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Frequently Asked Questions

(Specific information is provided as an example only. Check with your own instructor for your specific course requirements.)

  1. When will the Microsoft Office Word 2016 Manual for GDP be available?

  2. What is Computer Keyboarding Online and how do I get started?

  3. What is an online class?

  4. Will I be successful in an online class?

  5. What supplies, hardware, and software do I need?

  6. Do I need Microsoft Word, are any special Word settings required, and can Microsoft Office 365 be used?

  7. Will GDP run on a Mac?

  8. Will GDP run on a Microsoft Surface tablet and what type of keyboard should be used?

  9. How do I get technical help with the GDP course software?

  10. Where can I find a list of corrections for the textbook and software?

  11. Can I use GDP to work from a second location?

  12. What do former students say about this course?

1. What is Computer Keyboarding Online and how do I get started?

2. What is an online class? 

An online class is a class completed at a distance in part or in its entirety. This course is delivered to you electronically via this Web site, e-mail, and "GDP,” (Gregg Document Processing—the shortened name of the associated Web-based course software). You can complete your work at your convenience on your own computer (PC or Mac with Word 2016, 2013, 2010, or 2013 for Windows installed) or use the computers on campus. You will be required to come on campus several times for testing. See the Tests pages for details.

3. Will I be successful in an online class?

If you can answer "yes" to all of these questions, you have an excellent chance at being successful in an online class:

  • Do you know how you learn best, and is your learning style compatible with an online course?

  • Are you a self-starter and disciplined enough to stay on schedule, read and answer your e-mail, and communicate with me on a regular basis?

  • Do you have basic technical skills? (Click here to complete the Technical Skills Tutorial.)

  • Do you have the required hardware and software at home or on campus?

If you believe one or more of The 10 Myths About Online Education below, you have unrealistic expectations about online courses. Click a video or text hyperlink below so you will know what to expect in general if you take an online course.

Note: Special thanks go to Cathryn Smith, a professor in English and Philosophy at Monroe Community College for giving me permission to use these video links.

10 Myths About Online Education

  Myth 1 – I can work anytime, anywhere, no deadlines. Text
  Myth 2 – I can cram all my work into one session. Text
  Myth 3 – Online courses are easier credits—you don't work as hard. Text
  Myth 4 – Online courses don't have any dates you have to follow. Text
  Myth 5 – If my computer breaks, it's OK if I turn in my work late. Text
  Myth 6 – The college will provide me with a computer. Text
  Myth 7 – I don't know much about computers, so I'll learn as I go. Text
  Myth 8 – I can remain anonymous because I don't see anyone. Text
  Myth 9 – I can procrastinate—it doesn't matter when I do my work. Text
  Myth 10 – I won't get personal attention from my professor. Text

The most common reasons students do not successfully complete an online course are:

  • Discipline: They didn't set a firm, regular schedule to complete class assignments and stick to it.

  • Time Management: They thought online courses required less time and were easier than a traditional course. Therefore, they couldn't manage family, work, and the class simultaneously.

  • Computer Skills: They lacked basic computer skills.

  • Learning Style: They needed to work face-to-face with a teacher to learn.

  • Finances: They didn't have enough money for books or software.

4. What supplies, hardware, and software do I need?

  • Click here for a list of supplies. An Online Software Student Registration Card is required to log on to GDP. It is bundled with the textbook or may be purchased separately at the GDP log-on screen.

  • Click here to review GDP 11e Best Practices for technical requirements for GDP. Students should review this section: Minimum System Requirements. Instructors should review these sections: Network and Firewall and Lab Computers.

  • To view movies posted at the GDP Movie Channel, install the most current version of Java (1.5 or later) and use Firefox for Internet Explorer. Click here to verify your Java version.

5. Do I need Microsoft Word, are any special Word settings required, and can Microsoft Office 365 be used?

You do need the full version of Microsoft Word, and a few special Word settings are required. Review Appendix A in the Word Manual and review Orientation to Word Processing to understand how to begin document processing in Lesson 21.

“Office 365” is the name Microsoft uses to for products that include features enabled over the Internet, such as OneDrive storage and Skype. Office 365 Home Premium is Microsoft’s online subscription alternative to Office 2013. If students choose to use Office 365 Home Premium for use with GDP, they must download the full version, which includes the full version of Office 2016. Mac versions of Office 365 are not supported and the online Web App version of Word 2016 with its limited functionality and menus is not supported by GDP.

6. Will GDP run on a Mac?


  • GDP course software is entirely Web-based. You can complete all skillbuilding on a Mac by logging in to the GDP Web site using a high-speed Internet connection.

  • To complete any document processing jobs in Lessons 21 to 120, you must have Microsoft Word for Windows 2007 or 2010 installed locally. Consider using Boot Camp to create a Windows bootable partition on the Mac hard drive where the Windows version of Word could be installed. For details, visit http://www.apple.com/support/bootcamp/.

  • Alternatively, if you have access to a PC with Word 2007 or 2010 installed, you could use the Mac to complete skillbuilding and the PC in your campus classroom or elsewhere to complete document processing activities.

7. Will GDP run on a Microsoft Surface tablet and what type of keyboard should be used?

GDP will run on the Microsoft Surface. Click here for details on the Surface tablet and keyboard.

8. How do I get technical help with the GDP course software?

If you need technical support, visit the Troubleshoot page.

9. Where can I find a list of corrections for the text and software?

See the Handouts page, "11e Errata List for Students." Or in GDP, click My GDP, Resources for a link to this file.

