Revised: August 20, 2021
Northern Virginia Community College - Annandale Campus
ITE 140-001L - Spreadsheet Software I, Fall 2021 (3 credits) - MW 7-8:20PM, synchronous remote via Zoom, Dr. William Pegram, firstname.lastname@example.org, Office Hours Friday 1-3pm
Web Site for Class: www.billpegram.com
Microsoft Excel 2019 is the focus of this course. Although Excel 2019 is available in the NVCC open labs, you will want to get Excel on your home computer. Students can get Excel and other programs for free - see the section on Office 365 at www.nvcc.edu/ithd/students/software.html. Thus students will typically have Office 365 rather than Excel 2019. Because Office 365 is an evolving product, there are some very minor differences between Office 365 and Excel 2019. This was not a problem when I've taught this course in the past.
Required: GO! with Microsoft Office 365, Excel 2019 Comprehensive, Gaskin & Vargas, 2020, ISBN 9780135442685. Because instruction and homework will follow this text, other books will not be satisfactory for this course. I plan to cover virtually the entire book which is what I did when I taught this course in Spring 2019, Fall 2019, and Fall 2020 using similar textbooks.
Teaching Style and Zoom
I will go slow enough so that you can do on your computer what I'm doing on mine which will be visible to you because I will be sharing my screen. This requires you watching my screen in one screen/window and doing your work on another screen/window. This is certainly an acquired skill but I expect something that most of you are familiar with by now. Just like in the classroom, just speak up if something doesn't work or wasn't clear; I realize this is more difficult than if were in the classroom. Unfortunately, the class size this semester is double what it has been the three previous times I've taught this course.
My teaching style in the past for this class is different than I use for other classes. My approach in this class has been to to follow the step-by-step instructions in the text. I also try to interject comments so that you understand the operations beyond just the step-by-step. The biggest problem is previous semesters that students would forget things we had covered several weeks before.
Late homework will not be accepted but your two lowest homework grades will be dropped; this policy of dropping the two lowest two grades is designed to cover illness, computer problems, work or family responsibilities, etc. so exceptions to this policy will not be granted.
You must submit your homework so that the files can be read on a Windows machine. Thus if you are using a Mac, you must do any necessary conversion of the files. If you are required to submit a zipped folder, make sure that whatever you submit can be opened by WinZip.
When I taught this class before, we used myLabIT in semesters when we were using the Pearson textbook and MindTap in the semester we were using the Cengage textbook. Both of these tools gave students feedback as students worked through exercises or assignments. Students liked this; the downside is that since I was doing much less grading, I was much less focused on problems students were having. We are using neither this semester.
If you are using Cengage in other classes, you may have purchased a Cengage Unlimited plan which would permit you to use MindTap with this course for essentially no extra charge. If there are a number of students in this situation, I will see how MindTap might be useful for these students - the order of topics beween the two books is similar but not identical.
60% tests (two multiple choice and 2-3 "hands-on" tests), 40% homework.
If you miss class, please check the class website for any changes to the schedule, including new assignments. All class sessions will be recorded and will be posted on Canvas the next morning. However, I strongly encourage you to attend the live presentation for several reasons: that way it gets done, rather than being on your to-do list, it gives you an opportunity to ask questions, and occasionally I may make errors in recording such as forgetting to click "record" after I have paused recording.
Canvas will play a centrol role in this course. See https://www.nvcc.edu/canvas/index.html for information on Canvas
Office hours will be done through Zoom from 1-3PM on Friday and immediately after class. The advantage of meeting during regular office hours is that the Zoom sessions can be set up for weeks at a time. However, if the scheduled time is not convenient for you, email me and I can arrange a special Zoom session for that. If you wish to attend regular office hours on a particular Friday, email me and I will respond suggesting you show up at a particular time. That way it will avoid either of us waiting around.
Communication with Students
For general class announcements and messages to individual students, I will use Canvas so make sure Canvas is set up so you see these promptly. Similarly, I suggest using Canvas to send me a message. If you email me at email@example.com, please remember to include your name and class.
On homework assignments and projects, students may ask for and receive some assistance from others, unless otherwise directed by the instructor. Yet those helping a student should avoid "doing the work" for the student.
Unless specifically stated in the assignment, students may work together to complete an assigment. However my experience is that students who turn in essentially identical work on an assignment tend not to do well on subsequent tests either because they have not learned the material or are too reliant on another person.
No assistance is permitted on the inclass midterms and final and your use of the computer may be monitored. The college policy on student conduct is found at www.nvcc.edu/students/handbook/conduct.html
Cheating on a test will result in a grade of 0 on the test. Cheating on a subsequent test will result in a grade of F for the course. Cheating may be reported to the Division Dean and the Annandale Judicial Affairs Officer.
Proctoring of Exams
Proctoring will focus on preventing students getting significant help from other students during the exam. Tests will probably be of two kinds. Some tests will be "hands-on" where you will be asked to work in Excel. Monitoring you through a webcam is my intended approach for these. When monitoring is done through a webcam, I will disable student virtual backgrounds. If I use multiple choice/true-false exams, the time limits will be such that extensive use of the internet will not be practical..
Dropping and Withdrawal from the Class:
For a 15 week class, the last day to drop with a tuition refund or change to audit is Wednesday, September 8th. Friday, October 29th is the last day to withdraw without grade penalty in a 15 week course. The award of W after the last day to withdraw REQUIRES official documentation and the Dean's signature which is very difficult to get.
If a student does not attend at least one class meeting via Zoom by September 8, his/her class registration will be administratively deleted. Watching a Zoom recording after the class does not satisfy this requirement since I am not provided information when you watch a recording after the class occurs . If you are administratively deleted, there will be no record of the class or any letter grade on the student’s transcript. Furthermore, the student’s class load will be reduced by the course credits, and this may affect his/her full-time or part-time student status. Tuition will not be refunded.
Although all sessions of this class will be via Zoom, you should be aware of the following, in case you come to one of the NVCC campuses.
- As stated there, face coverings are required for students for fall inside NVCC buildings, regardless of your vaccination status. If you forget yours, they are available at NVCC Parking offices.
- Students can receive $250 upon proof of vaccination.
- Vaccination is required for all faculty and staff.
Canvas will play a centrol role in this course. See https://www.nvcc.edu/canvas/index.html for information on Canvas.
Please send me your accommodation form as early as possible.
Student Success Tips
- Attend the synchronous Zoom sessions rather than accessing the recordings, for two reasons: 1) My own experience since the beginning of the pandemic is that if I'm interested in a Zoom session, watching it live gets it done whereas I rarely find time or the motivation to watch a recorded Zoom session. 2) If you watch it live, you are able to ask questions.
Although I do not grade on attendance, some of what I say isn't in the text and it may be easier for you to understand something if you hear me explain it, instead of just relying on other sources.
- Don't fall behind - If you are having problems, let me know. Do the homework on time.
- Pay attention to the dates to drop and withdraw from the class.
- As long as you attend class once, I will not drop you from the class. It is therefore important that you set up Canvas so that you will see messages I send to you through Canvas. If you do poorly on early tests, you need to decide whether to withdraw from the class before the deadline or to continue in the class. If you continue in the class, you need to continue to come to class, to do homework and to take the final, otherwise you will likely fail the course.