlines how to perform tasks like screenshots, and... read more
The text covers the essentials areas of Microsoft Office Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint. The text also has an excellent introduction chapter which defines basic computer terminology, outlines how to perform tasks like screenshots, and provides helpful keyboard shortcuts. While the text does not have an index or a glossary, terms are clearly defined within the chapters and the Contents, at the beginning of text, highlights where to find topics within the text.
The "how-to" instructions were accurate and easy to follow. By following the steps in the text, students will be able to complete the skills covered.
This text is relevant at this time. The is written at an introductory level. Since it's an applications text, once the Microsoft Office updates its suite of applications, the text will need to be updated as well. The shelf-life of a computer applications book is only as long as the version of the application remain the same.
One of the strong points of this text is clarity. The wording used to explain the steps needed to complete tasks within the applications is very concise and easy to follow. This is crucial for this type of text and for students looking to develop stronger computer skills.
The text is very consistent. The same format is used from chapter to chapter. Explanations and the steps to complete tasks are the same from one application to the other.
This text can easily be broken down into units. The text is set up very well for online instruction.
The text offers two chapters each of Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint. The chapters within each application build on the tasks introduced in the previous chapter. When moving from one application to the next, the text reviews the application screen. This provides students the opportunity to see what is similar and what is unique to that particular application.
No interface issues occurred.
No grammatical errors were noted. Few editing errors found.
The examples used in this text are inclusive to all students.
Having taught computer application courses for 20+ years my biggest issue has been with the clarity of which computer applications textbooks are written. I have been looking for a text that was clear and steps needed to take to complete tasks were easy to understand. This text does meet those requirements. I will be adopting this text.
PDF format of Business Computers 365 (Marcus Lacher) includes a comprehensive and easy to navigate Table of Contents, Unfortunately, there are no index, glossary, or appendix sections. Professionally written Introduction which includes computer... read more
PDF format of Business Computers 365 (Marcus Lacher) includes a comprehensive and easy to navigate Table of Contents, Unfortunately, there are no index, glossary, or appendix sections. Professionally written Introduction which includes computer basics, overview of input and output devices, and a bit of history. Pictures, tables, and flow charts add value to each chapter. Especially useful are keyboard shortcuts (PDF page 30)! Excellent introduction to Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint. Copyright year is 2019; therefore, information included for each software application is fairly current (this review being provided in 2021). Practice assignments after each chapter will encourage students to apply their knowledge; also helpful to the course facilitator as practice assignments reflect information in previous chapter and will effectively evaluate student comprehension.
Working knowledge of Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint is essential- both for me as an online course facilitator and students. The topics in each chapter introduce important aspects of each software application. Written information, screen shots, and practice assignments provide an accurate and easy to understand overview.
As previously noted, copyright year is 2019. As we know, software applications and hardware are updated regularly; however, information in Business Computers 365 (Marcus Lacher) will endure. If necessary, updates will be easy to implement. The Disclaimer on page 13 of the PDF document states that the text was "written using Microsoft Windows 10 Professional and Office 365 Professional" and acknowledges that continuous improvements to operating systems and software may "vary slightly from the time this material was compiled and printed."
Not too technical, exactly right. Seems to be written with the computer/software novice in mind. However, experienced users will also find value with the information presented. There is always something new to learn, the author has clearly presented many known and little-known features of each software application.
Framework is very consistent; an informative introduction, two chapters for each software application and practice opportunists throughout.
Chapters are organized in a consistent format (i.e., two chapters for each software application). Course facilitators can assign individual chapters in order or skip around as necessary. Omitting a chapter or entire software application will not have a negative influence on information presented in the PDF format reviewed.
Topics are presented in a logical format (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint). Formatting is consistent throughout and PDF document is easy to navigate.
Easy to navigate through chapters using the Table of Contents or scrolling. Screenshots add value and are true to size (not distorted)
No grammatical errors detected. In fact, there is a great section describing proofing tools “Every day is National Grammar Day” (page 285 of PDF document).
Writing and examples are inclusive and will appeal to a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
Knowledge of software programs (i.e., Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint) will boost student success. I have had the opportunity to facilitate face-to-face and online business computer classes and understand that familiarity with software programs increases student confidence and provides the knowledge to create professional documents, spreadsheets, slide shows, and databases. Each student will carry this knowledge forward and incorporate software skills into their current or future profession.
Table of Contents
- Personal Computer Basics
- Word Chapter 1
- Word Chapter 2
- Excel Chapter 1
- Excel Chapter 2
- Access Chapter 1
- Access Chapter 2
- PowerPoint Chapter 1
- PowerPoint Chapter 2
About the Book
Intro to Computer Applications or Business Computers for Office 365
About the Contributors