Title: Teaching Excel using incrementally reinforced project sets

Authors: Gary Bronson, Li Qin, Jeffrey Hsu

Addresses: Department of Information Systems and Decision Sciences, Silberman College of Business, Fairleigh Dickinson University, 285 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ 07940, USA. ' Department of Information Systems and Decision Sciences, Silberman College of Business, Fairleigh Dickinson University, 1000 River Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666, USA. ' Department of Information Systems and Decision Sciences, Silberman College of Business, Fairleigh Dickinson University, 285 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ 07940, USA

Abstract: Excel has been and continues to be an important component of business curriculums. This paper presents an innovative methodology for teaching Excel spreadsheets, consisting of mutually reinforcing sets of case studies. Each set contains a number of integrated and interlocking projects, where one project is designed to introduce one or more topics, and subsequent projects within a set are used to reinforce and incrementally add depth to the topic(s) under consideration. Flexibility, based on time constraints, individual student needs and classroom settings is maintained. The results, benefits, and implications of this method to teaching spreadsheets are discussed.

Keywords: Microsoft Office; Excel; spreadsheets; skill sets; student competencies; trial and error; incremental learning; incrementally reinforced projects; business curriculum; teaching materials; mutual reinforcement; reinforcing case studies; integrated projects; interlocking projects; topic depth; flexibility; time constraints; student needs; classroom settings; Fairleigh Dickinson University; USA; United States; higher education; universities; law of effect.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2010.035752

International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2010 Vol.8 No.4, pp.445 - 461

Published online: 03 Oct 2010 *

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