Excel Online: Results from Fall 2016

February 7, 2017

This was our sixth and most extensive semester using the online Excel tutorial, SAM. Four courses participated: ACC 2101, ACC 2203, FIN 3000 and MGT3121. Total enrollment in SAM was 4,887 students out of 5,316 students registered for the four classes, a 92.0% participation rate (see Table 1 below).

• Students in these four courses completed 14 assignments building Excel spreadsheets. Skills range from essential formatting, using formulas, graphing, pivot tables, and basic macros. The goal is to insure that all students in core business courses develop functional capability with Excel. It is also important to remind students that SAM is a one-time purchase of $40 while at Baruch and can be used in all their classes. In addition, they have access to all the projects in SAM, not just the 14 that are assigned.

• At the end of each semester we survey students about their experience with SAM. The survey response rates ranged from 28 to 50 percent. However, the responses did not change meaningfully as more students responded. In other words, the results from the first 20% of completed surveys was very close to the results from the closing response rate. Thus, we consider the results below broadly representative.

• The most encouraging result is that between 73 and 80 percent of students agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “Overall I found SAM to be a useful learning experience.” (see the Tables below). We find this support remarkable. Remember, we are assigning work that is outside the supervision of their course instructor. Students clearly appreciate the importance of learning Excel to their future in business.

• Results from the full survey are available upon request.

I want to thank the faculty who participated for your support to promote Excel and for the outstanding work of the IT Fellows: Yuan Feng (ACC 2101); Beila Leboeuf (ACC2203) , Paloma Lopez de Mesa (MGT 3121) Moyano, and Viktoriya Staneva (FIN 3000). We want to thank Teresa Dimilta from the SACC Center for supervising the Excel workshops and tutoring.

Ted Joyce
Professor of Economics
Director, Zicklin’s Online Learning and Evaluation (ZOLE)

Response to Question 8 by course

 

ACC 2101 (survey participation rate =50%): 

Q8: Overall I found SAM to be a useful learning experience

 

ACC 2203 (survey participation rate =28%): 

Q8: Overall I found SAM to be a useful learning experience

 

FIN 3000 (survey participation rate =42.6%): 

Q8: Overall I found SAM to be a useful learning experience

 

MGT 3121 (survey participation rate =50%): 

Q8: Overall I found SAM to be a useful learning experience

 

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