Pub Date: 2017
Publisher: Open Oregon Educational Resources
Conditions of Use
Very good outline/table of content layout and coverage of basic skills needed. read more
Very good outline/table of content layout and coverage of basic skills needed.
Unable to check accuracy for Assignments and Test sections for each chapter (was not able to open).
Content is not considered obsolete and could be quickly updated with just changing numbers and wording on Assignments & Test sections for each chapter.
I see no issues with clarity.
I see no issues with consistency.
The text was broken down into appropriate skill sets for the reader to grasp.
I am very pleased with the books' organization/structure/flow.
Images were a little distorted but not to the point of being unreadable.
I did not see any issues with grammar.
I am not aware of any issues with cultural relevance in this text.
I could not open the Assignments and Tests links to check visually and to go through instructions assigned to the assessments. I I would like to see a comprehensive Assignments & Tests (covering all chapters). Overall, I am very pleased with the content, organization, modular breakdown, and the basic skill sets covered.
This is an extremely comprehensive book that provides a significant level of detail guiding the user from the very introductory stages of how to use read more
This is an extremely comprehensive book that provides a significant level of detail guiding the user from the very introductory stages of how to use the software program through more advanced applications. I was particularly appreciative of the level of specific detail that the author used in describing even the most basic of steps. One of the biggest complaints that I've heard from students who use technology textbooks is that authors sometimes assume that students know more than they actually do. This author is clearly not neglected the basics and no minor detail has been left out. I also particularly like that the author has made the program relevant to a variety of different types of users. This description of Excel is pertinent for students of business who will be using this type of program in their careers but it is also pertinent to students from other majors in that it includes examples such as how to manage personal financial scenarios. Thus, the reach of this textbook goes far beyond just business students. I was a little disappointed that this book does not include a table of contents nor does it include a glossary. While hyperlinks are included within each chapter that refer the student to other chapters, having a table of contents would help students not only see the broad picture of what the text actually covers but would also provide the opportunity for students to be able to easily access sections that they need to improve on such as in the case where there using the textbook as a reference source. It is also worthy to note that the book provides a significant number of graphics that actually show students where to click how to click and where certain components are found in the program as well as providing step-by-step instructions on how to perform various steps. The graphics are substantial and frequent and really adds a significant extra dimension to the coverage.
The textbook appears to be very accurate in that the directions provided in each of the assignments appear to be. I can only imagine how much of a challenge that must be given each new edition of the software program. I also found no evidence of any bias although it is difficult to infuse bias into a software manual.
The content in this book is very current and certainly relevant but as I mentioned in the previous section I would hope the author would be able to update as new additions or versions of the software are developed. Much of the material or the processes covered in the book are fairly standard and I believe will not become obsolete at least not in the near future. Generally with the development of new Microsoft programs, minor changes such as the location of the tab or other tool or the addition of minor functionalities seem to be about the norm. I don't suspect it would be very difficult than to update this textbook to reflect those minor changes. The exception, of course, would be if a completely revamped version of the program was developed. I think back to the rollout of Microsoft Vista and how different Vista was from previous operating systems. While most will agree that Vista was not a good product, much of the consternation resulted from the drastic differences that existed with the new rollout. Again, spreadsheet software, whether it be Excel or a Google worksheet generally maintain standard functionalities so updating a book such as this should be terribly difficult.
I think this book is extremely clear and how it is written and in how the material is laid out. There is an appropriate blend of text, listed instructions and graphics along with appropriate hyperlinks that allow for ease of navigation within the document. I think this is certainly appropriate for an online text book and I think most students would find this to be very user-friendly. Again, as I mentioned in my original narrative beginning of this assessment, one of the things I particularly like about this book is that it is written in a simple and easily understandable or met such that even the most novice of computer users could follow along and master the skills and concepts covered. I think this is a real competitive advantage with this book whether it is being used as a textbook as part of a formal class or if it was being used as a textbook to serve as reference material. Again, adding a table of contents and a glossary and/or Index at the end would make the book complete.
