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August 29, 2013

Online IT training made available to staff, faculty, students through


Amid ever-shifting preferences in computer training, Computing Services and Systems Development (CSSD) has partnered with to provide faculty, staff and students with IT training through online tutorials.

The on-demand training joins other options that include instructor-led sessions via the faculty and staff development program, video tutorials and other help at, and training offered in conjunction with software vendors.

CSSD’s license with gives employees and students unrestricted access to the library of more than 2,000 online classes, which offers tutorials on hundreds of software titles and covers subjects ranging from cloud computing to web development. works on any platform enabling users to view courses at their computers, on iPads or mobile devices.

The supposition that students arrive with computer expertise acquired in high school and that staff and faculty can find training outside the University is shifting, said Pitt chief information officer Jinx Walton. “That trend has really turned around,” and requests for computer training — particularly on advanced topics — are on the rise.

“CSSD is getting a lot of requests for training,” Walton said, explaining the University’s new partnership with “This is a good solution: It has all the training you could possibly want, by experts at your own pace.”

CSSD’s JoAnn Keslar, who oversees project management and training, said faculty, staff and students increasingly are requesting more advanced training to supplement the basic topics CSSD offers. Among the most frequent requests: additional training in Excel and PowerPoint, she said.

In addition, they want training to be available online and at their convenience, Keslar said.

Users log in at or at using their University username and password.

They can view an entire course or seek quick help to resolve a particular technology issue. Courses are divided into briefer chunks of 15 minutes or less, enabling users to focus on a specific need or question, or just break the class down into smaller segments, Keslar said.

The courses are helpful for individuals, but also can be used by supervisors and faculty members for group training. Users can create “playlists” of courses, enabling supervisors to create playlists of recommended training for staff, or faculty to make playlists to share with students. In addition, users can generate certificates of completion to document that they have viewed a course.

Early Pitt users already are accessing a variety of tutorials, Keslar said.

Some 1,100 Pitt users have logged in to explore what’s available. The top five tutorials for Pitt users so far are: Foundations of Programming, Excel 2013 Essentials, How to Use, Windows 8 Fundamentals and Word 2010 Essentials, Keslar said.

Details are available at

—Kimberly K. Barlow

Filed under: Feature,Volume 46 Issue 1

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