Computer Data Analysis Course Syllabus (2022)

Course Syllabus
Computer Data Analysis
Professor Information

Computer Data Analysis Course Syllabus (1)


Prof. Patricia McDermott-Wells


(305) 348-2744


(348) 348-3549

Office Hours:

By appointment


Please use Blackboard mail

Course Description and Purpose

This is an introductory course in computer data analysis which teaches you the latest tools to input, format, calculate, analyze, and graphically present data. The course will equip the student with the skills needed to use a state-of-the-art spreadsheet program widely used in the workplace. Presentation lectures, hands-on practices, and individual projects of real-world application make the class challenging yet easy to master.

The class includes a study of the following topics: An overview of Microsoft Office fundamentals to learn the common interface components for all of the Office programs; use of Microsoft Excel to work with formulas, functions, lists, multiple worksheets and workbooks, charts and graphics, financial analysis, what-if analysis, and importing data into worksheets.

Students are encouraged to interact with the instructor via Blackboard mail, discussion forums, and office visits when assistance is required.

This is a Windows-based course! You are required to use Microsoft Excel 2010 for this course. Please note that the Mac version of Office has a different interface (making your book much less useful) and is lacking some of the features required for assignments. If you use a Mac for this course, it is your responsibility to have access to a Windows-based PC to complete your assignments and to prepare for exams as necessary.

On-campus midterm and final exams for students (or proctored exams for distance students) are required for this course (see Course Calendar below for dates). Instructor will provide information about arranging proctoring for distance students. See schedule below for dates of exams.

Course Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Identify the common interface components of all Microsoft Office 2010 programs
  • Work with Excel formulas, functions, and lists
  • Create charts and graphics in Excel
  • Work with multiple worksheets and workbooks
  • Import and export data to and from Excel

Please review the policies page as it contains essential information regarding guidelines relevant to all courses at FIU and additional information on the standards for acceptable netiquette important for online courses.

Technical Requirements & Skills

One of the greatest barriers to taking an online course is a lack of basic computer literacy. By computer literacy we mean being able to manage and organize computer files efficiently, and learning to use your computer's operating system and software quickly and easily. Keep in mind that this is not a computer literacy course; but students enrolled in online courses are expected to have moderate proficiency using a computer. Please go to the "What's Required" page to find out more information on this subject.

For detailed information about the technical requirements, please click here.

Accessibility And Accommodation

For detailed information about the specific limitations with the technologies used in this course, please click here.

For more information about Blackboard's Accessibility Commitment, click here.

For additional assistance please contact our Disability Resource Center.

Course Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this course.

This course has a prerequisite(s). For more information about prerequisites, click here.

Proctored Exam Policy

This online section requires on campus exams. If you are unable to come to FIU for the required on-site session, contact the professor and/or department for approved alternatives. To locate a proctoring facility in the US and your area find a participating testing center of National College Testing Association.

It is the student’s responsibility to determine whether this online courserequires proctored exams bycarefully reviewing this syllabus. For detailed instructions please visit our Proctored Exam Resources page on the FIU Online website.


Computer Data Analysis Course Syllabus (2)

New Perspectives on Microsoft Office Excel 2010, Comprehensive (Required)
Parsons J.; Oja D.; Ageloff R.; Carey P.
Course Technology (2010) First Edition

ISBN 10: 0538742917
ISBN 13: 978-0538742917

Click here to buy your textbook online at the FIU Bookstore.

(Be SURE you get the COMPREHENSIVE Edition!)
Click here to buy your textbook online at the FIU Bookstore.

Also available as an EBook (reduced price) here:

NOTE: The Video Companion CD is optional. SAM package is NOT required.

Computer Data Analysis Course Syllabus (3)

Office 2010 for Windows (Required)

Office 2010 for Windows (available for free from FIU UTS - details will be provided by instructor via the online discussion forums)

Expectations of this Course

This is an online course, meaning that most of the course work will be conducted online. Expectations for performance in an online course are the same as for a traditional course; in fact, online courses require a degree of self-motivation, self-discipline, and technology skills that can make them more demanding for some students.

