Walker Valley students begin new computer course

Special to the Banner
Posted 11/26/16

Students in Computer Application classes at Walker Valley High School have moved to a new desktop application called Jasperactive for learning Microsoft Office.

Jasperactive is the world’s …

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Walker Valley students begin new computer course

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Students in Computer Application classes at Walker Valley High School have moved to a new desktop application called Jasperactive for learning Microsoft Office.

Jasperactive is the world’s first kinesthetic Microsoft Office learning and validation system mapped to the Microsoft Office Specialist Global Standard. This courseware comes to life through a complete hands-on interactive learning experience.

It focuses on the critical thinking and application of learning so students can spend more time using Microsoft Office rather than learning how to use it. Knowing Microsoft Office is now listed as one of the top three skills required for jobs today and 85 percent of supervisors say Microsoft Office-certified employees are more productive.

The courseware teaches Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Access in Core and Expert levels.

The program features a five-step Prescriptive Learning Pathway. Students begin with a Benchmark Test determining their skill levels and builds a prescribed course plan using only the lessons the students need. Students then begin their prescribed lessons beginning with a skill testing quiz to determine and deliver only those lesson topics they need to learn.

At this point, students move to the practice mode and repeat the practice exercises multiple times to perfect skills. The course concludes with a Create project-based exercise to combine skills and creativity which leads students to the Validate level where actual testing in Microsoft Office Specialist exams begins.

“Jasperactive is definitely a new and exciting hands-on experience for the student,” said Walker Valley business teacher Joe Bryan.

Walker Valley High is one of the first schools in Tennessee to begin using Jasperactive, a part of CCI’s Learning’s world-leading courseware and partnered with Certiport, an industry leading certification provider. The course contains exercises, tutorials and review questions and is student focused and teacher controlled.

As students progress, they are awarded Mozilla Open Badges for skills perfected. In the classroom the course provides for open student collaboration, discussion and teacher insight into student progress. Students are motivated to take responsibility for their own learning, and the course provides proof of understanding, not just learning. An electronic textbook is also provided with the course which allows the student to move directly to a textbook page where additional detailed course instruction is provided.

“Students work independently of each other and progress at their own levels,” Bryan said. “Jasperactive provides immediate scores to the student, and this feedback motivates the students to complete the program and lets the students know where improvement is needed.’” 

The results of the new program have reportedly been “staggering.” In just four weeks, 83 percent of students all three Computer Application classes have completed the Microsoft Word Core and Expert levels, and have passed their Microsoft Office Specialist exam in Word.

The growth of certification programs is a reflection of the changing employment market. Certifications are portable, since they do not depend on one company's definition of a certain job. Certification stands out on the resume and the professional reference by being an impartial, third-party endorsement of an individual's professional knowledge and experience.

Students completing these exams have now progressed to PowerPoint and Excel learning modules and will test later during the semester.

“Jasperactive allows us to learn and apply skills for everyday use in the workplace and has definitely helped us with our school projects,” noted students Kaylee Parkison and Autumn Millard in a statement.

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