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TheWeakSleep
September 3rd, 2010, 03:58 AM
Okay guys, so like I said in my last thread about post-secondary education, I just started my first term at college and I'm taking Business Administration.

So, all in all, it's a pretty interesting course, ( a lot of it's kind of boring (We literally spent a class going over the order of operations in mathematics. Economics? blah.))

One class though i thought was particularly interesting. Business Computing.

Here is the list of assignments I got on my course outline.

------

Windows Assignment 1
Word Assignment 1
Word Assignment 2
Excel Assignment 1
Excel Assignment 2
Integration Assignment

Mid Term is on Microsoft Word
Final exam is on Microsoft Excel

We get a online program along with the course, and it requires windows xp or higher, and internet explorer 6 or 7.

I set up a virtual machine for that.. It runs like garbage. (My computer leaves a lot to be desired)

What do you guys think about this course? I wasn't entirely impressed, as the recurring discussion goes, I think that they should teach the concepts behind the product and not the product itself.

You can move this to recurring if it devolves into a discussion about that, but I mostly wanted to tell you guys that I am annoyed that I have to go out of my way to run windows for this course, let alone that this course exists.

Also, the instructor made a window fullscreen, and then couldn't figure out how to close it.

I taught her "Alt-F4"

valbaca
September 3rd, 2010, 04:47 AM
btw, F11 usually toggles fullscreen :)

I run into the same windows-centric problem at my campus as well. Our IT offers *NO* support whatsoever to linux. I worked with our IT Department for a year and a half, so I know that they are told to just say "we do not support Linux." They aren't allowed to give any other information and are supposed to end the call ASAP (otherwise it hurts average call time and makes the "numbers look bad").

What's even worse is the COMPUTER SCIENCE department (I'm an electrical engineering and computer science dual-major). Some of the profs are advocates of linux and highly recommend it. But most only use windows and give assignments, like your Business Computing class, that require Windows. I once asked "what if we don't use Windows," they reply "You're supposed to." Technically, they are allowed to say this based on our department's "Laptop Requirements (http://www.cs.ttu.edu/laptops/index.php)"

The electrical engineering department isn't as bad, other than Word Documents and PDFs the only big thing we use is Matlab (http://www.mathworks.com/). It's not open-source but at least it supports and runs great on Linux. It's unfortunate that the most simliar free software alternative, Octave (http://www.gnu.org/software/octave/), isn't really as cross-compatible as people say.

Brunellus
September 3rd, 2010, 04:54 AM
This is a chicken-and-egg problem. "Business Computing" is really a vocational subject. The idea is to train people who can accomplish defined tasks on defined hardware for the broader marketplace.

The broad marketplace is dominated--sorry to say--by Microsoft. Any vocational course that purports to prepare its students for a broader marketplace that does NOT train students on Microsoft software is doing both the marketplace and its students a disservice. Bosses will not tolerate an employee who can't work MSFT software.

"Ah," I hear you saying, "but aren't we really supposed to be teaching how to work a *computer*, and not how to press defined buttons?" Well, yes, in an ideal world. But that requires time, effort and insight that many *students*, let alone instructors, are reluctant to devote.

Austin25
September 3rd, 2010, 06:22 AM
This is a story I've heard over and over from people here. Classic face-palm. Any workplace/school that isn't multi-OS friendly loses respect from me. Guess how I feel about Best Buy.

Brunellus
September 3rd, 2010, 08:27 AM
This is a story I've heard over and over from people here. Classic face-palm. Any workplace/school that isn't multi-OS friendly loses respect from me. Guess how I feel about Best Buy.
The cold fact of life is this: unless you're the one writing the checks, you don't get to care enough about multi-OS support to respect or disrespect your workplace.

You use what they want you to use for the reasons they want you to use it, and they pay you for it. If you don't work as they expect you to work you don't get paid.

Now, to be sure, I find it patently ridiculous that a university should bother requiring Business Administration students to take a "business computing" course that has no real computing content--that is nothing more than a clerical skills course. It makes about as much sense as requiring architects to learn how to operate backhoes.

But the market needs workers, even for clerical work. Not all of those workers need to be terribly computer-savvy. They just need to know enough to do the work expected of them. The market wants them to be able to work Microsoft Office. The quickest way to achieve that is to tell the students what buttons to push for what task. No chance of confusing them. The student presses his buttons, the future employer gets what he wants, and everybody is happy.

TheWeakSleep
September 3rd, 2010, 10:12 PM
Haha you all make some good points. I understand why the course exists, I was just hoping the course would focus more on subjects related more to business information technology. I guess I am biased, considering I know my way fairly well around the computer, I often forget that others taking the course may not know much at all about them.

The first section on Windows is literally garbage. Today, we looked at a diagram that explained where the start button and system tray were, and how to create directories.

Yeah, you heard that right. We learned how to make a folder.

It seems sort of trivial to me. Do people not understand this? Is it that unintuitive? It seems like this course should be an elective and shouldn't be necessary to complete the course.

The thing is, is that most of our other classes require work done and submitted online. How can all of the classes require something like this, and then turn around and teach a class that assumes you don't know how to open your web browser, let alone complete your work?

I'm not sure if this is what I want to be doing, though.
I want to take computer science :D

pwnst*r
September 3rd, 2010, 10:17 PM
This is a story I've heard over and over from people here. Classic face-palm. Any workplace/school that isn't multi-OS friendly loses respect from me. Guess how I feel about Best Buy.

Dreamland.

ratcheer
September 3rd, 2010, 10:27 PM
If you go into almost any business computing career, you had better be prepared to work with Microsoft Office.

I was an Oracle DBA at a large bank. People would call me all the time wanting information from the database, information that was simple for them to query directly from the database using provided Oracle client tools. Almost invariably, they would request of me, "Can you just send me that in an Excel spreadsheet?" I wanted to pull out my hair!

Tim