Learn From an Expert: Jason Manibog and Adobe CC 2015 Test Prep

by Brad - Oct 05, 2016


A couple of months ago, we began releasing a series of Adobe Creative Cloud 2015 test prep courses. These courses are one session each and serve as supplemental material to our full Creative Cloud courses. I recently caught up with our resident expert, Jason Manibog, to ask him a few questions about these courses.

  1. What is the purpose of the Adobe CC 2015 Test Prep courses? The purpose of these courses is simple: To get students ready to pass the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) exams for the 2015 version of these programs. We decided to do test prep courses rather than full-length courses because the programs and test objectives have not changed much from the 2013 to the 2015 versions of these programs. What has changed, however, is how the tests themselves are delivered. Now, one can expect several scenario-based question per exam. In these, a real-life scenario is presented and then several questions are based on that scenario.
  2. How many courses will there be? Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Premiere…that’s five if I’m counting correctly :D. For Adobe Animate we are going to do a brand new course since that program, in effect, replaces Flash.
  3. What are some of the new features in CC 2015? In a nutshell:
    • Photoshop – Work can now be done with artboards (previously, only Illustrator had that). The Brush features and image export features have been enhanced as well. And, glyphs are now available.
    • Illustrator – If Illustrator crashes, there is now a good change your work can be recovered. Plus (and I have been waiting for this for a while), the Pencil tool now allows for auto-closing a shape (meaning you can draw a shape and have it actually behave like a shape). The Shapebuilder and Curvature tools have also been enhanced.
    • InDesign – Graphics can now be inserted directly into tables. Shading and borders can be added to paragraphs. And it is easier to publish online now than it was in previous versions.
    • Dreamweaver – Multiple tags can now be selected in the Document Object Model (DOM) panel, making it easier to move multiple tags around on a page. Plus, tags, classes, and IDs can be added and changed through the DOM panel. The Visual Media Query feature has also been enhanced to make it easier to change measurements on objects. And, similar to Illustrator, should the program crash, there is a good chance your work will be recovered.
    • Premiere – Native support for QuickTime files is now available. Plus, several new workflows are available, including a Virtual Reality (VR) video workflow, which allows one to edit and create a VR-type experience. And many editing enhancements have been made (such as several new keyboard shortcuts).
  4. What advice would you give to a new user of Adobe products? Go the speed limit when learning and be conceptual in learning. For example, in learning Photoshop, it is fine to learn all of the tools and effects and filters and other options (as they can be quite nice to work with), but, knowing what the these tools do and when one would use them is just as important. Just as an example: You wouldn’t use dodge and burn when trying to change a color effect on a picture as dodge and burn lightens or darkens overall exposure (and people who develop pictures the old-fashioned way, in a darkroom, will use these tricks by hand). On the flipside, if you are used to doing things manually and know of photo or design concepts, you will have fun finding these tools in these Adobe programs.
  5. What type of student did you have in mind when you were creating these courses? Basically, a student trying to learn valuable job-ready skills in Adobe products and also looking to gain one ACA certification or maybe multiple ACA certifications.
  6. If a student has very little experience using Adobe, how would you recommend they study for the exam? I would start with the CC version of the courses of study. For example, if one is trying to learn Photoshop, start with the Photoshop CC course, go through all of the pre-assessment and post-assessment tests for each session, and do the projects in the project workbook. Anyone can get a 30-day trial of any Adobe program, so there is no reason to not practice these concepts. And then, do the same for the 2015 test prep course to gain further knowledge of these Adobe programs. And, have fun!


