Spreadsheet Warm Up for SSAC Geology of National Parks Modules, 2: Elementary Spreadsheet Manipulations and Graphing Tasks
Module by: Dorien McGee, Meghan Lindsay, Len Vacher, University of South Florida
Cover Page by: Len Vacher and Denise Davis, University of South Florida
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection
This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
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For more information about the peer review process itself, please see https://serc.carleton.edu/teachearth/activity_review.html.
This page first made public: Oct 29, 2012
This material was originally developed by
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum
as part of its collaboration with the
SERC Pedagogic Service.
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This Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum activity continues the introduction to common and useful functions within Microsoft Excel. Students are offered the opportunity to create and modify spreadsheets and are guided through some of the conveniences of Excel. Students are also encouraged to think about the functions being executed by the spreadsheet in order to gain further understanding of computational methods. The intent of the module is to introduce the student to the capabilities of Excel.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number NSF DUE-0836566. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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College Lower (13-14), College Upper (15-16)
Follow the link above to find activities
from Teach the Earth on a specific topic.
Use common features of Excel
drag and fill
copy and paste
Create and modify different types of graphs in Excel
Use the fill and sort functions within Excel
Observe how cell modifications affect a companion graph
In the process the students will:
Gain experience with Excel which will be useful in completing Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum modules.
Gain experience in visualizing data.
Gain understanding in how graphs can be utilized to understand trends in data.
Context for Use
This module is designed for potential use in the Geology of National Parks
service course at USF. The course is offered as an online course every semester. It includes readings from Parks and Plates
, weekly quizzes based on that textbook, and weekly student activities designed to align the course with the University's general education requirements. This module is intended to be one of those activities, with the specific goal of meeting the gen-ed quantitative literacy dimension.
Description and Teaching Materials
The module is a PowerPoint presentation with embedded spreadsheets. Click on the link below to download a copy of the module.
Optimal results are achieved with Microsoft Office 2007 or later; the module will function in earlier versions with slight cosmetic compromises. If the embedded spreadsheets are not visible, save the PowerPoint file to disk and open it from there.
The above PowerPoint presentation file is the student version of the module. It includes a template for students to use to complete the spreadsheet(s) and answer the end-of-module questions, and then turn in for grading.
An instructor version is available by request. The instructor version includes the completed spreadsheet. Send your request to Len Vacher (email@example.com) by filling out and submitting the Instructor Module Request Form.
Teaching Notes and Tips
The module is constructed to be a stand-alone resource. It can be used as a homework assignment, lab activity, or as the basis of an interactive classroom activity. It was used as an out-of-class activity in a senior-elective course, Environmental Geology of the National Parks (for geology majors and nonmajors), during development of the module in Spring 2010, and as an out-of-class activity in Computational Geology (a QL course for geology majors) in Fall 2010 and Fall 2011. It has not been implemented yet in the introductory-level Geology of National Parks course.
There is a slide at the end of the presentation that contains end-of-module questions. The end-of-module questions can be used to examine student understanding and learning gains from the module. Pre/post test, pre/post test answer key, and answer key for end-of-module questions are at the end of the instructor version of the module.
References and Resources
Excel 2007 Tutorial - Sorting
Excel 2007 Tutorial - Charts & Graphs
Excel 2007 Tutorial - Overview