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Uses of Excel


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I presented this at a professional development conference to show teachers the many uses of MS Excel in the classroom. It covers everything from wrapping text and merging cells to calculating and interpreting the standard deviation for test data. Each slide is hyperlinked to a video I created ( with a software called Webinaria), of that function being performed. Each slide also contains a hyperlink to the example spreadsheets and the presentation handout.

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Uses of Excel

  1. 1. Analyzing and Manipulating Classroom data
  2. 2.  Applications of Excel for viewing/manipulating data sets  Basic and advanced commands in Excel (insert, sort & filter, autosum, etc.)  A brief explanation of the descriptive statistics that will be used Mani interesting furry animals…including the majestic møøse
  3. 3. • Education: BA Sociology (Oklahoma State Univ. ‘03) MS Sociology (Univ. of North Texas ‘06) • Teachering: US history (8th) ‘06-’08 English (8th) ‘08-Spring ‘11 • Presently: Middle School Library Assistant • Likes: donuts (all kinds, I’m not picky) • Dislikes: not having donuts
  4. 4. • Highlight/color code rows/column • Resize rows/columns • Hide/unhide column(s) and/or row(s)
  5. 5. • Wrap text (resize cells to fit/show all words)  Select the entire spreadsheet by left clicking on the square where the tabs and columns meet  Right click > “Format cells” > The box that pops up will have several tabs at the top click on “alignment”  In the middle of the box, you'll see an option to “wrap text” > Click the box next to “wrap text” > Click “OK”  Merge cells (turned several cells into one large cell)  Select all the cells you wish to merge  Right click > “Format cells” > The box that pops up will have several tabs at the top click on “alignment”  In the middle of the box, you'll see an option to “merge cells” > Click the box next to “merge cells” > Click “OK”
  6. 6. • Sort & Filter  Arranges all your data in numerical or alphabetical order (ascending or descending).  Highlight the column you wish to sort or filter > click on “Sort & Filter” > A box will drop-down and ask you how you would like to sort > Click on your choice • Find & Select  Enables you to find a single piece of data out of the entire workbook. Very useful on large data sets with a lot of variables  Click on “Find & Select” at the top right > click on ”find” > In the box that appears click on “Options” > next to “Within” change the search parameter to “workbook” > Type in your wayward variable and click ”Find All”.
  7. 7. • Hyperlinking –  Perhaps, you don’t want to go through all of your various directories to find a test document  Or maybe, you need a quick reference to source material on the web  In each of these cases, hyperlinking is a handy tool  Right-Click on the cell that you wish to hyperlink -> click on hyperlink at the bottom -> find the file or the webpage that you would like to link to, highlight it -> Click ‘OK’ Caution: when hyperlinking a file, the file has to be in the same directory as one you assigned the hyperlink. In the case of hyperlinking a webpage, this will only work if your computer has an active Internet connection
  8. 8. • Autosum defaults to adding the selected columns • The drop down menu gives you six more options  Sum (default)  Average  Count Numbers (Number of cells that contain a value in a selection)  Min (lowest value in a selection)  Max (highest value in a selection)  More Functions
  9. 9. • We tend to get hung up on the test score average. • It’s also useful to know how “alike” the test scores are. • The most effective MoVs for classroom data are the range and standard deviation
  10. 10. • Select the dataset > click "Sort & Filter" in top right corner > "Sort A to Z“ • Now, your dataset will be in numerical order, scroll to the bottom - note the "bottom-est" value > scroll up, note the "top-est" value • Subtract the lowest value ("top-est") from the highest value ("bottom-est"); the result = the range • The range should always be larger than the standard deviation. It's more telling also - 10 points of range will represent a letter grade
  11. 11. • Standard deviation (STDEV) is a fancy way to show how "alike" your data is/are • Basically, it shows the "average difference" of your data • A higher value indicates a bigger spread of values (in the case of test scores, this might mean some students didn't fully absorb your lesson *gasp* - that you need to appeal to more modalities when preparing your lessons (visual, aural, etc.))
  12. 12. • This may come as a shock, but Microsoft didn't automate every function • One example is range (maximum value minus minimum value) which is a simpler version of SD • To calculate range on a given set of values select the...err...selection (row - start with the first blank cell to the right of your selection, columns - start at the first blank cell directly below the selection) • In the blank cell adjacent to the selection type: SUM(MAX(*COORDINATES*)- MIN (*COOR - DINATES*)) . where *COORDINATES* is the row/ column of your selection. • Again, higher values means something's amiss