Saturday, October 22, 2005

Module Six: Spreadsheets and Graphing

Spreadsheets are a useful tool in the education field for a variety of teacher tasks, including: observation checklists, rubrics, and student marks summaries. For example, observation checklists can be developed for the teacher to assess student behaviour in an organized, criteria-based manner. A sample observation checklist for assessing a group project may include the following information:

Categories (Group A)
On task =
Productivity =
(final product)
Respectful =
(group members,
class environment)

Total score =

Coding criteria:
3 points = Often
2 points = Sometimes
1 points = Not yet

The above checklist could be easily integrated into an excel document. It would require greater detail in order for students and the teacher to clearly understand each category and the coding criteria. Students could also use a modified checklist for peer assessment and self-evaluation. The teacher could then use a master spreadsheet to incorporate (and tally) all student marks using the autos sum function. Integration of calculation formulae is especially helpful to teachers that have assignments that are worth a certain percentage of the students’ marks.

Sabine Online Professional Development (http://www.sabine.k12.la.us/training/stockmarketA.viewlet/stockmarketA_viewlet_swf.html) has several online tutorial modules focused on student introduction to the stock market using excel spreadsheets. Students are guided through the process of setting up different worksheets, Module B data entry/formula development, Module C linking worksheets for reports, and Module D transferring charts into Power Point for presentations. The teacher could go through the tutorial with the class, or let students progress at their own pace, and then follow up with a stock market assignment where students create their own spreadsheets, reports, and presentation. This would be a useful tutorial to allow students to learn about Excel and practise spreadsheet development with real world applications.

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