Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
1. Define terms that relate to telecommuting or virtual environments.
2. Assess the skills and work habits for a virtual environment.
3. Identify types of employment that lend themselves to virtual work.
4. List ways to manage personal and business life.
5. Design a virtual office for efficiency and comfort.
6. Evaluate technology needed for a virtual office.
7. Identify effective communication tools and techniques.
8. Discuss business ethics.
1. Working for a business/corporation
a. Costs and benefits of telecommuting
b. Identify telecommuting tasks within the corporation
c. Common objections to telecommuting
d. Selling telecommuting to management
2. Working for yourself
a. Researching business ideas
b. Home-based franchises
c. Creating a new business
3. Assessing skills and work habits
a. Time management skills
b. Ability to deal with challenges
c. Dealing with distractions
e. Balancing work and personal life
f. Psychological issues of working alone
4. The emerging field of virtual assistants
a. Driving forces
b. Professional organizations
c. Samples of internet web sites
5. Personal and business life
a. Creating balance
b. Common distractions
c. Avoiding burnout in a virtual office
d. Managing work and life challenges
e. Techniques for preserving and creating balance
f. Time management
6. Efficiency and comfort in a virtual office
a. Identifying physical space
b. Equipment placement
c. Organizing systems
d. Home office ergonomics
7. Virtual office technologies
a. Computers and services
b. Printers and copiers
c. Fax machine
d. Multi-function systems
e. Telephone and services
f. Personal communicators
g. Renting or leasing technology
8. Communication tools and techniques
a. Telephone techniques
b. Video conferencing
c. Mobile phones
d. Fax machines
9. Discuss business ethics
a. Ethical principles
b. Adopting a code of ethics
c. Exploration of ethical issues
d. Contractual obligations
e. Individual responsibility and accountability
1. Approximately 20 to 40 pages of reading assignments from textbook, printed resource materials, and web resources
2. Weekly research on course topics
3. Weekly writing assignments on course topics
4. Weekly activities applying effective communication skills
5. Development of a work plan
6. Creation of an Independent Contractor Agreement
7. Writing reports using annotated bibliography
8. Two to four exams
|Writing: Assessment tools that demonstrate writing skill and/or require students to select, organize and explain ideas in writing.||Writing
50 - 70%
|Written homework, reports, work plan||
|Problem solving: Assessment tools, other than exams, that demonstrate competence in computational or non-computational problem solving skills.||Problem Solving
10 - 30%
|Homework problems; independent contractor agreement||
|Skill Demonstrations: All skill-based and physical demonstrations used for assessment purposes including skill performance exams.||Skill Demonstrations
0 - 0%
|Exams: All forms of formal testing, other than skill performance exams.||Exams
10 - 20%
|Exams: multiple choice, true/false, matching items, completion||
|Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.||Other Category
5 - 10%
|Attendance and participation||
Virtual Assistant, The Series, by Diana Ennen and Kelly Poelker, 4th ed., Another 8 Hours Publishing Company, 2010.
Managing Electronic Records, by W. Saffady. Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc., 4th ed., 2009.
The Virtual Assistant's Guide to Marketing, by M. Jamison. Word Association Publisher, 2nd ed., 2007.