Computer Learning Zone CLZ Access Excel Word Windows

What's wrong with admitting that we don't know something? Is our self-esteem so fragile?

-Carl Sagan
Home   Courses   Index   Templates   Seminars   TechHelp   Forums   Help   Contact   Join   Order   Logon  
Skipping Levels
By Richard Rost   Richard Rost on LinkedIn Email Richard Rost   3 years ago

Skipping Classes

At least once a week, I get asked if I have courses that just cover [this] specific topic, or people say they only want to learn how to do [that] specific thing. For the most part, there's no problem with wanting to learn just one thing. If you search my web site using the search box at the top, or look in the index for that course (such as the Access Index) you can look for any keywords you want and watch just that lesson.

However, if you're looking to get a full, comprehensive understanding of something like Microsoft Access, then I strongly recommend you watch all of my courses in order, even if you don't think you need them. They are really designed to be followed one after the other. While you might think you don't need a specific topic, that topic itself is usually just an example of how to do something, and I may include several lessons of important material in that topic. You may never want to use Access to write letters. Doesn't matter. I use that as a vehicle to teach you a few other things.

Some people tell me that they've been using Access for years, but have no formal training. They've built some simple databases from what they've picked up online or in books, but they're looking to round out their knowledge. They want to know which classes they can skip. Again, I've got a lot of fundamentals that I cover in the Beginner lessons, so if you skip those, you're missing out. Sure, you might know 80% of the material I cover, but that 20% you don't know can make a big difference (like people who don't realize that almost every table should have an Autonumber, and that you shouldn't use the Required property.) So again, I tell people... don't skip levels.

Remember... the stability of a building is only as good as its foundation.

And no, I don't just tell people this to sell more courses. Sure, I'm in business to make money, but that's not the point. I want happy students who learn what I'm trying to teach, and 9 times out of 10 when people skip lessons, they miss vital information. They post questions in the Forums saying they can't figure out how to do something... and it turns out it was covered in a class that they skipped. I don't want frustrated students. I want happy students who come back for more lessons. If you get frustrated because you can't figure something out because you skipped around, that looks bad on me, and it will drive you away as a student. So please... watch them in order and don't skip around.

Plus, I keep the Beginner lessons very inexpensive so that people DON'T skip them. I want you to watch those lessons even if you feel you don't need them. I'm actually planning on making a quick Beginner overview that covers the important stuff for people who don't want to spend 15+ hours watching all those videos. That's coming. In the mean time... don't skip levels.

Here are some specific examples of students who asked me this, and my replies...

Don't Skip Around

I wanted to take a minute to share this email I received from one of my students. I get emails like this a lot, so I wanted to share it with everyone:

I have already purchased all Beginner and some of the Expert level Access courses... I need good databases to collect data on patients... I do not create letters or labels, nor intend to. I do need to being able to pull out data through queries and reports. I do not intend to be at a Developer level... thinking Expert is all I need. I do not know SQL so not sure if I need [that].

My reply:

Yeah, I hear that from a lot of people. The problem is that even though a particular class might be writing letters, and you might never write letters, that class might also cover some important lessons to write the letters which you might need later. For example, Expert 5 not only deals with writing letters, but it teaches you a lot about report formatting, editing embedded macros, what "dirty" records are, refreshing a form's data before opening a report (or another form) and a lot of other stuff. Writing the letter is just the "project" for that class. But consider it a project… for class. Even though you might not use that specific example, the techniques taught in every class have value. That's why I strongly recommend not skipping lessons.

But to answer your question… if you plan on doing a lot of data entry and need to "pull out data through queries" then SQL is definitely something I would consider learning. I have two seminars that might be right up your alley: SQL Part 1, Search Seminar.

When I'm making classes, I often have a list of topics to cover, and I might just pick some random project to do in class just to cover a topic. For example, in my VB classes, I create a cash register program for a hot dog stand. Will you ever be running a hot dog stand? Probably not. But the lessons are important for what comes next. In my ASP class we create a web site to sell used computer equipment: PCResale. Are you going to sell used computer equipment? Probably not.

You get my point. Think of these as samples. Learn from them. 

Also, even if you think you know everything that I cover in that lesson, it's worth the time to just preview it. I recommend putting it on 2x speed and at least giving it a cursory watch. You might pick up a few tips or tricks. They're peppered throughout my lessons at random places. 