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Personal Productivity Courses Released!

by Brad - Sep 20, 2016


We’re pleased to announce that in partnership with Kantola Productions, we’ve released the following new personal productivity soft skills courses:

  • Bullying and Respect in the Workplace
  • Customer Service Counts
  • Managing the Workplace Bully
  • Professional Email Etiquette
  • ART of Customer Service
  • Dealing with the Irate Customer
  • Leadership at Every Level
  • Listening Under Pressure
  • Social Media at Work
  • The Drug-Free Workplace
  • Wednesday’s Touch
  • Workplace Ethics

Bullying and Respect in the Workplace

In five dramatic stories taking place in settings that range from a hospital to City Hall, victims and witnesses will see how to speak up and challenge a coworker’s mean-spirited behavior in a straightforward way that earns them respect. They’ll also learn they do not have to face this problem alone. If they are not comfortable challenging a bully on their own—or if they do speak up and the behavior continues—they can reach out to supervisors, HR or other designated resources to help resolve the issues.

As for any bullies who may be watching: this video clearly shows that mistreating a fellow employee makes you look bad in the eyes of others and will not be tolerated in your workplace.

Customer Service Counts

Viewers will enjoy the amusing story of two coworkers who start their day experiencing bad customer service as customers themselves. Comparing notes, they enter a friendly competition to see who can offer the best customer service that day on the job. As they demonstrate sales skills and handle rushed (even unhappy) customers, their fun rivalry reminds employees that customers are people too. And it makes the point to employees that their peers are counting on them as well.

In fact, coworkers are also customers. Everyone has “internal customers” when helping other employees meet common goals. And every employee represents the organization when encountering outsiders, whether or not customer service is a major part of their job description.

Managing the Workplace Bully

Five realistic scenes in a range of workplaces show what to do when someone comes to you for help or if you notice repeated conflict among employees. You’ll learn how to step in right away and conduct effective conversations, calmly and professionally. You’ll see when it might be appropriate to reach out for help, especially in cases where discipline may be appropriate.

Use this program to learn how to stop bullying behavior and turn a dysfunctional environment into a healthy, productive and pleasant place to work.

Professional Email Etiquette

In spite of texting and other informal means of communication, business correspondence still counts. And email is still the preferred method of contact for sharing information and resolving problems. The impression you leave with others about the quality of your organization and your own personal competency is largely based on the courtesy and professionalism of your email correspondence. Workplace etiquette matters!

No matter how long you’ve been using email, you’ll learn some very important guidelines in this email training video—guidelines that will improve communication, protect you from catastrophes, and ensure your messages are professional, every time.

ART of Customer Service

Excellence in customer service boils down to three basic ideas: give customers the attention they want, the respect they deserve, and the time to answer their questions and take care of their needs. This newly revised customer service video uses humorous scenes mixed in with first-person responses to tell viewers what customers really want.

It seems so simple, yet today’s customers generally feel that service has gotten worse. Use this customer service video to bring the message home to your employees and make it stick: customer service is an ART.

Dealing with the Irate Customer

It’s hard to keep your cool when dealing with difficult or angry customers. After all, it’s only human to get defensive and fight back—or cave in and give them whatever they demand.
What you need instead is a plan.
The guidelines presented in this difficult customer video will help you calm angry customers. Once you bring them around, they’re more likely to work with you to find a resolution that solves their complaint yet is fair to your organization.

Leadership at Every Level

This leadership training video begins by demonstrating four successful management styles: direction, influence, collaboration, and delegation. It then explains how your setting and your subordinates determine which management style is most appropriate for your situation — and the need to adapt to changing circumstances.

Our dramatic scenes help you recognize leadership behaviors at all levels of an organization. You’ll learn how to exhibit leadership by making good decisions and keeping your own emotions under control. And you’ll learn the critical importance of personal integrity.
Leadership takes more than good management. And there’s no better time than right now for you to take it to the next level.

Listening Under Pressure

It’s easy to get sidetracked by coworkers, cell phones, other customers, and a hundred other things. Good listening skills are essential for meeting customer needs—and ensuring a positive experience with your organization.

In three entertaining and informative stories, you’ll learn the right and wrong ways to handle customer service challenges. You’ll learn how three specific listening skills can soothe upset customers; help you get the information you need to solve their problems; and keep your focus in spite of interruptions. Once you’ve mastered these crucial skills, great customer service will be second nature.

