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Back to Excel/VBA for Creative Problem Solving, Part 1

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Excel/VBA for Creative Problem Solving, Part 1 by University of Colorado Boulder

3,958 ratings

About the Course

"Excel/VBA for Creative Problem Solving, Part 1" is aimed at learners who are seeking to augment, expand, optimize, and increase the efficiency of their Excel spreadsheet skills by tapping into the powerful programming, automation, and customization capabilities available with Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). This course is the first part of a three-part series and Specialization that focuses on the application of computing techniques in Excel/VBA to solve problems. In this course (Part 1), you will: 1) create macros to automate procedures in Excel; 2) define your own user-defined functions; 3) create basic subroutines to interface with the user; 4) learn the basic programming structures in VBA; and 5) automate Excel’s Goal Seek and Solver tools and use numerical techniques to create “live solutions” to solve targeting and optimization problems. New to computer programming? The extremely intuitive and visual nature of VBA lends itself nicely to teaching and learning - what a fun way to learn to code! No prior knowledge in programming nor advanced math skills are necessary yet seasoned programmers will pick up new and creative spreadsheet problem solving strategies. After you have learned the basics of VBA, each module will introduce foundational and broad problems inspired by situations that you might encounter in the real world. To pass each module, you'll need to pass a mastery quiz and complete a problem solving assignment. This course is unique in that the weekly assignments are completed in-application (i.e., on your own computer in Excel), providing you with valuable hands-on training....

Top reviews


Jan 26, 2018

Great course! I like it goes straight to implementation and is practice-oriented. What could be improved maybe is sound quality of lectures. And maybe it would be great to have some VBA notes in pdf.


Jan 18, 2020

Great course!! For a Part I it introduces you to useful functions and ways to approach different kind of problems. Challenging course but reasonable with low algebra. Exactly what I was looking for.

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1 - 25 of 1,131 Reviews for Excel/VBA for Creative Problem Solving, Part 1

By Leland R

Jul 5, 2018

I'm not one to write reviews - this course is fantastic and a game changer. Prof Nuttelman is a very engaging speaker and makes what could seem a very dry topic come across as interesting, fascin

By Brianna S

Mar 15, 2020

I really enjoyed this class! I found it extremely challenging but doable! I would recommend for the INSTRUCTOR - if you can post powerpoint lectures in addition to the video tutorials. Or some type of worksheet where you have the slides (I know this may be hard since your screencasts are more active), but it would have been helpful for me since I was actively taking notes through your screencasts and it took me a lot longer when I would have to screenshot certain parts and didn't always catch the full code or if there was a bug in your code and you went on to modify it later and I would have to adjust the screenshots. I'm not sure how helpful/necessary this would be for other students, but I would have really appreciated this. If you would like me to show you my notes or explain further you can email me at

ALSO, I started to need more help in the last problem of week 3 and then all of week 4, I wish there was a TA or someone readily available to help me. Although when I emailed you, you responded quickly. I just felt bad bothering you.

For the STUDENTS - just make sure you are staying on top of your work load. I started to fall behind during week 4 because I found it extremely difficult. I would just recommend taking detailed notes as much as you can.

By Terry H

Jul 28, 2019

Programming VBA for Excel requires three skills; knowledge of the application object model, knowledge of Excel, and knowledge of programming. Even skilled programmers familiar with Excel can be overwhelmed when tying all three skills together so creating an introduction class for the novice is a challenge. This course succeeds at not over whelming the student.

This course takes a balanced approached and gently guides the student into a dance with the subject matter using some very interesting techniques and examples from typical engineering problems. It covers the right amount of instruction for the VBA editor and the interaction of data and variables between the editor and Excel. It covers functions and subroutines, the scope and types of variables at a useful enough level, without getting too deep.

Because the instructor is an engineer he includes several simple but powerful numerical methods and the use of both Solver and GoalSeek into the course. Since I am an engineer and enjoy numerical methods I especially like this and would enjoy a course that might be described as “Numerical Recipes in VBA” .

I would recommend this course to novices seeking an introduction through to experienced users wanting a deeper understanding and foundation for future work in VBA for Excel.

By shane n

Jun 20, 2020

Not very clear, jumps straight into advance debugging before the format and layout has even been discussed. The course is suppose to be for someone learning the very basics, but yet we are learning advanced de bugging techniques in the first week. We have not even start writing simple VBA macros yet...

By S D

Jul 14, 2020

The course focuses too much on implementing math formulas instead of the power of VBA as a tool for automation and data manipulation. It's a shame as it's the only course on vba on Coursera. VBA has amazing uses but this course does not get straight into the VBA, instead the focus is on mathematical application which should be a completely different course

By Juan G

Jan 3, 2019

Very comprehensive course on VBA with lots of comments and available files to follow 'by doing' most of the examples. Engineer-oriented examples which are rumping up their complexity.

At the end of each Week, there is a quiz with detailed comments to understand each question and at the end of each Week there is also an Assignment which has to be well sorted out!

