Some people are skeptical of remote IT training, and that’s understandable.  As consumers in the age of internet shopping, we are often cautious of deals that sound “too good to be true.”

And the idea of being able to get the same quality IT training at home in your pajamas as you would in a classroom sounds very much “too good to be true.”

So what’s the catch?

Well, I journeyed to find that out by taking part in a remote Microsoft Excel 2010-Level 1 course via QSLive.

Read on to hear about my experience:

Before Class

After registering for the course, I received an email confirming my registration and providing me with the information I needed to prepare for the class.

I was given the opportunity to test my internet connection, then was taken through steps to create a My.Quickstart portal account.

class preparation

A few clicks later and I was ready!

It felt good knowing I didn’t have to worry about these issues on the day of class.

Just two days later, I received the course material in the mail and flipped through the notebook to see which topics I specifically wanted to know more about.

I’ve always been envious of anyone who could use formulas in a spreadsheet. I was looking forward to mastering this feature of the program.

Class Day

When the day of class arrived, I gathered my materials and logged into the portal about 30 minutes before it was set to begin. I wanted to make sure everything was running smoothly.

Sure enough, I was logged in and ready to go within 2 minutes.

class-lync-connection

The QSLive platform utilizes Skype for Business, or Lync as it is also known. Once in the program, I was shown the screen of the “presenter” (or in this case my instructor).

I could see him clicking on different tabs and preparing items for class.

Soon, others started to appear in the window and I had the pleasure of chatting with my instructor beforehand and learning the background of the other participants.

In order to get the full student experience, I decided to leave out the fact that I was taking the course for research purposes.

One participant had connectivity issues, but the Help Desk logged in to troubleshoot. With their help and the help of the instructor, the student was able to fix the issue and join us.

Our instructor began the class by telling us about his professional history and opening the floor up for questions about particular topics.

He even revealed some interesting facts about Excel.

For instance, a single worksheet has 16,000 cells and there are 255 worksheets in a single document!

Wow.

He then explained some simple Excel terms and helped us log into the first lab.

Together, we created a mock sales report with sample figures and formulas. We learned about everything from how to change the style of the report to how to analyze the data using graphs.

class-screeshot2

What was particularly helpful, was the fact that the instructor could log in to each student’s screen to check their progress. If anyone had trouble with a particular topic, he could see exactly where things went wrong.

class-instructor-view

The class was truly interactive and it never felt like a lecture.

My favorite part of the class was when we were shown commonly-used Excel templates. I never knew all the useful spreadsheets available for everyday tasks like budgeting and scheduling.

Two 15–minute breaks and a lunch hour later, the class was done! The day seemed to fly by!

With just a few minutes left, the instructor asked for any final questions, which he answered thoroughly.

I was impressed by his patience and helpfulness throughout the whole process. He even gave us his email address to contact him later with any additional questions.

All in all, the whole experience was painless. Even fun!

I now have a better understanding of a program that I use every day and I didn’t even have to leave my office.  

Some students may still prefer a classroom setting, and fortunately, 360training.com still provides this option.

But for those like me, who prefer to stay close to home, QSLive is a useful and affordable option.