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Needs Assessment

Statement of Intent

The purpose of this mini-course is to help students to use Microsoft Excel to complete statistical analysis with a focus on measures of central tendency and histograms.

Instructional Problem

Students in the 21st century need to be able to use technology to problem solve and should be introduced to such methods before leaving high school.

Gathering Information

It is no question that students enrolled in schools now are more tech-savvy then ever. Literature shows that students who use Microsoft Excel in their math classes enjoy their time in the lab and felt that the Excel assignments increased their understanding of the math topic at hand (Neurath, R.A. & Stephens, L.J., 2006). In the study by Neurath and Stephens (2006) students in an experimental algebra class were given assignments that they had to complete using Microsoft Excel every other week. When tested against students who did not go to the lab results indicated that the spread from the highest to lowest grade was less significant in the experimental group then the control group.

In another study conducted by Christensen and Stephens (2003) students in an experimental statistics course were given access to Microsoft excel to complete different assignments. They were then given the same tests as students in a control group without Excel. Results indicated that students who used Excel did better on the tests than the students who did not use Excel (Christensen, A.R. & Stephens, L.J., 2003). Students in the experimental group were given a survey and indicated that they enjoyed the course more because of the use of computers, felt Excel increased their understanding of statistics, and would recommend that Excel is used in the future.

Types of Learners

The intended learners are high school math students. The intended reader is the high school math student.

Instructional Context

Each learner will have access to a computer with Microsoft Excel 2007 and the internet.

Instructional Content

  • What does Microsft Excel 2007 look like?
  • What are formulas and how do we use them?
  • How do we enter data into a spreadsheet?
  • How can charts be created in Excel?


At the completion of this course:

  • The participant will be able to use Microsoft Excel to create spreadsheets which display and organize statistical data.
  • The participant will be able to use formulas to compute data in Microsoft Excel.
  • The participant will be able to use formulas to create a frequency table which will allow them to create a histogram chart.

Task Analysis


To introduce students to the basics of Microsoft Excel 2007 by completing a Statistics Activity.

Essential Prerequisites

  • Knowledge of statistics including:
    • Mean, Median, Mode
    • Quartiles
    • Frequency Tables and Histograms
  • Ability to navigate the internet

Supportive Prerequisites

  • Willingness to explore and learn new things.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office products.

Curriculum Map

Media:Curriculum Map Keiper.pdf



  • Christensen, A.R., & Stephens, L.J. (2003). Microsoft Excel as a supplement in a high school statistics course. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 36(6), 881-885
  • Neurath, R.A., & Stephens, L.J. (2006). The effect of using Microsoft Excel in a high school algebra class. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Techonology, 37(6), 721-756.


Back to Nichole Keiper Course Using Excel for Statistics