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ERIC Number: EJ1082444
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Teaching Fundamental Skills in Microsoft Excel to First-Year Students in Quantitative Analysis
Rubin, Samuel J.; Abrams, Binyomin
Journal of Chemical Education, v92 n11 p1840-1845 Nov 2015
Despite their technological savvy, most students entering university lack the necessary computer skills to succeed in a quantitative analysis course, in which they are often expected to input, analyze, and plot results of experiments without any previous formal education in Microsoft Excel or similar programs. This lack of formal education results in increased anxiety, students spending large amounts of time using the process of "trial and error" to complete the assignments, and detracts from the students' learning of the chemistry. Microsoft Excel tutorials that were previously introduced have either been not specific to chemistry, require multiple assignments throughout the semester to acquire the necessary skills, or are designed for deprecated versions of the software. In this work, we present an argument for implementing a chemistry-specific, version-agnostic spreadsheet interactive laboratory exercise that uses basic, general chemistry concepts to have students explore and learn the computer skills that are necessary to succeed in a quantitative analysis course. Student feedback data indicate that students felt that the interactive spreadsheet lab allowed them to develop skills that they identified as necessary for success in the course as well as for their future careers.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A