Social Media at Work

Social media is everywhere—including our workplaces. While it can serve useful business purposes, it can also open the door to hackers, circulate rumors and abusive comments, create public relations nightmares, and be a real drag on productivity.

In fact, many employees spend up to two hours every workday on non-business related websites—often not realizing how their multiple side-trips can consume their time and lead to other problems, as well. And it’s not just during the workday. After-hours posts can also have an impact if they violate policies or cause friction between coworkers.

The Drug-Free Workplace

Even if drug-free workplace training is not legally mandated in your business or industry, everyone benefits from raising employee awareness on the impact that drugs or alcohol can have on your workplace.

Performance and safety sink fast when employees abuse alcohol or drugs. Others may feel they have to take up the slack when their coworkers attempt to work under the influence—falling short of expectations and increasing the risk of accident or injury.

This brand new release features believable scenes in construction, manufacturing, hospitality, food service, and business. It raises your employees’ awareness of this widespread problem, shows the harm that can be done to themselves and others, and encourages them to get help if they or a coworker is affected by drug or alcohol abuse.

Wednesday’s Touch

Skills can be taught, but the right attitude is even more meaningful. This video, inspired by author and professional speaker Byrd Baggett, tells a simple but moving story about the importance of one customer service rep in the eyes of her customer. It inspires viewers to see that customers are people, too — and to build relationships that keep customers coming back.

Workplace Ethics

Ethics matter. It’s not just the big scandals you see in the news, but the small everyday decisions that add up, too. In fact, that’s where you need to draw the line—with the little things—before serious damage is done.
This award-winning employee ethics training video follows four realistic scenarios that demonstrate the importance of basic values such as respect for others, fairness, and honesty. And it teaches a three-part decision-making process that helps employees find their way to a solution even in complex situations where the right answer doesn’t come easily.

Employees all share the responsibility to act ethically and to speak up if they see coworkers behaving badly. Use this employee ethics training DVD or online video to raise awareness, provide a framework for ethical decision making, and help create a company that employees can be proud of.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed. For more information and to learn about additional LearnKey products visit our website.



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Learn From an Expert: Jason Manibog and PowerPoint 2016

by Brad - Sep 06, 2016


Last week, we released our new PowerPoint 2016 course, the third in our line of Office 2016 training. I recently caught up with our resident expert, Jason Manibog, to ask him a few questions about this course.

  1. What advice would you give to a user new to PowerPoint? The biggest thing to remember about PowerPoint is that it is a presentation program, not a document program. Keep everything in nice, short phrases. Use your own notes to describe topics you put on PowerPoint slides. If PowerPoint slides are too wordy, the audience will lose focus. And, make sure information is organized well. A PowerPoint presentation should be an outline on slides.
  2. What type of student did you have in mind when you were creating this course? For that one, there are three possible answers: First, someone new to PowerPoint will benefit greatly because bad habits (like making slides too wordy) won’t be learned (hopefully). Second, someone may be looking to enhance PowerPoint skills, especially ones needed for the current job market. Finally, many students may be pushing toward gaining the Microsoft Office Specialist PowerPoint 2016 certification. This course covers all of those exam objectives.
  3. If a student has very little experience using PowerPoint, how would you recommend they start using our training? Why, at the beginning, of course. The opening of the course focuses on a tour of PowerPoint and then the different ways in which a presentation is created. What better way to start than that?
  4. What are some of the new features in PowerPoint 2016? The Tell Me feature is quite handy, because it’s not just about getting help on how to do something in PowerPoint. Rather, the Tell Me feature presents direct links to tasks. For example, if you ask the Tell Me feature how to add WordArt to a slide, it lists some WordArt creation options. Plus, the text highlighter prominent in Word is now available in PowerPoint. Finally, those with a OneDrive account can save a presentation to a OneDrive location and then collaborate with others, real-time, on a presentation.
  5. What was your favorite thing about filming this course? That I was able to do what I like to do best with these introductory courses, which is to basically take a project from start to finish. Plus, I was able to sneak a golf picture or two into the course :D. And, I got to showcase one of my co-workers and his band (only for a few seconds, but hey, exposure is exposure, right?)