This textbook seems very consistent in how it's formatted and it is difficult to see any variations in either chapter layout, writing style or level of detail from the beginning to the end. The terminology is extremely basic and clear which again makes this textbook ideal for both the novice or the more advanced learner to use as a reference source. I also particularly like the starter files and the links used to access the starter files really blending the chapter material to actual worksheets.
This is a particularly important formatting issue for me because I understand that many students don't necessarily read a textbook from page 1 to the end and given that this textbook has 407 pages I find it highly likely they would do so here. For example, in section 4.41 could easily understand that this section is about using charts or integrating charts with Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint and it is not imperative that one have just finished reading the previous section to be able to refer to the section and very quickly learn how to use charts in this format. Again, that makes the reference capability of this textbook extremely important.
The organizational flow of this textbook is appropriate, especially for an entry-level textbook. It begins with the most basic elements of using Microsoft Excel such as how to open the program or even where to find the program in the start menu. You may be surprised to find the number of students who, when setting down to a computer for the first time, cannot figure out how to open a Microsoft program unless that program specifically has an icon on the desktop. This author starts the very basics in getting students to be able to understand how to even get the program open where to look for it. The text then, at an appropriate pace, develops the students understanding of Excel in a very thorough yet realistic manner. There is little doubt that, again based on the organizational structure of the book, beginning students who have no experience with Excel and maybe even feel very uncomfortable with computers in general, will find the pace appropriate for any level of expertise.
I found no navigational problems. The links, more specifically the hyperlinks, seem to work appropriately and all of the Excel links were present.
It's really difficult to answer this in terms of cultural relevance technology textbook that is being used to develop the skill set so there is very little cultural relevance that should be evaluated.
In summary, I find this book to be an excellent tool that can be used in either classroom or in a reference setting. When I was trying to decide on which book to review, this book stood out because, at least initially, I noticed the graphics and I noticed a very clear sustained how to format of the chapter sections. It is highly likely that I would use this book in future classes.
This textbook is very well-written. It is comprehensive and covers a wide spectrum of important spreadsheet software topics. Nonetheless, there are read more
This textbook is very well-written. It is comprehensive and covers a wide spectrum of important spreadsheet software topics. Nonetheless, there are topics I cover in my class, which are not covered in this textbook (e.g., Excel tables, PivotTables, and PivotCharts. Managing multiple worksheets and workbooks. Developing macros).
I have not found any errors in the content.
The text does a good job explaining spreadsheet software. On the other hand, it uses EXCEL 2010, an older version of EXCEL as we are currently using EXCEL 2016 (as of this writing). This is a typical problem with technical textbooks as technology evolves quickly.
The content is clear, accessible, and easy to follow. I suggest using a sans-serif font throughout the e-book and also additional font colors in the paragraphs to enhance clarity.
The text is of a pleasing level of consistency and conformity.
The text is divided into logical sections that are independent. The e-book's components may be separated and recombined, without presenting much disruption to the reader.
The structure is clear and the organization is well-thought-out.
No interface issues. The navigation is simple and easy to follow. However, many of the figures are outdated.
I have not found any grammatical errors.
Cultural relevance is not applicable in this context and, therefore, cannot be evaluated.
I appreciate the overall quality of this text. The author utilized many means (e.g., screenshots, videos, text) to explain various EXCEL topics. Good job! I suggest updating the material to show the most recent version of EXCEL, incorporating additional topics, and adding a teacher's reference guide and solution files. Thank you!
The textbook provides comprehensive coverage of the fundamental skills of Excel, including mathematical computations, logical and lookup computations read more
The textbook provides comprehensive coverage of the fundamental skills of Excel, including mathematical computations, logical and lookup computations and presenting data with charts. The scope and sequence of the material is sufficiently detailed and logically organized. The step-by-step instructions are clearly written and easy to follow. The content includes screenshot examples and skill refresher and lesson videos which add value to the overall comprehensiveness of the content. The textbook does not cover working with tables which is a required components of our curriculum. There isn’t a glossary or index in the textbook.
The textbook content is accurate, error free and unbiased.
The textbook uses Windows 7 and Excel 2010 which are not the current versions of either, so modifications would be necessary for some sections of the text. With some modifications along with additional supplemental materials, students could complete the chapters and assignments from this text regardless of the version of Windows or Excel being used.
