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Beginning Spreadsheets using Excel

Course Number: CAS 170
Transcript Title: Beginning Excel
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: August 3, 2015
Total Credits: 3
Lecture Hours: 10
Lecture / Lab Hours: 40
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: No
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0
Approved delivery mode:


Placement into RD 115, WR 115 and MTH 20

Course Description

Introduces the basic features of spreadsheet concepts to design and create accurate professional worksheets for use in business and industry. Includes entering data, creating formulas, professional formatting, creating charts, creating, sorting, and filtering lists, creating and using templates, and working with functions. Focuses on ways to ensure accuracy including proofreading techniques and critical thinking to determine what data to present and how to present it. Recommended: placement into RD 115, WR 115 and MTH 20. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, student will be able to:

  1. Create personal and/or business spreadsheets following current professional and/or industry standards.
  2. Use critical thinking skills to design and create spreadsheets.
  3. Communicate in a business setting using spreadsheet vocabulary.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment may include:  Projects with original work, reflection journals, group discussions, open ended assessment, objective tests on basic document functions. 

Course Activities and Design

Activities may include: readings and videos, class discussions, reflection writings, open ended assignments.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts, Issues

  • Communicate effectively using appropriate spreadsheet vocabulary.
  • Use critical thinking and problem solving skills in designing the spreadsheets for various business problems.
  • Proofread for accuracy in the entry of data and creation of formulas.
  • Assess the document for accuracy, readability, and appearance.
  • Develop efficiency with specific sets of skills through repetitive reinforcement.

Competencies, Skills

Students will develop proficiency through reinforcement and assessment on the following skills:

  • Building basic worksheets by entering text, numbers, and formulas.
  • Generating various styles of charts by using the chart wizard.
  • Developing skills in formatting, and saving, accurate, readable worksheets.
  • Creating formulas using absolute and relative references, if and average functions, AutoSum, and grand total.
  • Developing skills in managing multiple-sheet worksheets.
  • Developing decision-making skills by using what-if analysis on spreadsheets.
  • Creating lists and using sort and filter features.
  • Creating a spreadsheet from data with no specific instructions.
  • Using help features.
  • Creating templates.
  • Using 3-D referencing.
  • Generating Web pages from spreadsheet documents.
  • Using additional functions such as PMT, maximum, and minimum.
  • Using linking and embedding concepts.
  • Students may be exposed to additional spreadsheet skills/concepts as time allows.