Learning: GDP Software
The following FAQs ("Frequently Asked Questions")
have been compiled by keyboarding author and instructor Arlene Rice, a professor
at Los Angeles City College and co-author of Gregg College Keyboarding &
Document Processing 9th Edition (also known as "GDP"), to address some basic questions
that instructors might have concerning the new GDP software and how it can be
used in a distance-learning environment.
Choosing a distance-learning environment
How can I research
teaching strategies for a distance-learning
distance-learning platform should
I use to deliver course information and content?
After I choose a distance-learning platform,
what content should
What is the relationship
between GDP software and my distance-learning platform?
Using GDP Software as a distance-learning platform
How do I set
up a distance-learning course
Can I use any computer to manage
my classes at the Instructor Management Web site?
Can my distance-learning students
complete work on any
computer with GDP installed?
How can I communicate
with my distance-learning students?
For specific tips on fully utilizing the
GDP Software, visit Technical
Tips, a password-protected feature
of the Instructor Resources.
Q: How can I research teaching strategies
for a distance-learning environment?
A: See "Teaching in a Distance-Learning Environment"
on pages PH-54 through PH-59 in the Instructor Wraparound Edition
of Gregg College Keyboarding & Document Processing 9th
Edition for a good overview of teaching in a distance-learning
environment. The Internet also has a wealth of excellent resources.
Check these sites for details:
| Internet Address
|| Description of Content
Overview of Blackboard.
Overview of WebCT.
Overview of FirstClass.
Microsoft's links to instructional resources, technology
center (including online resources), instructor networks, training, certification,
E-learning magazine and articles related to distance
One home page for a rich variety of distance-learning
A forum for collaboration and networking for distance-learning
A site that partners with colleges, universities, K-12
school districts, and corporate training organizations to design, build,
and support eLearning communities.
The Cyber Instructors' Institute site designed to allow
faculty to interact with colleagues about select online teaching issues.
Also brings instructors together to learn from one another and allows them
to exchange teaching innovations and solutions to online teaching problems.
Links to online courses across California's community
California Virtual Campus with an overview of all online
course offerings in California.
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Q: What distance-learning platform
should I use to deliver course information and content?
A: If you do not have a great deal of experience in creating
Web sites, you might want to consider using WebCT,
These distance-learning platforms come with
pre-designed templates through which the most common teaching tools
(such as a syllabus, tests, lectures, etc.) are immediately accessible.
The instructor uploads, copies, or types the content for each tool
as desired. Students access course materials—usually—by obtaining
a password from their instructor. See PH-55 in the Instructor
Wraparound Edition of Gregg College Keyboarding & Document
Processing 9th Edition or go to the individual Web
sites for details.
If you have some experience creating Web
sites and want more flexibility and interactivity in the content
and delivery of your online course, you might want to consider using
Microsoft FrontPage. FrontPage has a class template that can be
downloaded from Microsoft's Web site to help you get started. View
an example of a keyboarding
Web site created with FrontPage.
I choose a distance-learning platform, what content should I include?
A: See PH-55, "Creating
a Distance Learning Class," and PH-56, "Using Distance
Learning in a Keyboarding Class," in the Instructor Wraparound
Edition of Gregg College Keyboarding & Document Processing
9th Edition for suggestions on Web site content.
Generally speaking, you want to begin with a home
page that contains basic course information such as the course name,
instructor's name, school name, email, telephone, and a brief course
description. It should be simple and welcoming. Next, it is a good
idea to include a FAQs ("Frequently Asked Questions")
page to answer basic questions and concerns. Your Web site should
also include pages with steps for getting started, assignment sheets,
announcements, etc, arranged in an order that is logical and intuitive
from the student's point of view.
Q: What is the relationship between
GDP and my distance-learning platform?
GDP is the course software that delivers detailed instruction on
keyboarding, formatting, and document processing to your students
in conjunction with the textbook and Word manual. GDP also facilitates
grading, recordkeeping, and the exchange of work between you and
your students via GDP and the Instructor Management Web site.