Students are expected to:

  • Review the Instructions for Completing Course CGS 2518 located in the course content
  • Introduce yourself to the class during the first week by posting a self introduction in the appropriate discussion forum
  • Take the practice quiz to ensure that your computer is compatible with Blackboard.
  • Complete the Practice Project Submission to ensure you are able to submit files into the Assignment Dropbox.
  • Interact online with instructor/s and peers and keep up with all assignments
  • Review and follow the course calendar
  • Log in to the course at least 3-4 times per week
  • Review discussion board posts for additional hints and helps on the assignments
  • Respond to mail messages within Blackboard within 2 days
  • Submit assignments by their corresponding deadlines

The instructor will :

  • Log in to the course at least 6 times per week
  • Respond to discussion boards postings within 2 days
  • Respond to Blackboard mail messages within 2 days
  • Grade assignments within 7-14 days of the assignment deadline
Course Communication

Communication in this course will take place viaBlackboard mail messages only.

Messages are a private and secure text-based communication that occurs within a Course and among Course members. Users must log on to Blackboard to send/receive/read messages. The Messages tool is located on the left side Course Menu (Blackboard user interface). It is recommended that students check their messages routinely to ensure up-to-date communication. There are no notifications in Blackboard to inform users when a new message has been received; therefore, it is recommended that students check their messages routinely to ensure up-to-date communication.

For more information on professional writing and technical communication click here.

Discussion Forums

Keep in mind that forum discussions are public, and care should be taken when determining what to post.

Introduction Forum:

  • Students should introduce themselves using the guidelines that will be posted in this forum

Questions & Problems Forum:

  • Students may post general questions about assignments and concepts
  • Students must NOT post any assignment files or any formulas or answers to any assignment tasks
  • Students may post responses to help fellow students but may NOT post any assignment files or any formulas or answers to assignment tasks.
  • Instructor will post responses to these questions
  • Instructor will also post hints & helps for most projects, exam study guides, and other important announcements
  • Available dates (unlimited)
  • Forums are not graded – they are there to assist you

In order to mitigate any issues with your computer and online assessments, it is very important that you take the "Practice Quiz" from each computer you will be using to take your graded quizzes and exams. It is your responsibility to make sure your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements.

Extra credit quiz

  • Available only during the first 2 weeks of the course
  • This is a 10-question, 10-minute quiz based on your reading and understanding of the syllabus and the Instructions for Completing Course CGS 2518 document
  • This will be the only extra credit opportunity for this course
  • Each correct answer on this quiz is worth 0.1 points added to your final course average at the end of the semester. A perfect score on the quiz will earn +1 points; 9 correct answers will earn 0.9 points added to your final average, and so on.

Assessments in this course are not compatible with mobile devices and should not be taken through a mobile phone or a tablet. If you need further assistance please contact FIU Online Support Services.



  • There are 6 graded projects for this course. You must work through one or more chapter tutorials in the textbook in order to be prepared to complete each project.
  • See the schedule below for due dates
  • There is a 24-hour grace period after the due date, during which you can still submit the project via the Assignment Dropbox. A 5-point penalty may be assessed at the discretion of the instructor.
  • No projects may be submitted after the grace period without the permission of the instructor. Late penalties will be assessed at the discretion of the instructor.
  • Each graded project must be done individually – no group work is allowed.
  • All projects are submitted into the Blackboard Assignment drop box
  • Projects are graded based on completion of all steps in the instructions, using the correct techniques as introduced in the tutorials.
  • Project grades are usually posted in approximately 14 days after the due date, depending on the number of students enrolled in the course.
Adobe Connect Pro Meeting

The Adobe Connect Pro Meeting is an online meeting room in which you can interact with your Professor and fellow students by sharing your computer, screens or files, chat, broadcast live audio and take part in other interactive online activities.

Requirements for using Adobe Connect Pro Meeting:

  • Disable any window pop-up blocker.
  • Adobe Flash Player is required to successfully run your Connect Pro meeting. You can test your computer to make sure that you are set up with all of the tools you will need to participate in the meeting.
  • Use of a combination headset and microphone with USB connection is recommended to ensure quality sound and reduce technical difficulties.

Please click here for additional information on Adobe Connect (Tutorials & Help).

