May 25, 2016
This was our fifth and most extensive semester using the online Excel tutorial, SAM. Five courses participated: ACC 2101; ACC 2203; CIS 2200 (3 sections only), FIN 3000 and MGT3121. CIS 2200 students were new this Spring. Total enrollment in SAM was 4,173 students out of 4,407 students registered for the five classes, a 94.7 percent participation rate.
- Students in these five courses completed 17 assignments building Excel spreadsheets. Skills range from essential formatting, using formulas, graphing, pivot tables, and basic macros. The goal is to insure that all students in core business courses develop functional capability with Excel. It is also important to remind students that SAM is a one-time purchase of $40 while at Baruch and can be used in all their classes. In addition, they have access to all the projects in SAM, not just the 17 that are assigned.
- At the end of each semester we survey students about their experience with SAM. The survey response rates ranged from 28 (FIN 3000) to 95 percent (CIS 2200). However, the responses did not change meaningfully as more students responded. In other words, the results from the first 20% of completed surveys was very close to the results from the closing response rate. Thus, we consider the results below broadly representative.
- The most encouraging result is that between 61% (CIS 2200) and 78% (ACC 2203) of students agreed or strongly agreed that the SAM module was a worthwhile learning experience (see below). This is slightly stronger than the results from the Fall of 2015. We find this support the online Excel program remarkable. Remember, we are assigning work that is outside the supervision of their course instructor.
- We have attached the complete results of the surveys for each class. We have also posted this summary on the ZOLE website.
I want to thank the faculty who participated for your support to promote Excel and for the outstanding work of the IT Fellows: Onur Altindag (FIN 3000); Yuan Feng (ACC 2101, CIS 2200); Karolina Krystyniak (ACC 2203, CIS 2200) and Stephen O’Connell (MGT 3121). Karolina, Onur and Stephen are graduating this semester and headed off to amazing positions (Karolina, University Ontario Institute of Technology—tenure track; Onur, Harvard Population Center Post-Doc and Bentley College, tenure track in Fall 2017; Steve, MIT Economics Post-Doc).
We will be sending you the module for your spring syllabus soon. We hope to add additional core business courses.
Professor of Economics
Director, Zicklin’s Online Learning and Evaluation (ZOLE)
Diana Merenda says
These positive results do not surprise me in the least. In my classes my students are required to incorporate examples of the Excel work they’ve learned in one of my assignments and I have gotten consistent good feedback when I asked about their SAM progress and experiences. Of course there were the occasional issues which usually occurred when the student simply ignored the rules about using their personal and/or alternative email address instead of the official Baruch email address, but you and the SAM team resolved each and every instance. And with patience and grace!
So thank you. As a financial services business executive over 25 years now, there wasn’t a day that Excel did not enter into my normal work flow one way or another. This service is essential and meaningful.
Thank you, the team, the department!