Universal Class

In this month’s newsletter article, we will continue to discuss the Universal Class database available through the Denison Public Library’s website.  Near the top of the page is a search box with the phrase “I want to learn…” that allows you to type in any subject you wish.  If there are any courses that match what you are looking for you can easily and quickly find them here.  For instance, you can type in coding.  This search will bring back seven results mainly in the area of medical coding.  This field is exploding and here is an easy way to find out if this is possibly a fit for you as a career.

Another course found under the topic of coding is CSS which is used for website design.  With this knowledge you can begin to design interactive website pages for visitors to your website.  This brings us to a tip that librarians learn early on in their careers when helping people search for things on the internet.  If you don’t like your search results try another approach, a different set of search terms.  Typing in “website design” brings one result while typing “website” brings 20 results.  Sometimes finding only one result, in this case that would mean courses, will bring you the information you need and you can be happy with that result.  But with 20 courses you may find new things dealing with websites that you never thought of or never even knew existed.  Don’t give up on a search because you didn’t get the results you wanted.  Try different words and different phrases and your search results can be as wide or as specific as you wish and your chances of getting a positive result will be much greater.

One of the great things about the Universal Class website is the wide variety of classes offered. There are over 500 classes and a way to start to get the full scope of what is offered is to click on the “Course Catalog” tab at the top of the page.  There are 31 subject areas and each one of these has multiple courses under that subject.  Some of the subjects have up to one hundred courses while several have ten courses that you can learn from.

You may enjoy browsing the different course subjects offered and then looking through all the courses under that subject.  You many also wish to try a more direct search to go directly to the subject you are interested in.  The success of that search may once again come down to the search terms you put in the search box.  For instance, typing in “learn computers” will bring up 22 courses as well as typing in “computers” by itself.  But typing in “learn computer skills” will give you no courses at all.  The key is in the exact terms you use so don’t be afraid to try a search in more than one way.  More on this database next week.

This resource is free to use with your library card.  To get started visit: https://denisonttx.universalclass.com/

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