BUS4 91A

Advanced Business Productivity Tools

Fall 2018 

Meets August 27 to November 11 in BBC 305

Office: Business Tower 260

Phone: (408) 924-3533

FAX:  924-7793



Fall 2018 Office Hours

Monday   4:30 - 5:00 in BBC305

Tuesday   4:30 - 5:00 in BT260

No Office Hours after November 5th


Link to the Bus 91L Textbook Page

Link to the BUS 91L Page

Link to Mike's Home Page

Free Excel Software for students

BUS 91A Syllabus

You don’t need a textbook for this course.

All of the course material is online.

The exercises are written for the PC version of Excel, not for the MAC or for Google Sheets.

Course Description

This ten-week-long course is for students wanting to become Excel professionals. After completing the course:

·         Students will be prepared to take and pass the “Microsoft Office Specialist - Excel” certification exam.

·         Students will learn how to customize Excel using behind-the-scenes features.

·         Students will learn how to use a toolkit of advanced features for power users.

·         Students will learn complex formulas and functions to accomplish tasks quickly and efficiently.

·         Students will learn how to create dashboards, graphics, and animations.

·         Students will be able to use macros to automate spreadsheet tasks.

·         Students will develop the skills to create and edit macros using VBA.

Required Texts/Readings

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

Course Prerequisites

Students will have to demonstrate a basic understanding of Excel. Either a credit score in the Bus 91L course or successful completion of the Inventory assignment will meet this requirement. If you have not taken the Bus 91L course, please take this Basic Excel Skills exam before coming to the first day of class.

If you don’t understand everything in the exam, work through these assignments to fill in any gaps in your knowledge.


Course Protocol

There are two team assignments. We will form teams of three to four students. You will be working with the same group all semester.

This is a hybrid course. There won’t be any lectures, most of the work is done outside of the classroom so people can work on their own time, at their own pace. I will be available in the classroom every Monday from 4:30 to 5:00 to give help. If you want to stay after I leave, the room will be open until 5:45. Students will need to attend class during the first three weeks and final week of the course.

If you run into a problem, first try to figure it out yourself as a professional would. If that fails, please ask your teammates or instructor for help. You can also try searching Google or YouTube.

Course Evaluations (aka SOTEs) need to be completed during the week of 10/28 to 11/4. The form is accessed directly through MySJSU. 

Check for Understanding Forms

Students are required to complete several individual assignments and fill out a “Check for Understanding” (CFU) form for each one.  Instructions for completing the forms are included in each lesson. You can turn them in during the class periods or submit them through email.

Class Calendar

Class Date


Due Date


Introductions and Course Review

Inventory  (In class work – can be finished at home)



Forms Arrays



Form Teams - attendance required

Team-Building Project



Customizing Excel



DashBoards 2



Toolkit 2



 Macros 1 Introduction



Macros 2  Writing macros



Macros 3  Animations



Course Evaluations through MySJSU



MOS Certification 



Attendance required  

Review of Poker Project status



Class Date

 Team Projects

Due Date


Form Teams

Team-Building Project



Poker Project  Part 1



Poker Project  Part 2



Poker Project  Part 3



Poker Project  Part 4


Final Exam / Project

There is no final exam.  You will have a semester project instead, building a poker solitaire game in Excel. The project counts as 20% of your grade.  There are several parts to the project. If you do one part every two weeks, starting in week 5, you will finish on time. There are numerous Excel tricks involved in the worksheets and I think you will learn a lot from working through them. If you want to split up the work on the first three parts, I am ok with that. Perhaps you could assign the responsibility for each part based on alphabetical order. The final part should be a collaboration.

Here is the link to the project instructions:

Tentative Grading Scale


% of Course Grade

Inventory Lesson


Dashboards 2 Lesson


Customization Lesson


Certification Lesson


Toolkit 2 Lesson


Forms Arrays


Macros 1 Lesson


Macros 2 Lesson


Macros 3 Lesson


Team Building  Project


Poker Project 1


Poker Project 2


Poker Project 3


Poker Project 4





·         The course is graded either “Credit” or “No Credit.”

·         Perfection is not required to get credit for the assignments and projects. All I am looking for is a reasonable “good faith” effort.  If I think you did your best, you will get credit.

·         A score of 85% or higher is required to pass.

This is the end of the information specific to this course.

The rest of the syllabus is boiler plate language that I am required to include.

University Policies

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drops, academic renewal, etc. Information on add/drops is available at . Information about late drop is available at . Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for adding and dropping classes.

Academic integrity

Students should know that the University’s Academic Integrity Policy is available at Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University and the University’s integrity policy, require you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The website for Student Conduct and Ethical Development is available at

Instances of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Cheating on exams or plagiarism (presenting the work of another as your own, or the use of another person’s ideas without giving proper credit) will result in a failing grade and sanctions by the University. For this class, all assignments are to be completed by the individual student unless otherwise specified. If you would like to include in your assignment any material you have submitted, or plan to submit for another class, please note that SJSU’s Academic Policy F06-1 requires approval of instructors.

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the DRC (Disability Resource Center) to establish a record of their disability.


Student Technology Resources

Computer labs for student use are available in the Academic Success Center located on the 1st floor of Clark Hall and on the 2nd floor of the Student Union. Additional computer labs may be available in your department/college. Computers are also available in the Martin Luther King Library.

A wide variety of audio-visual equipment is available for student checkout from Media Services located in IRC 112. These items include digital and VHS camcorders, VHS and Beta video players, 16 mm, slide, overhead, DVD, CD, and audiotape players, sound systems, wireless microphones, projection screens and monitors.

Learning Assistance Resource Center

The Learning Assistance Resource Center (LARC) is located in Room 600 in the Student Services Center. It is designed to assist students in the development of their full academic potential and to motivate them to become self-directed learners. The center provides support services, such as skills assessment, individual or group tutorials, subject advising, learning assistance, summer academic preparation and basic skills development. The LARC website is located at http:/

SJSU Writing Center

The SJSU Writing Center is located in Room 126 in Clark Hall.  It is staffed by professional instructors and upper-division or graduate-level writing specialists from each of the seven SJSU colleges. Our writing specialists have met a rigorous GPA requirement, and they are well trained to assist all students at all levels within all disciplines to become better writers. The Writing Center website is located at

Peer Mentor Center

The Peer Mentor Center is located on the 1st floor of Clark Hall in the Academic Success Center. The Peer Mentor Center is staffed with Peer Mentors who excel in helping students manage university life, tackling problems that range from academic challenges to interpersonal struggles. On the road to graduation, Peer Mentors are navigators, offering “roadside assistance” to peers who feel a bit lost or simply need help mapping out the locations of campus resources. Peer Mentor services are free and available on a drop –in basis, no reservation required. The Peer Mentor Center website is located at .

Lucas College and Graduate School of Business Program Goals

Goal One: Business Knowledge

Understand basic business principles and demonstrate discipline-specific competencies as applied to local and global environments.

Goal Two: Communication

Communicate ideas clearly, logically, and persuasively in oral and written format, using technology appropriately.

Goal Three: Ethical Awareness

Recognize, analyze, and articulate solutions to ethical issues that arise in business.

Goal Four: Leadership, Teams and Diversity

Comprehend the challenges and opportunities of leading and working in diverse teams and environments.

Goal Five: Critical Thinking

Comprehend, analyze, and critically evaluate complex and unstructured qualitative and quantitative business problems, using appropriate tools and technology.

Goal Six: Innovation

Recognize, analyze, and articulate strategies for promoting creativity and innovation.