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Illustrator CC 2015 Test Prep Released

by Brad - Aug 31, 2016


Today we released the third of our exam prep courses. LearnKey’s Illustrator CC 2015 Test Prep course is a complementary resource to go along with the Illustrator CC course, authored by Expert Lee Wiley. Although the Illustrator CC course readies you for the Illustrator CC exam, there are new objectives and types of test questions which are covered in the Illustrator CC 2015 Test Prep course. LearnKey Senior Instructor Jason Manibog takes you through these changes, so you will have the tools you need to confidently pass the Illustrator CC 2015 exam.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed. For more information and to learn about additional LearnKey products visit our website.



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PowerPoint 2016 Released

by Brad - Aug 31, 2016


Today, we are excited to announce the release of our PowerPoint 2016 course. If you have the desire to be successful in the business world, a working knowledge of PowerPoint 2016 is a must. LearnKey expert Jason Manibog will teach you how to create and manage presentations, insert and format shapes and slides, apply transitions, and how to use the new screen recording feature. This course will also help you study and prepare to take the Microsoft’s PowerPoint 77-729 Certification exam.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed. For more information and to learn about additional LearnKey products visit our website.



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Learn From an Expert: Jason Manibog and Word 2016

by Brad - Aug 22, 2016


Last month, we released our new Word 2016 course, the second in our line of Office 2016 training. I’ve been using Word 2016 for years, and it seems like each version of Word just gets better than the last one, adding more and more features to help the user work more efficiently.
I recently caught up with our resident expert, Jason Manibog, to ask him a few questions about this course.

  1. What advice would you give to a user new to Word? Know that this program is there to help you build documents of all types: letters, simple flyers, booklets, term papers, lists, basically anything you can write on paper. As to the program, learn the ribbon and the Backstage View as what you need to do will usually be found in one of those two places. And, don’t worry about typing perfect documents right away. Get your thoughts typed up and then use the tools Word has (like spelling and grammar check and the thesaurus, to name a couple) to help you proofread and edit your documents.
  2. What type of student did you have in mind when you were creating this course? Actually I had two types: First, students looking to pass the Word 2016 Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification test (exam 77-725). This course has a session for each exam domain, so one can basically follow the course and the test objectives at the same time. Secondly, people may just want to acquire job-ready skills needed for Microsoft Word. This course has plenty of practical situations to help one make that goal.
  3. If a student has very little experience using Word, how would you recommend they start using our training? At the beginning (ha ha). Seriously, though, spend time in the “Tour of Office” and “Tour of Word” sections, especially the Tour of Office section. This will help lay a foundation on how to navigate through the program. And, don’t be afraid to try a couple of things on your own. You can usually click the Undo button if needed.
  4. What are some of the new features in Word 2016? Three in particular stand out to me. First, the Tell Me feature, which allows one to ask a question on how to do something, like “add borders to text” and then get the actual task presented to do. Secondly, a document can be saved to a OneDrive site and then multiple users can collaborate, real-time, on a document. Thirdly, research features have been enhanced through the Smart Lookup feature, which allows one to search for a term and get definitions, explanations, website links on the term, and many other types of information on the term.
  5. What was your favorite thing about filming this course? That the filming went well and for me, it was a relatively easy shoot given I’ve been working with Word since, well, before the turn of the millennium 🙂


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Excel 2016 Released

by Brad - Jul 28, 2016


Today, we are excited to announce the release of our Excel 2016 course. If you are looking to start a career in business or finance, having a working knowledge of Microsoft’s Excel 2016 is a must. Our new and exciting course taught by LearnKey’s Senior Instructor, Jason Manibog, will teach you how to reveal insights hidden in your data with the help of new features such as the Tell Me feature, chart options, and more! This course will also help you study and prepare to take the Microsoft’s Excel 77-727 Certification exam.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed. For more information and to learn about additional LearnKey products visit our website.



