Introduction to SAM

SAM (Skills Assessment Manager) is a web-based application that measures student proficiency in Microsoft Office software and technology-related topics. SAM teaches Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Outlook, in addition to foundational computer concepts. SAM uses skill-based assessments, interactive training, real-world projects and just-in-time remediation to help students master essential computing skills.

SAM offers four modes of instruction:

Create and schedule tailored exams with task-based and objective-based questions. These exams can include the specific questions and tasks that you choose.
Create and schedule training assignments consisting of task-based questions. As with exams, you choose the questions in each training assignment.
Assign cases based on end-of-chapter materials. Use the actual Office applications. Project work submits securely to the SAM system for automatic grading.
SAM Path
Combine exams and training activities to support path-based learning.

You can schedule SAM exams, training, projects and paths in any combination.

The fundamental purpose of SAM is:

  • To teach students how to use Microsoft Office and Windows
  • To test a student’s level of competency using these products
  • To suggest supplemental instruction through a Cengage Learning textbook

The entire family of SAM products is useful in different settings where users want or need instruction in Microsoft business applications.

Using SAM in the Classroom

Your institution may require that students take a SAM exam before placing them in a class or to determine their current proficiency level. You can also use SAM to evaluate your instruction. You can use SAM to provide immediate feedback or use it for practice, mid-terms or final exams.

Using SAM as a Business Tool

SAM can be an integral part of the hiring process. Businesses can screen and test prospective employees on their proficiency in Microsoft applications using customized SAM exams. Businesses can also use SAM to determine which employees need additional instruction to obtain the level of competency their jobs require.