The distance-learning platform (FrontPage, WebCT,
FirstClass, Blackboard, etc.) is used to deliver course content,
such as a specific syllabus, lecture materials, assignment sheets,
discussion groups, etc.
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Q: How do
I set up a distance-learning course using GDP?
A: The following outline establishes helpful guidelines for
arranging your own distance-learning course using the GDP software.
In preparation to set up a distance-learning course, you will
need to gather all your students' email addresses, and you will need to have
an email address for yourself. GDP functions seamlessly when you use MAPI-compliant
email. Almost all email is MAPI compliant except for America Online and CompuServe.
Many vendors, including Microsoft, provide free MAPI-compliant email accounts.
Register as an Instructor at the Instructor Management
Go to the Instructor
Management Web site and register as a new
user. A personal password will be forwarded to your email address a few minutes
after registering. You will then return to the log-on page of the Instructor
Management Web site, type your email address and personal password, and follow
a few simple steps to complete your registration.
Create a Class
Once you are inside the Web site, go to the Gradebook
to create a class. You will type a course name and register your students using
their email addresses. New students are initially listed on the List of Students
by their email address. Once a student sends work to you at the Instructor Management
Web Site by using the Update button in GDP, that student's name will be listed
instead of an email address.
View the Students' Portfolio
After students have submitted work to the Instructor
Management Web site, you can view their work in detail. From the Gradebook you
can seamlessly send private annotations and public class announcements as email
messages. When you send a private annotation, you have the option of including
a detailed report in the email message. If you include the detailed report,
the student will see your comments. Your comments will be followed by the scored
copy of the document or exercise—for reference purposes.
GDP will help you manage your classes
by allowing you to delete a class, transfer students, edit a student's
email address, use grading features, etc.
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Q: Can I use any computer to manage
my classes at the Instructor Management Web site?
A: As long as the computer you are using has Internet access,
you can access the Instructor
Management Web site. GDP does
not have to be installed. You will need MAPI-compliant email enabled
on that system to send announcements, annotations, and email to
your students via the Gradebook. Almost all email is MAPI compliant
except for America Online and CompuServe.
Can my distance-learning students complete work on any computer
with GDP installed?
A: GDP is very flexible, and
your students can use a variety of configurations to complete lessons
and submit their work to the Instructor Management Web site. However,
the most seamless configurations are described below:
Configuring GDP (Home Version) for Students Working From
When your students install GDP at home, they should
follow the steps in the Home Version User's Guide under 1.4 "Installing
GDP." They should enable distance-learning features and save their student
data on other media, which, in this case, should be their hard drive. Choosing
a distance-learning configuration activates the Update feature in GDP so that
students can send you their work seamlessly.
Configuring GDP (Campus Version) for Students
Working On Campus
When you install GDP in your classroom,
follow the steps in the User's Guide at 2.4.1 "Install
GDP on a Distance-Learning Workstation" to configure GDP. Select
a standalone, distance-learning configuration with data stored on
a floppy disk, and install GDP on each workstation in your classroom.
Choosing a distance-learning configuration activates the Update
feature so that students can send you their work seamlessly. Saving
data on a floppy disk rather than on the hard drive lets students
move freely from one workstation to another. If you were to store
data on the hard drive, students would have to return to the same
computer each time to complete their work.
Q: How can I communicate with my
communication is critical to student success in any distance-learning
course. Students need to feel that they are a part of a "real"
class with a "real" instructor. You can personalize your
course by using some of the methods discussed here to encourage
communication between you and your students.
GDP allows you to communicate seamlessly with your students
by clicking the Email button on the Instructor Management Web site. A pre-addressed
email window is automatically displayed. Students can seamlessly and easily
communicate with you by clicking the Email button in their installation of GDP.
A pre-addressed email window is automatically displayed. You must have MAPI-compliant
email to use the Email feature in GDP. (Almost all email is MAPI compliant except
for America Online and CompuServe.)