Bus. 91L Business Productivity Tools

Sections 9 and 10

Fall 2017 (August 24 – October 26)

OFFICE: Business Tower 260
OFFICE HOURS:  Wednesday 4:30 to 5:00
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.


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 do not give lectures. Most of the class time will be spent with students independently working on learning assignments and projects. I will be moving from student to student to make sure everybody understands the lesson. Because I can’t be in two places at once, you will be divided up into small teams to help each other if I am not immediately available to answer a question.   

·         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 will pass around an attendance sheet each day.

·         Students are not allowed to come to class, turn in the CFU forms, and then leave. You are required to attend class to help your teammates.



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




Review syllabus

Form teams

Watch:  Excel Intro videos

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


Inventory Project

Reading:  Study Guide

Deadline to submit CFU’s.

Practice:  Sample Exam


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 that is worth 5 points.


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.” Meeting the Excel basics requirement is worth 5 points. The 15 lessons are worth 45 points. The Final Exam is worth 50 points.

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. 

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 for Word Graphics 2010

Name ____Mike Splane___________________________           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.

Y/N I can insert, move, resize, format, and add text to text boxes.

Y/N I can insert, move, resize, and format shapes and Word Art.

Y/N I can insert, format, alter, and customize Smart Art shapes.


What do I know that I didn’t know this time last week?

What can I do now that I couldn’t do this time last week?

What could I teach others to know or do that I couldn’t teach them last week?


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