University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Fall 2015 Computer Classes

Our computer classes help UMass staff gain practical skills for work, home or in the community. The small classes allow hands-on time to practice. Learn new computer skills or add to those you already have, even with little previous computer experience.

Computer classes meet in Dickinson Hall (the former Police building), Room 210. Classes are taught by Fran Fortino and staff assistants.

Introduction to Computers
Tuesdays, 9 to 10:45 a.m.,
October 6 to December 8

Overcome your fear of computers. Start from scratch in this beginner class and you’ll learn the basic parts of a computer, how to buy one, improve keyboarding skills, and create simple documents. You’ll get a free UMass email account and practice sending email while keeping it secure. We’ll also explore the wonders of the World Wide Web, and search it to find useful as well as fun information.

Introduction to MS Office 365
Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., October 6 to December 8

UMass staff can now install MS Office 365 for Windows for free on their home computers or work computers. This beginner class will get you up to speed with many new features in Office 365/2013.  You’ll learn Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.  We cover Word (Oct. 6–Oct. 27) and Excel (Nov. 3–Nov. 24, no class Nov. 11), then PowerPoint (Dec. 1). Register for the whole class or just blocks. No previous MS Office experience is required.

Introduction to Drupal at UMass
9 to 10:45 a.m., October 7 to November 4

Drupal is a powerful and flexible web content management system that lets users more easily manage the content on their Web sites.  UMass now provides a Drupal-based service and templates to groups and departments hosting their Web sites on  In this 5-week class, you’ll learn basic Drupal to navigate and develop your site, including adding and editing pages, changing the layout, adding image galleries, and building webforms.  No previous Drupal experience required.

Google Apps at UMass: WORKING IN THE CLOUD
Wednesdays, 9 to 10:45 a.m., November 18 to December 16

All UMass staff now have access to Google Apps at UMass Amherst<>, Google’s suite of productivity and collaboration tools customized for our campus.  This app suite makes it easy to create, collaborate on, store, and share online calendars, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and forms. In this 5-week how-to class, we explore the Google apps suite, including Docs, Sheets, Forms, and Drive. You’ll practice sharing documents and collaborating in real time while securing your work in the Cloud.

Introduction to MS Excel
Thursdays, 9 to 10:45 a.m., October 8 to November 5

This 5- week class will cover the basic functions and terminology of MS Excel.  You will learn worksheet data entry, editing and formatting, saving and printing options, basic formulas and functions, mail merge, and some chart options. Topics may be added based on participant needs.

Intermediate MS Excel
Thursdays, 9 to 10:45 a.m.,
November 12 to December 17, No class on November 26

Build on your knowledge of Excel and learn more functions and formatting tricks. This 5-week intermediate Excel class will cover more complex formulas and useful functions, cell and conditional formatting, charts and pivot tables. You’ll learn how to format worksheets effectively, use Excel functions like IF, VLookup & Match, analyze worksheets, and create pivot tables to make your data easier to understand. Prerequisite: basic knowledge of Excel.

Computer Courses for USA/MTA Members Only 

These three 5-week classes are taught by LMWEP staff. Classes meet in 210 Dickinson Hall. For information, contact the USA office at 545-0165 or

Introduction to Adobe Photoshop,
Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., October 7 to November 4

Have you ever wanted to wow your family with a photo greeting card you designed or impress your friends with stunning image effects? If you do, then join us in this beginner class using the fabulous photo editing software Adobe Photoshop. No previous experience with Photoshop is required. We will introduce you to the essential Photoshop tools that you can use to create amazing graphics with photos, designs and logos. Topics include an overview of common toolbar features, creating images using layers, adding text to images, cropping and editing pictures, retouching & healing, and basic color correction.

Introduction to Drupal
Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., November 18 to December 16

(See description above)

Computer Tips You Always Wanted to Know
, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., November 5 to December 10

In this 5-week series we’ll show you how to make online applications and desktop software work better for you.  We’ll cover a different topic each week, with time for questions and problem-solving exploration. Week 1—Working in the Cloud: Google Apps. Week 2—Cloud Storage Options: Office 365, Box, etc. Week 3—UMass Exchange ins and outs. Week 4—Online Survey Tools. Week 5—Quick Letters via Mail Merge.