Bus. 91L Business Productivity Tools

Sections 7 and 8

Fall 2018 (August 21 – October 23)

OFFICE: Business Tower 260
Tue 4:30 - 5:00 in BT260
OFFICE PHONE: (408) 924-3533 (voicemail)


Textbook and Course Material:

Your instructor, Mike Splane, wrote all of the course material.

You do not need to buy a textbook. Everything is on the course website.


The assignment instructions are color coded, so you can complete the work using Excel 2010, 2013, 2016 or a MAC. When the instructions are different from the 2010 version  the 2013/16 instructions are in blue font. The Mac instructions are in green font.  Excel for the PC offers keyboard shortcuts to select icons. These are shown in [red font] inside brackets. These keyboard shortcuts are not available for the MAC. Help with other keyboard MAC commands is available on the course website.


Course Prerequisites:

Students should have a basic understanding of Excel. An Excel Basics assignment is available for students who have never used Excel before. It assumes you know nothing and teaches you what you need to know to get started

Class Routine:

·         I come to the classroom early and start promptly. Please help me by showing up on time. I will tell a joke to reward the students who are present at the beginning of class.

·         I plan to spend the first few minutes of each class discussing the in-class assignment.

·         I do not give lectures. Most of the class time is spent with students independently working on learning assignments and projects. I go from student to student to make sure everybody understands the lesson. You will have teammates to help each other if I am not immediately available to answer a question.

·         When working on the assignments, you have a browser open to read the instructions, and Excel open to do the work. The shortcut to switch between windows is ALT + Tab.

·         When you finish an assignment, complete the CFU form following the instructions at the end of the assignment. You do not turn in this form right away. You keep it and show it to me during the following class meeting. I’ll discuss it with you then.  

·        The CFU forms must be printed, with a screenshot included. To access the printer, select bbc305p1. To take a screenshot click on your image, then Press the CTRL and Print Screen keys at the same time. This copies the image on the monitor. Switch to your Word document and press CTRL + P to paste the image into your CFU form.

Class Calendar:

Please watch the videos for the assignments and do the course reading before coming to class.

If you need to watch a video in class, please turn off the sound and used closed captions or use earbuds.



In-Class Activities


Due Date – HW and In-Class



Review syllabus

Form teams

Reading:  Excel Overview 1



Excel Basics




Budget 1

Budget 2



Team Building Project

Excel Toolkit

Reading;  Excel Overview 2



Charts 1

Charts 2



Function Basics

Data Tools



Lookup Functions

If Functions



Pivot Tables

Dashboards 1




Reading:  Study Guide

Deadline to submit CFU’s.

Practice:  Sample Exam

Online Course Evaluations



Final Exam (Open Notes)

Make up exams 11/13, 11/16




You will be grouped in teams of three or four.  Your team will sit in the same seats in the same row for every class. Help each other when a team member has a question. You will be required to know your team-mates’ names and to exchange contact information. Team members are expected to communicate at least once each week to make sure that everybody understands the material. There will be one team project.


Getting Help and Tutoring:

When you get stuck, or don’t know how to do something, try to figure it out with your partner and teammates. If you still need help, raise your hand. I will come to you and answer any questions you may have. You can also try searching Google or YouTube.

If you have trouble with an assignment, or have fallen way behind, go to the student success center website and click on the link for Schedule to see when a tutor is available. The tutoring service is free in the Student Success Center in BBC008.


A score of 85 or higher (out of 100) is required to pass. The course is graded either Credit or “No Credit.”

Check for Understanding Forms:

You will print and fill out a “Check for Understanding” (CFU) form for each lesson. CFU forms are due the week after the assignment appears on the course calendar. All CFU forms must be turned in prior to the final exam day.  These count for half of your grade.

CFU Form - Example:

A Summary of Key Points is at the beginning of each lesson. These are your learning objectives. At the end of the lesson you fill out a form to verify that you understand the objectives. I also need to see a screenshot to prove that you did the assignment. Then answer the three “this time last week” questions. Note: I only want to see ONE graphic on each CFU form. 

Example of a Check for Understanding Form

Name ____Spartan Student_____________________           Section # ___ 1 ____

Y/N I can quickly select large blocks of text.

Y/N I can create and remove lines across a page.

Y/N I can customize page backgrounds.

Y/N I can insert a screen shot and a screen clip.

Y/N I can use and modify styles.


Final Exam:

There will be a final exam on the last day of the course. I will provide a Practice Exam, with an answer sheet included, and a study guide to help you prepare for the exam.  You can consult notes and the internet for help during the final exam, but can’t get help from your teammates. I will email your score to you within a week. 


I hope you enjoy the course and learn many new skills. - Mike