By Pujan P

Apr 19, 2020

The pattern of course is really nice.It first teaches all the basic information in video and the assignments are designed in a way that all the taught information are used to solve the assignment.

By Vaughan P

Apr 4, 2020

i have tried the to take this course several times and there is not enough information to pass the quizzes, this course is not for beginners

By Huy P T

Dec 6, 2019

The best course out there for learning MS Excel/VBA. Mr. Nuttelman is so passionate about teaching this subject, and you can tell this by doing the assignments. For example, after finishing the first assignment, I wanted a quick way to get the certificate. So I decided to look at the VBA script in his GRADER file, hoping to be able to change the content. Nope, he locked it with his password. So I had to look for a way to crack the it. Surprisingly, this was actually the best way to learn how to code in VBA because I had to understand the steps and every line of code. Finally, here's the password: nutsnutsColorado80309 (the last digits turns out to be the zip code of the university).

By Ron G

Jul 8, 2020

I am a business/finance person. I am getting very hung up on the VBA trig function names, which are different than Excel function names [sqr(), arctan], being used in the examples. I am not getting how something works because I am not understanding the trig functions. I may have to move on to a class that is more business oriented.

The few minutes in class has shown me that I can make some of my complex spreadsheets more user friendly by creating functions to replace some lengthy formulas. I am just going to have to learn syntax in a forum that is more oriented to what I do. My goal is that the end user will only have to input the function rather than a huge formula. Thank you for sharing this vision with me.

By Raffaele M

Jun 15, 2018

Lots and lots and lots of errors, in the slides, in the speech, and also in the quizzes (with the author writing ("I need to fix that"). Part 5 really interesting.

By Josh M

Feb 14, 2021

Would give zero stars if I could. Assignment #1 had technical problems. Reached out for help and got no response. Thanks for taking my money.

By Rita

Dec 20, 2019

Only for engineers. Very disappointing experience. Save your money unless you are looking to compute square roots and exponentials of pi.

By Nicholas C

May 17, 2021

Products do not work on Mac and course creator does not respond to the forums when people have issues.

By Andrew W

May 16, 2019

This is a very good introductory course to Excel VBA. I enjoyed the professor and the assignments. He also seems to enjoy the material. My only (minor) critique would be that I think that there were a number of places where what was emphasized in the reading and lectures was fairly different than what was asked on the quizzes. The quizzes cover much more of the minutiae than you might be led to believe by the screencasts. Once you've taken a few of the quizzes, though, you start to know the types of things to look for in the lectures. I would highly recommend this class and intend to take the others in the series.

By Zhou P

May 1, 2019

The course materials are very well prepared and idiot-proof, easy-to-follow. How scarce is such a tutor that who is really putting students' shoes on to provide such insightful screencasts. He even went on extra miles to share with us the reflection on the quiz/homework so as to ensure you really digest what he'd taught. In fact I found it rather useful that I got to clear the ambiguities that blur the boundary between understand and not-understand, not just to get a passing marks. True learning beyond getting certs, I would strongly recommend this course.

By Mruthyunjaya H S

Apr 20, 2019

The instructor makes it comfortable for any person to understand the concept.

I'm completely new to coding. Every lesson is well explained and practice courses help a lot. Exams make sure that we have actually grasped the concept.

Thank you Charlie Nuttelman :)

By Marija S

Jan 27, 2018

Great course! I like it goes straight to implementation and is practice-oriented. What could be improved maybe is sound quality of lectures. And maybe it would be great to have some VBA notes in pdf.

By James H

Apr 3, 2020

Very good course with clear examples throughout to help you develop. The online format of the course is great as it allows you to pause and work through the activities presented at your own speed.


Nov 15, 2019

Very good courses set up and I learned basic knowledge about VBA. The deduction of 1 star is because I wish I can get the PPT available to download :) Still highly recommended for this course!


Jul 4, 2021

The course is quite interesting and at times, seems beyond the bounds of comprehension as the instructor teaches a few portion that need to be taught at a later period of time. My tip is to just cling on to the screencasts, try to answer the in-video quizzes and note the incorrect answers with explanations in a notebook. Also the course is maths intensive, but try to complete week 5. The instructor is quite knowledgeable and provides new techniques and tricks to solve problems. All in all, a good course.

By Volker G

Dec 30, 2018

Nice one. Since I work in a business environment and university is long ago, I was sometimes stuggling with the maths.

Maybe a little more layout for input / output interface like in the intro would have been nice for my kind of usage. But overall nice course.

With the setup of a test and an assignement you really learn something and not just click through. Well done.

By Aditya A S

Jun 23, 2020

The content of too basic, the instructor was amazing. I loved the assignment submission procedure. The course was very well made and is definitely one of the bests on Coursera.

Thank you, and if you read this, I request you all to visit this, here you'll definitely find something impressive to learn.

By Rob B

Jan 20, 2019

Overall a great course. The algebra in the first two weeks seemed a little overly intense and unnecessary. But once you get through that, the course becomes more approachable. I feel like I received really good exposure to the concepts, but will definitely need more time and experience to master them.