The text is written in clear, understandable language. Terminology is further clarified through the use of screen shots and in many of the skill refresher and lesson videos
The textbook is consistent in terms of both terminology and framework. Each chapter begins with detailed learning objectives followed by an introduction of the chapter content. Each chapter is embedded with guided practice exercises, ‘Integrity Checks’ which are tips to help students avoid and recognize errors, ‘Key Takeaways,’ which summarize the key components of the lesson, ‘Skill Refresher’ videos which quickly demonstrate smaller components within the lesson, and ‘Video Lessons’ (chapter lecture/demonstrations). Section exercises are included which provide multiple choice questions so students can check their understanding of the content as they progress through the chapter, and end of chapter assignments ranging from easy to difficult are provided so students can apply the skills learned. Hands on chapter tests are also included for each chapter.
The text is divided into smaller reading sections within each chapter which could easily be pulled out and used independently.
Each chapter is built around skills which are presented in a logical and clear order. The topics introduced build on each other moving the student from simple understanding to complex application of the skills being taught.
The text is free from any significant interface issues. The text and images are clear and easy to read. Images are appropriately labeled.
I did not find any grammatical errors in the text.
The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. The content is based on business/personal business examples that are culturally unbiased.
While requiring some updating, this text covers most of the bases for a beginning Excel class. Due to the abundant use of screen shots and video components, the text may need to be evaluated for accessibility in order to accommodate students who require educational accommodations.
Learning objectives are provided for each section. Review questions are available. Chapter review assignments and chapter tests are provided for read more
Learning objectives are provided for each section. Review questions are available. Chapter review assignments and chapter tests are provided for evaluation. Comprehensive coverage of the material is provided, but a glossary/index are not. Material ranges from basic to advanced skills which build throughout the text.
The content is straightforward and without bias or opinion. A high number of instructional graphics are provided with clear indication of relevance. Screenshots provide visual reference to display direction to the student as the student completes the instructional steps.
The textbook refers to Windows 7 (currently 2 versions behind - Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10) and Excel 2010 (currently 2 versions behind - Excel 2013 and Excel 2016). Also, many students are now using Office 365 which not only provides cloud service for the software and files, but automatically updates the software to current versions without student effort.
The verbiage used in this text is on par with the technical data provided. The jargon and technical terminology used are vital to the learning the material. However, the instructions are clear and easy to understand. Terms are linked to provide further explanation.
The correct terms are used to describe actions and Excel functions. Steps are clearly relayed and easy to follow. The procedure for completing lessons is consistent throughout the text providing a framework for students to follow and understand.
Lessons are broke into small sections reviewing a specific skill. Students are able to complete the task before moving on. The text has the ability to be separated into sections. Each lesson starts with a new document file as if the student had completed the previous section. Students are able to use either their own file or the one provided. This also provides a checkpoint for the student to compare their work with the data file provided.
Topics are presented in a form that builds based upon the assumed knowledge of the learner. The lessons begin in a simple format with short, precise direction and basic terms. As the chapters progress, assignments become longer and more complex, building on the previous learning. The tasks become more complicated and complex to display a higher level of learning.
The pages are clear and easy to read. The graphics are displayed well with limited use of colors and extraneous material. Each graphic is clickable to display a larger, higher definition display. Pages are uncluttered and easy to scroll through. Printing may be an issue due to the high use of graphics and shading of text. A clickable link to just the assignment directions for printing would be useful for students to complete more complex assignments without the need to "click" back and forth.
The grammar used is easy to understand and accurate. There are various typing errors that do not detract from the meaning of the lesson presented. Sentence structure is at an appropriate level for a college freshman course.
There are few instances of cultural relevance. The lack of cultural integration in the text does not detract from the skills performed by the student. The context is data driven and does not provided opportunity for a great deal of cultural integration.
The entertainment value of the material is fair to low. The directions are simple and easy to follow, but lack a degree of interest. Completing the material for long periods at a time could lead to a lack of focus on the part of the student. The comprehensive nature of the text compensates for this issues and would interest the motivated student.
