We are starting our software unit today and will be looking at some basic productivity applications and seeing how they have had an effect on Business and Employment in the last twenty years. We will be running a debate in a week or so regarding DTP but to begin with another small practical challenge 🙂

The Spreadsheet challenge – don’t groan as I imagine your spreadsheet skills are more shaky than you imagine – is to practice a set of skills listed below using a variety of tutorials and guides that you can either find yourself or utilise mine and then produce a spreadsheet of your choice to perform a specific function in one of your classes. I will show you a few examples so do not worry. However there is a slight twist – for two of you after the skills based learning has taken place will have to produce your spreadsheet to work in a browser using Google spreadsheets. Yikes. Finally as a class we will discuss and review the spreadsheets using a rubric and discuss the advantages of Web 2.0 based applications compared to desktop applications.

Subjects that would probably be very sensible to choose might be Mathematics, Economics, Sciences, Design Technology, Drama etc… What productive function the spreadsheet does is up to you? It might create a test, it might plot a specific experiment and show results, it might be a booking sheet for a theatre or it might be a break even chart analysis? YOU decide.

You must however use a minimum of ten of  the following skills (that you will practice this next week or so) within your spreadsheet to make the design and so its workings as efficient and automatic as possible. You must also be able to discuss what each of these functions does and why you would use it:-

  1. Vlookup
  2. If Statement / Countif Statement
  3. Dynamic / Static Cell Referencing
  4. Charts
  5. Advanced Filters
  6. Basic Mathematical Formulas – Aveage, Sum, Max, Min,
  7. Macros (you’ll be pleased to know they are back and working with Office 2011 OSX – https://www.macworld.com/article/154785/2010/10/welcomebackvisualbasic.html )
  8. Conditional Formatting
  9. Spinners
  10. Date/Time Functions
  11. Formatting, Titles and Buttons
  12. Validation/Verification
  13. Password Protection

Along with this, the spreadsheet should be well designed and user friendly with suitable instructions for a new user to be able to follow and understand what they are doing when it comes to inputting data and processing an output. The spreadsheet should have multiple sheets, and include a title page. As suggested Dr Tech will show you some examples of existing spreadsheets that fulfill the above purpose.

Make sure you test your spreadsheet models, as the assessment will be based on an unknown user/client attempting to use your spreadsheet without instruction from yourself.

As suggested to help you learn, I will provide a series of spreadsheet worksheets – but also you can find your own if you would like or use something like Atomic Learning – see around the room for login details. Deadlines will be discussed on Wednesday.


  • Remember two of you will need to be booked into a Mini Test 2 resit!
  • Blog posts and Little Brother discussion happens on Wednesday
  • Paper 2 Assignment Feedback – next week
  • ITGS Sememester Exam happens on Wednesday 14th December – Paper 2 combined with mini-test style Paper 1 questions – will cover Hardware and Software topics
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!