Word 2016 Released

by Brad - Jul 22, 2016


We are excited to announce the release of our Word 2016 course. If you are working toward becoming career-ready you must have a working knowledge of Word 2016. LearnKey expert Jason Manibog will teach the basic concepts of Microsoft Word and build on those ideas to help you master this program. This course will teach you how to create and manage documents, and format text, paragraphs, and sections. This course will also help you study and prepare to take the Microsoft Word 77-725 Certification exam.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed. For more information and to learn about additional LearnKey products visit our website.



IC3 Spark Released

by Brad - Jul 21, 2016


Today we are excited to announce the release of our IC3 Spark course. LearnKey’s IC3 Spark course is focused on teaching younger students the basic foundational knowledge covered in LearnKey’s IC3 GS5 training. Join LearnKey expert Wyett Ihler for over 2 hours of online video training and project-based activities. Students will learn a broad range of computing knowledge and skills including: software, hardware, operating systems, key applications, and living online.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed. For more information and to learn about additional LearnKey products visit our website.



LearnKey Expands Character Building Soft Skills Courses!

by Brad - Jun 01, 2016


We’re pleased to announce that in partnership with Human Relations Media, we’ve released the following new character building soft skills courses:

  • Digital Smarts: Behaving Ethically Online
  • Digital Smarts: Protecting Your Online Reputation and Safety
  • Your Reputation: Enhancing It, Repairing It
  • I Was Cyberbullied

Digital Smarts: Behaving Ethically Online
Cyber ethics and respect for others online are critical skills to acquire for today’s connected teens. The message of this teen-centered video is that all students have a responsibility to behave ethically online and to know how to react when others behave in inappropriate ways. Teen hosts discuss the ethics of issues such as distributing unflattering pictures or posts aimed at harming someone’s reputation and the importance of respecting the privacy of others. They emphasize the importance of respecting the safety of others and becoming an upstander rather than a bystander when witnessing abusive behavior online.

Digital Smarts: Protecting Your Online Reputation and Safety
Cyber reputation, security and safety have become important topics for students to understand and master. This engaging video program encourages students to think critically about the opportunities and risks provided by their many digital devices. Real-life dangers from predators, spammers and identity thieves are revealed through teen interviews and accounts from experts in cyber security and safety. Students learn why it is important to choose passwords that are hard to guess and why they should not share their passwords with others.
Students are challenged to think about ways that digital technology can be used to enhance or damage their reputations. Teens talk about how compromising photos and other postings online became part of their permanent digital footprint. The video provides specific advice about how to protect students’ privacy, security and online reputations.

Your Reputation: Enhancing It, Repairing It
For middle schoolers, fitting in, being popular, having friends, and getting along with teachers is all important. Whether they are aware of it or not, the opinions and perceptions of peers, parents and teachers all contribute to a young teen’s reputation—or the way others see them. Through the use of acted out vignettes, young viewers will understand the power of having a good reputation versus the pain of having a bad one. Program also gives pointers on how to repair a bad reputation which often takes a long time to achieve. Program includes a special section on one’s online reputation and some of the pitfalls of social networking.

I Was Cyberbullied
This program presents three real-life stories from kids who were targets of cyberbullying attacks and offers viewers practical suggestions for how to avoid being victimized by this new, rapidly-spreading type of bullying. Each story highlights important tips such as: only post the type of information online that you would be comfortable with others seeing; remember that once an email or photo is posted online, you can’t take it back; avoid responding to vicious texts or emails that might escalate a situation further; and know when to turn to a trusted adult for help. Renowned “bully coach” Joel Haber leads a discussion on how serious and damaging cyberbullying can be, and touches upon recent cases of children committing suicide after being cyberbullied. This timely program will strike a chord with all viewers—those who may have been victimized as well as those who may have thought that cyberbullying was “no big deal.”

Our hope is that through our courseware we may provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed. For more information and to learn about additional LearnKey products visit our website.



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