Online Course Evaluation: Intro to Data Analysis

Introduction to Data Analysis Using Excel is available on edX. Users can learn how to use the features in Excel to process data. The course is free and self-paced. This evaluation covers unit 1. The rubric that I used is from Quality Matters.

My thoughts: Unless you’re incredibly motivated to learn Excel or are already familiar with the program, this course will be frustrating. The content of the video poorly aligned with the type of questions asked on the quiz and what students were expected to do in the lab exercise. The supplemental reading materials were not that helpful, which were links to Microsoft support for Excel. In general visual references would be more effective if users are not familiar with the program’s interface. As a result, I found the lab exercises difficult to complete. It’s pretty clear that the course designers wanted the users to learn three skills manipulating the data into graphical charts. It would have been more effective to demonstrate these skills using a 3-minute video using a screen recording software and then providing sets of data for users to practice , instead figuring out what the technical terms mean and then guessing how to perform the action. Having the quiz after students had a chance to experiment with the data and charts would seem more logical. Being that this course was self-paced and poorly organized, resolving problems without an instructor were particularly acute.

The course is also accessible though smartphones by installing the edX mobile app. However, viewing the data on the spreadsheet was difficult. I didn’t download the mobile version of Excel to see if the data could be converted into graphs using the touchscreen and fingers. Assuming that it can do that, another recommendation would be to simplify the data for the mobile version and putting each data set on a separate sheet. edX has other courses that are specifically designed mobile devices.

2=well aligned, 1=some alignment, 0=no alignment

Course Introduction Grade


1.2 Students are introduced to the purpose and structure of course 2 Overiew of the course also includes the purpose and course objectives/outcomes; syllabus
1.4 Course policies with which learner is expected to comply are clearly stated 1 Recommended effort 2-4 hours per week
1.5 Technology requirements 2 Previous excel programs are compatible
1.7 Instructor self-introduction 1 Image with short description
Learning Objectives
2.1 Course objectives and outcomes are measurable 2 Create, represent, calculate, filter
2.2 Module level objectives aligns with course level objectives 2 From what I could tell yes: perform data analysis using tools in Excel
Assessment and measurement
3.1 Assessments measure learning objectives and consistent with course activities and resources 2 Quizzes and lab exercises
3.3 Specific descriptive criteria used for evaluation of learner’s work 1 Stated how overall grades are calculated; No mentioned of how exercises will be graded
3.4 Assessment instruments are sequenced and varied 2 Quizzes and exercises
Course Activities and Learner Interactions
5.1 Learning activities promote achievement of stated objectives 1 The idea is good but video poorly demonstrates the skills that are needed
Additional comments:


Discussion boards are provided but designed for students express their opinions; they retitle to Help Board

Unit 1: Introduction to reporting in Excel

  • Lectures are professionally made; also with English subtitles; 8 minute video
  • Quiz not very clear; ambiguous answer choices and video content does not match information covered in quiz
  • Lab is downloadable Excel exercises with data; 3 exercises to practice the skills and learn how to use features in Excel. Problem #1:
For the “Yearly Category Revenue” display the total for each year as a separate line.


1. Create a total line in the range B7 to H7 Didn’t understand how to do this; not explained in the video
2. Select the “Yearly Category Revenue” chart.
3. The data source for the chart is highlighted.
4. Drag the highlighted selection to include the total row (B7 to H7) Didn’t understand how to do this; not explained in the video



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