Digital and Information Fluency

Who Loves LinkedIn Learning? We Do!

Since LinkedIn Learning, the online learning platform formerly known as, was launched on campus in August it has found many fans. This month we talk to three of our most active users.

Affoue Koffi – Graduate Student, School of Management

Affoue, a student in her first semester of a Masters in Finance graduate degree, was thrilled when she heard that Clark was providing access to LinkedIn Learning. Initially she was just hoping to get a refresher on finance basics prior to taking her Financial Accounting class this semester (click here for Financial Accounting videos), but then became hooked. She has since progressed to more in-depth financial videos, giving her a head-start on important skills and concepts for her dream of becoming a Corporate Financial Analyst (click here videos from the Becoming a Financial Analyst course).

To make time for extra-curricular learning in addition to her regular course work, Affoue sets herself a weekly goal that equates to about 20 minutes a day. When watching the videos she takes notes in a notebook, and takes advantage of the replay option for more complex topics that may require a second watching. By sticking to this reasonable goal, she’s made impressive progress in her learning paths, and is one of our most active LinkedIn Learning users.

John Freyermuth – Faculty, V&PA

This semester saw a new way of teaching and learning for many faculty and students. John Freyermuth, a faculty member in V&PA, turned to LinkedIn Learning to keep his teaching engaging and authentic. For his Computers and Music course, John wanted his students to see and hear complicated concepts covered in class demonstrated in professional environments. A series of curated LinkedIn Learning videos offered this opportunity to students, with John stating “the ability to visualize an auditory phenomenon has been beneficial for a lot of students.” They were particularly excited to watch animations of Microphone Polar Patterns, and on and off-axis microphone frequency responses (Click here to watch videos from the Digital Audio Foundations course.)

For John, the videos offered by LinkedIn Learning don’t offer an alternative to opportunities in the classroom, but actually enrich the learning from a different perspective. He’s excited for other faculty to consider using LinkedIn Learning but warns that with so many wonderful videos it can be easy to post too many!

Michelle Johnson-Sargent – Assistant to the Director, IDCE

Michelle Johnson-Sargent, Assistant to the Director in IDCE is one of Clark’s most active LinkedIn Learning users, and a true life-long learner. “I’m always looking for ways to be more efficient and work smarter not harder…LinkedIn Learning has definitely helped with that.” Michelle has spent lots of time learning more about Excel (click here for the Master Microsoft Excel videos), particularly how to format and present data better and be more effective at using formulas.

While working in a very busy role in IDCE, Michelle makes time for extra learning by multi-tasking. “It’s easy to have a topic of interest playing in the background or with the screen minimized.  When I really want to focus on a topic, I log in and learn on the weekend.” Next on Michelle’s agenda? Project Management – a skill she knows will align well with her work in the department (click here for Project Management Foundations.)

Interested in LinkedIn Learning

If Affoue’s, John’s and Michelle’s stories have inspired you to check out LinkedIn Learning, click here for more information, and get learning!

Microsoft Outage: More Information

For a period of over 3 hours on the evening of September 28th, Microsoft services including Outlook, Skype, Teams, OneDrive and Office 365 experienced an outage across the US. This outage impacted millions of users’, including Clarkies’, ability to check email, voicemail and stored files 

Microsoft resolved the issues and announced that the outage was not as a result of a malicious attack, but of a series of code problems. Details can be found at Microsoft’s Azure AD authentication outage: What went wrong | ZDNet. 

ITS is keenly aware that incidents like this, and the Zoom outage earlier in the semester, impact your ability to teach, learn and work. ITS staff members monitor the health of all of these systems around the clock. Whenever we identify an outage that will impact our users, we will do our best to communicate the issue and possible work-arounds quickly and regularly 

For your technology use outside Clark, you can visit DownDetector, a website that tracks and reports outages being experienced by 100’s of popular services. 

Showcasing Your Data with Animations in Microsoft PowerPoint

When it is time to present your data, sometimes printed files such as spreadsheets and documents are not as impactful as we would like them to be. This often means that we use programs such as PowerPoint to create digital presentations of our data. Yet, much like with printed handouts, it is easy for PowerPoint presentations to become flat and a little boring

PowerPoint has a set of tools that can help us highlight the data that is important, and that can add additional visual appeal to the slides that we create. These tools are called animations.

Often when people think about an animation in PowerPoint, they think about the fun special effects that can play in between slides or as a bulleted list appears on the screen. However the animation tools in PowerPoint also allow us to do much more such as highlighting a certain part of spreadsheet, fading a part of a document away to highlight another, adding motion to graphs, and adding effects to SmartArt so that the important parts of our data and processes stand out.

To learn more about how to use animations in PowerPoint, click here.

Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive is a file storage solution that is available to all Clark students, faculty, and staff. Microsoft OneDrive allows you to store documents, photos, and other files in the cloud for easy access. It also allows you to share those files with peers and colleagues both inside and outside of the Clark community. With 1TB of storage available for each community member in OneDrive, you can use this service for many different projects.

Remember though, while OneDrive is great for most of your files, not all information should be stored in the cloud. Click here to read about what information is protected by Clark’s Information Security Policy and shouldn’t be uploaded to OneDrive.

If you would like to learn more about how to use Microsoft OneDrive, here are some video tutorials from Microsoft about how to upload, organize, and share files with your OneDrive.

If you have any additional questions about your OneDrive, please contact the ITS Help Desk.


Using SmartArt to Share Your Ideas

Finding impactful ways to present our ideas is an important part of the storytelling process. This is especially important when we introduce new ideas, analyze challenges, and discuss the projects and processes that we are working on with our audience. Sometimes spreadsheets, PowerPoint slides, and pages of written text are not the right visual solution for our audience, the story we are telling, or the ideas we want to share.

However, there are additional features in Microsoft Office that can help us to present our ideas through customizable graphics. One such feature that is available in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, is SmartArt.

SmartArt allows you to use a variety of templates to present and visualize your data and ideas in more dynamic ways. Some of the templates that are available can help you visualize processes, hierarchies, relationships, matrixes, cycles, and lists. Each template, once inserted into your Microsoft file, can be customized. For instance, the color, size, font, and levels of a template can be changed. You can even switch layouts after you have entered your data, and SmartArt can be copied and pasted from one Microsoft file to another, such as from Microsoft Word to PowerPoint.

To learn more about what SmartArt can do, and how to use it, click here.






Picking the Right Chart For Your Data

The data we collect and use every day is a valuable asset, but it is when we present our data so that it tells a story that the real value of our data stands out.

Choosing the right chart to represent your data can often be challenging. Presenting your data in ways that are appropriate and beneficial for the data type, and in ways that make your data easier to understand, takes knowledge and a little savvy. Spend a few minutes with this article to familiarize yourself with some of the different chart types, and to learn which type of data they are best suited for. Read more by clicking here…

Image with different chart types