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Tutorial Combination and Online Implementation

Author(s): Liesl V McCormick

Pacific University

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The two key features of my implementation is the fact that the tutorial was implemented in an online setting, and I added an assessment (also implemented in an online setting).

Licensed under CC Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0.0 - published on 17 Jan 2018 doi:10.25334/Q41092 - cite this

Adapted from: Spreadsheet Data Analysis Tutorial Series v 1.0


The module was implemented at Pacific University by Liesl V. McCormick.

  • Course: Biol201L Introductory Biology: Flow of Information Lab
  • Course Level: An introductory biology lab course for both majors and non-majors.
  • Instructional Setting: Lab - Students enroll in lecture and laboratory concurrently. Lab meets for 3 hours once a week, and has approximately 24 students per section.
  • Implementation Timeframe: The spreadsheet tutorial was implemented as an online resource, accessed by students outside of class time. The tutorial was made available the first week of the semester, and students had to take a related assessment by the end of the fourth week of the semester.


I adapted the first three spreadsheet tutorials, and combined them into a single streamlined tutorial. This tutorial features the tabs: Read this First, Basics, Organize, Format, Formulae, Functions, Ranges, Sorting, Standard Deviation, FIlling Cells, Copying Formulae, Bar Graph, Bar Graph 2, and Error Bars, along with three practice exercises. These topics were chosen to fit with the skills that the students enrolled in this lab section work with during the semester.

I wrote a new 10 question multiple choice assessment to be completed after working through the tutorials. This assessment was delivered through Moodle, and had no time limit. Students could attempt the assessment twice before the due date, and only their highest score was recorded. Incorrect answers directed students back to the tab in the tutorial where they could practice that particular skill.

For the exercises embedded within the tutorial, I kept the Darwin’s finches dataset. For the exercises included in the assessment, I used a portion of a dataset from about BMI in the United States over the past few decades. I provided students with this modified dataset in a spreadsheet program, and had them work with the data to answer the assessment questions.

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