Frequently Asked Questions Regarding GENBA166
The following are frequently asked questions regarding GENBA166 and my answers to those questions.
GENBA166 (Business Information Technology Skills Proficiency) is a course where students take three performance-based software skills exams after completing self-paced study materials.† GENBA166 is a FREE class offered by the College of Business where the grade is either Cr (Credit given) or NC (No Credit given).† In order to receive credit for the course, each of the performance-based software skills exams must be passed at a level of 80% or higher.
If the required score is not obtained, the student is required to sign up for another administration of the exam. A student must continue to take a given exam until it is passed at a level of 80% or higher.
In the weeks prior to taking a GENBA166 exam, students should spend a minimum of 1 hour per week working through the practice materials available in the class learning platform called SimNet (SimNet is described elsewhere in this document).††† In weeks where you are scheduled to take a GENBA166 exam, additional study efforts should take place.
1. Spreadsheet software skills using Microsoft Excel
2. Database Management software skills using Microsoft Access
3. A combined exam where Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Word are tested.
Unlike other classes that you are taking this semester, GENBA166 does not have a regular date and time that it meets. Your work in GENBA166 will be entirely self-paced, with the goal being to be adequately prepared to pass each of three performance-based software skills tests at a level of 80% or higher. It is a wonderful chance to practice initiative and a key life and workplace skill, self-learning.
The only time that you attend class is to take the performance-based software exams.† Assuming that you achieve 80% or higher on each exam on your first attempt, then you will attend three times and be done.†
No, GENBA166 is NOT considered to be an online class.† Online classes follow a set schedule of assignments, tests and other learning materials.† Your preparation in GENBA166 will be self-paced using SimNet, which you will access using a web browser.† When it is time to take a GENBA166 test, you will come to Business Building to take the test in a proctored environment.†
No.† All of your work is self-paced and determined by you.† I have provided several resources (described later) that you can use during your self-study efforts.† It is your choice whether to complete them or not.† The only work that is used to determine whether you get credit or not for GENBA166 is the exam results.
Is there a cost associated with GENBA166?
KSU does not charge students for the GENBA166 credit that they receive.† The only cost associated with GENBA166 is the ďmaterials textbook costĒ which students pay to McGraw-Hill to use their testing and study platform (SimNet).† By not charging students for their GENBA166 credit, students save over $341.50 (which is the cost of a 1 credit hour KSU course).
SimNet is the online learning platform used in GENBA166 to administer the performance-based software exams.† You can also use SimNet for self-paced test preparation through the practice tests and instructional modules available.† You can use the SimNet material as a topic refresher or as a means of learning about a topic you have not been previously exposed to.† SimNet is simulation software that is used to simulate the Microsoft Office environment.† It is not Microsoft Office.† It is controlled software that is used to teach and test specific skills.
The use of SimNet is required in GENBA166.† If you donít purchase access to SimNet, then you will be unable to take the required exams and you wonít be able to access the practice material.
Students have two options for purchasing access to SimNet.†
∑ Option #1 is to buy directly from the McGraw-Hill site (which is used to access SimNet).† That requires the use of a credit card or debit card.† There is a chance that you might not have to pay sales tax if you purchase directly from McGraw-Hill and it is the cheapest purchase option.
∑ Option #2 is to purchase an access code from the bookstore.† You will have to pay sales tax if purchasing from the bookstore and the bookstore price might be slightly higher than the price paid when directly purchasing from McGraw-Hill.
The Internet address the GENBA166 SimNet site is: https://kansasstate.simnetonline.com/
No.† The SimNet environment contains everything that you need for GENBA166.† You will use your web browser (Internet Explorer or FireFox) to access SimNet and you will interact with the software using your mouse and keyboard.
Macs are not fully supported.† Quite a bit of the functionality works, but not all.† The Safari and Chrome web browsers are not fully supported, just Internet Explorer and FireFox.†
SimNet supports both Internet Explorer and FireFox.† The Safari and Chrome web browsers are not fully supported.
Available testing sessions are announced via email.† Testing sign-up occurs through the use of a survey that students complete to indicate their testing preferences.† Students can sign up for one testing session or multiple testing sessions with each survey.† In between surveys, email signup is also taken.† Please consult the syllabus to see when each test must be taken by.
you log into SimNet, you should see an Assignments tab. I have created
several objects within the assignments tab that you can use in your self-study
efforts. You will find 3 types of content in SimNet for each software
application, some of which will be the same
3) Exams: for now, just Practice exam questions
When you click on the Lessons tab, you see a lot of different things that are part of the lesson. Lessons follow the Teach Me...Show Me..Let Me Try methodology where you can read how to do something, watch how to do that task and then also try it yourself. Lessons are the same content for everyone.
SimPaths are different. When you decide to do a SimPath, you first take a pre-test. After taking the pre-test, a customized lesson is created for you (showing only the items you answered incorrectly on the pre-test). After learning the material in the customized lesson, you can then take a post-test and see how well you did.
In the end, the SimPath is designed to give you help in areas that you having difficulty with while the Lesson gives you help in all areas.
At the present time, the Exams tab has a practice exam for each software application. When we begin testing, the actual tests will appear in the Exams tab as well.
SimNet uses pop-ups.† You will need to either turn off your pop-up blocker or specify that you want to allow content from SimNet.† During the testing sessions, you will also need to turn off the pop-up blocker.
Macs are not fully supported in SimNet.† Quite a bit of the functionality works, but not all.† The Safari and Chrome web browsers are also not fully supported, just Internet Explorer and FireFox.†
YES!!† All students who PASS GENBA166 DO receive KSU credit.† In fact, if you are a business major and you donít have credit for GENBA166, then you wonít get to graduate until credit has been attained/received.† Even though you are not paying for the credit, you are given it upon your successful completion of GENBA166.† Sometimes students mistakenly think they did not receive credit because they did not pay for it.† You donít pay for GENBA166, but you receive the credit that is necessary for you to graduate as a business major upon your successful completion of GENBA166.