Take Classes In Order

Again, I received another email from a student, Mark. This time, he gives a great story about why you should take my courses in the order they're presented even if you don't think you'll need that lesson:

As well as Richard, being extremely knowledgable as I may have mentioned before, I must also reiterate how great his teaching style is. This really became apparent as I reached the end of Expert Level 7. These lessons were about creating mass mailings from Reports, but also about Junction Relationships to allow many-to-many relationships - I wouldn’t have known what that meant if I hadn’t taken these courses! The button I had created (following the steps in the videos) was not appearing when viewing the form - once I fixed this (I had it in the Page Footer and not Form Footer!), I also had Type! errors on my displayed letters. It didn’t take me long to establish the data was being pulled from the wrong Query.

My overall point is, that if I hadn’t taken these classes from the very beginning I would have had no idea as where to start, when trying to figure out the error. Thanks to Richard’s teaching style, I was able to not only understand the error, but also find the root cause of it. As In the future, as I move through the Advanced, then Developer classes, the knowledge I have learned so far will be invaluable.

I cannot thank Richard enough, not only for his time to create these videos and help guides, but also the order and explanation he deploys them. A must, MUST have if you’re wanting to learn how to use Microsoft packages, and more importantly if you want to understand exactly how to manipulate them to your own advantage.

So, don't just take it from me. My lessons are presented in a certain order for a reason.

"What Do I Need To...?"

People often email me telling me what goals they want to accomplish with their database, which is great. However, it's not just as simple as me saying, "OK, you need Expert Levels 3, 8, 12, and 24." Even though I may cover a particular topic, like invoicing, in Expert Level 9, you still need everything from the previous couple of levels to understand how to make that invoice. Here's my reply to one student who sent me a list of what he's trying to accomplish:

Well, I always recommend starting from Access Beginner 1 and working your way up... not because I'm trying to sell more lessons, but because I cover a lot of fundamentals in those videos that are essential for doing things right (or at least my way) so when you get to the higher levels, you understand what I'm doing.

That being said, I cover invoicing in my Expert classes, and in this TechHelp video: Invoicing. As far as reconciliation goes, that all depends on how you have your tables set up. Are you saying that you want to take multiple tickets and then "assign" them to an invoice? If so, check out Time And Billing. OnDblClick events and things of that nature are usually covered in my Developer classes. But you'll also find some TechHelp videos for those things too: On Dbl Click

So you see, I've got pretty much everything you could want to know how to do covered... and you can jump around my site taking this lesson and then that lesson... OR... you could just watch the classes as they were meant to be covered, in order.

"I Just Want Inventory"

Sometimes people say they just want to build a database to handle a specific task, like order entry or inventory. In some cases, I may have a Seminar that covers just that specific need. However, in most cases, you need to learn the foundation material first. Here's my reply to one student who only wanted to build a database to handle order entry and inventory, but wanted to skip a lot of the Beginner and Expert lessons:

What you're talking about are advanced topics. You can't just jump in the ocean if you don't know how to swim. That's what the Beginner and Expert courses are for. Order entry is covered in the Expert series. Tracking inventory is a Developer topic. It requires programming. And there isn't just "one" lesson that "covers inventory." It's a topic that is very in-depth and requires several levels of understanding before you can just "do inventory." You have to understand VBA, functions, recordsets, SQL, action queries, and a lot of other stuff.

That's why I tell people start with B1 and follow the lessons in order. Work on my sample database project and not your own. You're going to learn so much between now and the end of the series that I guarantee you're going to wind up scrapping what you have now and starting it over several times. I know I did when I was learning.

Hope this helps!



Comments for Skipping Levels
Age Subject From
11 monthsAint No WayDan Roehm
3 yearsSkipping LevelsAdam Schwanz


Start a NEW Conversation
Only students may post on this page. Click here for more information on how you can set up an account. If you are a student, please Log On first. Non-students may only post in the Visitor Forum.
Subscribe to Skipping Levels
Get notifications when this page is updated

The following is a paid advertisement
Computer Learning Zone is not responsible for any content shown or offers made by these ads.

Access - index
Excel - index
Word - index
Windows - index
PowerPoint - index
Photoshop - index
Visual Basic - index
ASP - index
My Account
My Courses
Lost Password
Student Databases
Change Email
Latest News
New Releases
User Forums
Topic Glossary
Tips & Tricks
Search The Site
Code Vault
Collapse Menus
Customer Support
Web Site Tour
Consulting Services
Affiliate Program
Richard Rost
Free Lessons
Mailing List
Video Tutorials
Learning Connection
Idiot's Guide to Excel
Volume Discounts
Payment Info
Terms of Sale
Contact Info
Support Policy
Mailing Address
Phone Number
Fax Number
Course Survey
Email Richard
[email protected]
Blog RSS Feed    YouTube Channel

Copyright 2024 by Computer Learning Zone, Amicron, and Richard Rost. All Rights Reserved. Current Time: 7/23/2024 5:09:05 PM. PLT: 1s
PermaLink  Skipping Levels