Spreadsheets – Challenge Based Learning

Over the past few weeks my pupils have mastered some pretty tricky aspects of Microsoft Excel.

The pupils were set the challenge of seeing how a self marking maths quiz worked.
The spreadsheet had a hidden column which calculated the correct answer of the maths problem. An ‘IF’ function compared the actual answer with the user entered value. The ‘IF’ statement then toggled the feedback between ‘Correct’ or ‘Wrong – Try again’.

The children discovered within 15-20 minutes how the spreadsheet worked and were able to use their newly found knowledge to create their own self marking maths quizzes.

Further challenges included:
Using conditional formatting to highlight the feedback comments.
Inserting the รท symbol into the displayed problem (while retaining the / in the formula).

All groups were able to solve all of these challenges and support each other in the process.

One group managed to take it a stage further by protecting all cells except for the user entry cells.
The most gratifying part of all of this was that, save for a few timely hints, they had discovered it all for themselves.
(& The conditional formatting is most complicated in the new version of Excel!)