10. Can I use GDP to work from a second location?

Yes. Because GDP is Web-based software, you can log on with your student credentials on any computer and continue your work anywhere you have you have a high-speed Internet connection. Beginning with Lesson 21, Word for Windows 2007 or 2010 must be installed on your computer for document processing. (See FAQ 5 for details.)

Skillbuilding is uploaded to the Web automatically. For document processing jobs, your work is uploaded to the Internet when you click Submit in GDP for a given job. After that, log on to GDP anywhere, click Edit, and continue working on that job or any other job that has been submitted. See the handout below for details.

Practice Exercises & Document Processing in GDP [PDF] 
Includes steps students will take to:

  1. Complete the Practice exercise for Lesson 21 in Internet Explorer and Firefox.
  2. Learn browsing and file management concepts.
  3. Complete a document processing job using Correspondence 26-3 as an example.
  4. Complete a document processing job that changes a previous job using Correspondence 26-4 as an example.
  5. Use reference initials correctly in certain document processing jobs.

11. What do former students say about this course?

(These are actual comments from Arlene Zimmerly's former students at Los Angeles City College.)


I learned something about myself with this online course. It was convenient and I could work at my own pace. I learned to be more organized and to motivate myself to work. We need more courses offered online. There are so many students who are working or are parents and have a scheduling conflict. An online course is always available to the busy student so that they can keep up with their requirements

I want to thank you for your help and support throughout the semester and for teaching a wonderful class. I hated the embarrassment that not being able to type by touch used to cause for me. Now I can do it and feel SO much better about myself. Also, I got a chance to learn some neat shortcuts on Word and learn new features that have made me more efficient at work and when doing my homework. Thank you very much!! I would highly recommend your course to everyone. The time put in was completely worth it.

Thank you for wonderful class. I really enjoyed it. Since I learned how to type, my life got better because I can spend half of the time I used to on my homework and have a beautiful typed paper to hand in.

I thought taking an online course would be an easy way for me to get back into the groove of going to school without being overwhelmed by the actual classroom setting. I feel that I got more out of this class because I was able to have the one-on-one contact with you. If there was a problem or question, you were very quick at responding, which helped a lot. Thank you for making this new transition a smooth one.

This was one of the most practical courses that I have ever taken. It builds confidence, speed, and eye hand coordination. I am amazed at my speed. Before I could type only 15 wpm. Now I can type almost 40 wpm. This course has taken me from writing a report from days to just hours. It was really nice to have a teacher who was always ready to answer my questions at any time. Thank you.

I feel that this course really helped me overcome my lack of keyboard confidence. I can now type without looking at the keys.

Thank you for your help. You were always there to help me when a problem arose. It was a very interesting and helpful course. I gained a lot from this course which I will always use.

Thank you for teaching me. I really enjoyed this class. I used to work with a computer for a long time, but I realized that I had a bad habit using incorrect fingers through this class. Now I can type with correct fingers. Again, thank you for supporting me. I'm looking forward to seeing you in another class.

I really enjoyed this class. I was comfortable about doing work smoothly because I could get a response quickly from you. Even though I couldn't meet you like in a regular class, I could feel you were here and supporting me. I could finish this course without any inconvenience. Thank you.


I had taken a distance education class before so I knew what to expect. An online course is not an easy extra credit course. It demands more self-discipline and time than regular on-campus classes. There is more contact with the professor, and it is easier to ask questions. Feedback is quick.

The biggest misconception I had about taking an online course was the kind of help I thought I would be receiving when I needed immediate assistance on a particular assignment. I thought that I would not get that help or assistance in a timely manner, but with the help of Professor Zimmerly, I did.

I think the [biggest] misconception is that students don't learn enough from an online course. I think not. I did learn a lot and received plenty of help when I asked for it.

I thought it was just typing, but it's more than that. It's not just learning the keyboard but all the documents and language skills that you need to process.

I learned more than keyboarding. Definitely know your computer basics. I remember it was one of the things mentioned in the orientation in class. Be ready to work at a fast pace and don't lag behind and try to play catch-up.

I think that the book, the lessons, the pace, the information was very well paced. Directions were always clear. If you had questions or problems, you were given help. It was a comprehensive and very important class for anyone who has a computer and lives in this world today—basic but important. There was a lot of flexibility in taking the tests which was very important with my work schedule.

Keyboarding is very important in every occupation. The textbook has clear directions, and the reference manual is very helpful. Personally, the Language Arts lessons help me to improve my English.

My biggest misconception was the amount of time it would require. I had no idea how long it would take to do it all. Pace yourself. Make time for the course and do not leave all the work to do at the last minute.


The most important thing is to stay on schedule. Once you're behind, it's hard to catch up and then you end up giving up. Also, distribute your time evenly throughout the week. I could see a big difference in typing skill improvement when I jammed all the skillbuilding into one day instead of taking several days to practice.

First, you must be serious about the course and must work well without supervision. If you need constant guidance and to be pushed to work, this course isn't for you. Also, if you're very busy and unable to find a class that fits your schedule, an online course is perfect. I am a night owl so this was great for me. I could work late late hours and at my own pace.

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  • This Web site and its entire contents are © 2017 [Arlene Zimmerly]. All rights reserved. E-mail any author for permission to use any content from this site. We welcome your requests. Visit the Contact Us page for a list of e-mail addresses. Revised September 08, 2017.