The skills covered in the text are very comprehensive including a lot of screen prints. Unfortunately, we teach tables and working with multiple read more
The skills covered in the text are very comprehensive including a lot of screen prints. Unfortunately, we teach tables and working with multiple sheets/files in our Beginning Excel class, and these topics are not included.
I have not found any errors in the text. The directions are accurate and error-free.
My concern with the text is that it is written for Excel 2010, and we are already teaching Excel 2013. At first, I thought this was a major drawback; but I worked through parts of the book in Excel 2013, and it worked fine. The only chapter that would not work in it's entirety is the charts chapter since charts changed significantly in 2013. Thinking about it some more, I think we could possibly teach the basics of charts with the chapter and then use other materials to teach the specific features of charts in 2013. I plan on testing the book with Excel 2016 which I just installed on my laptop. If most of the text will work with this new version, that would mean the book is largely "version-free", and that's what we're looking for!
I think the text is written is accessible language for students. It has a good deal of business concepts in chapters 2 and 3, but they are explained well. The videos that accompany the book are very easy to understand and the technical language is not overdone.
I really like the framework of the text. Every section has Learning Objectives, Skill Refreshers, Key Takeaways, and Multiple Choice Exercises at the end of each section. At the end of each chapter, there are three levels of skills review and a Level 2 test.
The modularity of the text was good. I felt we could take portions of the text and use them without having to use a whole chapter or the whole text. The videos, exercises, and tests could also be pulled out and use as stand alone resources which is a big plus in computer classes.
As stated in question 5, the consistent layout of each section and chapter made the text flow logically.
The video and data file links did not work in the current copy of the book in www.Saylor.org. This would need to be fixed in order for the book to be useable in our classes. The screen prints were clear and easily read.
I did not find any grammatical errors in the book.
The examples in the book were business-oriented vs. people-oriented, so they were not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way.
I was pleasantly surprised about the possibilities of using this text with its videos and data files in classes taught in various versions of Excel.
This book is extremely detailed and comprehensive. It teaches Fundamental Skills, Mathematical Computations, Logical and Lookup Functions, and read more
This book is extremely detailed and comprehensive. It teaches Fundamental Skills, Mathematical Computations, Logical and Lookup Functions, and Presenting Data with Charts in a step-by step fashion and to a detailed level. This level of skill would be appropriate for professional or highly proficient personal use. It covers all menus and functions in detail.
The book is very accurate and this reviewer found no errors.
The book refers and applies to Excel 2010 on the Windows 7 platform exclusively. It does not refer to other versions, platforms, or operating systems. The relevance and longevity depends on the user’s tolerance for interpreting instructions and graphics that may vary slightly from what is on the user’s screen.
The step-by-step instructions are very clear. Most, though not quite all, terms and jargon are explained. The clearly-labeled screenshots help immensely with the clarity.
The chapters and sections are very consistent, as are the end-of-chapter exercise and test materials.
The 4 chapters are each divided into 4 or 5 clear sections, each with its own objectives and exercises. Each chapter has a sections of exercises and tests at different difficulty levels. These different modules could easily be assigned at different points during a course.
The structure is highly organized. There are downloadable Follow-along Files for the student to practice each skill. The objectives, tips, exercises and tests are all easy to follow.
All screenshots with labels, tables, text boxes, and main text are displayed well.
This reviewer found no grammatical errors.
The personal finance section deals with mortgage payments, but does not assume home ownership in a culturally insensitive way.
The description on the Open Textbook Library site refers to Video Lessons, but this reviewer could not find any or access any through the text book either on PDF or HTML. If they exist, this reviewer could not find them.
Table of Contents
About the Book
This textbook was written for a community college introductory course in spreadsheets utilizing Microsoft Excel. While the figures shown utilize Excel 2016, the textbook was written to be applicable to other versions of Excel as well. The book introduces new users to the basics of spreadsheets and is appropriate for students in any major who have not used Excel before.
About the Contributors
Noreen Brown, Barbara Lave, Julie Romey, Mary Schatze and Diana Shingledecker