Course RequirementsWeight
Projects (6 projects at 5% each)30%
Midterm Exam35%
Final Exam35%
AAbove 93B-81-83D+67 - 70
A-91 - 92C+77 - 80D64 - 66
B+87 - 90C74 - 76D-61 - 63
B84 - 86C-71 - 73F< 61
Module Weekly Schedule
Module 1-2
Aug. 20 - Sept. 16

To-Do List:

  • Install Office 2010 software
  • Read Instructions for Completing Course CGS 2518
  • Read syllabus
  • Take extra credit quiz
  • Complete Practice Project submission
  • Complete Getting Started with Microsoft Office 2010, pp. OFF-1 to OFF-32
  • Complete Getting Started with Excel, pp. EX-1 to EX-56

Module Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the basic skills to navigate and use Microsoft Office programs
  • Identify the common features and actions within the various Office programs
  • Learn basic navigation and data entry techniques within Excel
  • Learn commands and features
Module 3
Sept. 17- Sept. 23

To-Do List:

  • Complete Excel Tutorial 2: Formatting a Workbook, pp. EX-57 to EX-114

Module Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to apply attractive formatting to spreadsheets
  • Learn how to format numbers, dates, and text appropriately
  • Learn how to copy format
Module 4
Sept. 24 – Sept. 30

To-Do List:

  • Complete Excel Tutorial 3: Working with Formulas and Functions, pp. EX-115 to EX-168
  • Complete and submit Project 1 by Sept. 30, 2012

Module Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about cell references and how to use functions in formulas
  • Learn how to use the autofill feature
  • Learn how to use logical, date, and financial functions
Module 5
Oct. 1 – Oct. 7

To-Do List:

  • Complete Excel Tutorial 4: Working with Charts and Graphics, pp. EX-169 to EX-232
  • Complete and submit Project 2 by Oct. 7, 2012

Module Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to create pie, line, and column charts and format them
  • Learn how to create sparklines and data bars
Module 6
Oct. 8 – Oct. 14

To-Do List:

  • Complete Excel Tutorial 5: Working with Excel Tables, PivotTables, and PivotCharts, pp. EX-233 to EX-300
  • Complete and submit Project 3 by Oct. 14, 2012

Module Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to create structured ranges, Excel tables, pivot tables, slicers and pivot charts
  • Learn how to sort and filter data in an Excel table
Oct. 15 – Oct. 21

To-Do List:

  • Review for midterm exam: Excel Tutorials 1-5 are included in this exam
  • MIDTERM EXAM GIVEN ON-CAMPUS on Oct. 20, 2012 (time and location will be announced online)
Oct. 22 – Oct. 23 (note shortened time frame for this module)

To-Do List:

  • Complete Excel Tutorial 6: Managing Multiple Worksheets and Workbooks, pp. EX-301 to EX-362

Module Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to group worksheets, copy worksheets, reference cells in other worksheets
  • Learn how to create 3-D references, and link workbooks
Oct. 24 - Oct. 28 (note shortened time frame for this module)

To-Do List:

  • Complete Excel Tutorial 7: Using Advanced Functions, Conditional Formatting, & Filtering, pp. EX-363 to EX-418
  • Complete and submit Project 4 by Oct. 28, 2012

Module Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to use logical functions IF, AND, OR, and how to nest them
  • Learn how to use VLOOKUP and conditional formatting rules
Oct. 29 – Nov. 4

To-Do List:

  • Complete Excel Tutorial 8: Developing an Excel Application (Session 8.1 only), pp. EX-419 to EX-435

Module Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to created named ranges
Nov. 5 – Nov. 11

To-Do List:

  • Complete Excel Tutorial 9: Developing a Financial Analysis, pp. EX-489 to EX-550
  • Complete and submit Project 5 by Nov. 11, 2012

Module Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to use the PMT, FV, NPER, RATE, NPV, and IRR financial functions
  • Learn how to interpolate and extrapolate series of values
Nov. 12 – Nov. 18

To-Do List:

  • Complete Excel Tutorial 10: Performing What-If Analyses, pp. EX-551 to EX-612
  • Complete and submit Project 6 by Nov. 18, 2012

Module Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about CVP relationships, break even points, scenarios, price elasticity of demand
  • Learn how to use Goal Seek, one- and two-variable data tables, Scenario Manager, and Solver
Nov. 19 – Nov. 25

To-Do List:

  • Complete Excel Tutorial 11: Connecting to External Data, pp. EX-613 to EX-682

Module Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to import data from text files, define trusted locations
  • Learn about databases and queries
December 1

To-Do List:

  • FINAL EXAM GIVEN ON-CAMPUS on DECEMBER 1, 2012 (time and location will be announced online)
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