Topic outline

  • Course Introduction

    This course will provide you with a comprehensive introduction to spreadsheets. This software program referred to and used in this course is Microsoft Excel. However, if you do not have a subscription to the Microsoft Office programs, you may still take this course. You can download a 30-day trial of Microsoft Office, for free, at this link:

    You may also use another spreadsheet software of your choice. For example, Google Sheets is available to anyone with a Gmail account, which you may create for free here:

    Last, remember that most colleges, universities, and some public libraries offer public computer stations with at least one spreadsheets program ready for you to use.

    The course will explore the following fundamental topics: an introduction to spreadsheets, terminology in Excel, components of a spreadsheet, what a cell consists of, and the creation of a spreadsheet for practical use. You will examine sample files, videos, and books that will enable you to gain practical knowledge about spreadsheets that can be used in daily life, either at work, school, or home.

  • Unit 1: Getting Started with Spreadsheets

    In this unit, you will learn about the power and flexibility of spreadsheets, using Microsoft Excel. This unit will briefly survey the history and background of Excel. There are two subunits that contain specific content that will provide an introduction to Excel. As you become more familiar with the software, you will start to overcome any fear about learning spreadsheet software. This unit and this course will help you become more productive in using spreadsheets at work and for personal applications. For example, in this unit, you will see two practical examples of using a spreadsheet: to create a family budget and to create a work estimate.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 1 hour.

  • 1.1.1: Cells, Rows, and Columns

  • 1.1.2: Sheets and Workbooks

  • 1.2.1: The Family Budget

  • 1.2.2: The Work Estimate

  • Unit 2: The Composition of a Spreadsheet

    The best way to learn something is to gain hands-on experience with it. This unit will focus on the steps required to assemble columns and rows and enter data to create a spreadsheet. You will also learn how to create formulas. In this unit, you will study and re-create a sample spreadsheet for tracking sales for a mock business. Tracking sales or creating a sales forecast for a business is just one of many professional applications of an Excel spreadsheet.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 1 hour.

  • 2.1: Formatting Data and Using Functions

  • 2.2: Cells Love Data and Simple Formulas

  • Unit 3: Spreadsheet Design and Implementation

    The final unit of this course will build upon the concepts discussed in the previous units. You will apply what you have learned by creating a spreadsheet that can be used in a real world environment. The design of the columns and rows allows you and those who view your spreadsheet to quickly understand how the cells relate to one another. If you set up your spreadsheet correctly, you will be able to make quick data calculations. For example, you could quickly demonstrate the costs for specific services or products to potential clients. Also, spreadsheet functions can be used with home budgeting, grade averaging, quotes, invoices, cost analysis, etc. Do not be afraid to experiment, as spreadsheets can be instrumental to saving time in our business and personal lives.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 1 hour.

  • 3.1: The Purpose of Spreadsheets

  • 3.2: Putting the Fun in Functions

  • 3.3: Organization Is Key