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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

3,675 ratings
1,048 reviews

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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26 - 50 of 1,058 Reviews for Excel/VBA for Creative Problem Solving, Part 1

By Benjamin M

Jun 4, 2020

A very average course for learning the foundations of VBA. Charlie is obviously self-taught with experience pertaining to only his own creations, and his first course is needlessly math heavy. There are far better courses to learn the fundamentals out there. Don't get a Coursera sub for this course alone.

If, like me, you know a bit of VBA already and want a qualification to put on your CV and (maybe) fill in some knowledge gaps then it's OK, but the lack of teaching even basic conventions such as code indentation will irk you. The assignments even rely on the fact that you won't fully qualify your writes to the spreadsheet.

By Heidi B

May 17, 2018

This a a good class for learning the basics of VBA. It would have been nice to have some reference material to look back on other than the screen casts/transcript.

By David L G L

Feb 27, 2021

its more suitable for engineering

By Cameron S

Dec 19, 2020

The course needs to cater for the general public instead of engineers or professionals. Many learners are people looking for solutions to improve and make their daily tasks more efficient, not learn how to write lengthy formulas. I would highly recommend to extend the duration of the course and start from the real basics including VBA terminology, structure and requirements. There is not enough video content with examples to explain the reasons for writing code in a specific way. Harsh reality is that I would not recommend this course to anyone.

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 John K

Aug 8, 2020

Not what u was looking for

I want to withdraw from the course

Please advise soonest how to cancel

Thank you

Regards John Keszler

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 R_D

Aug 30, 2020

Help is very poor and one way or high way is the approach.

By Ali U

Jun 16, 2020

Very Bad explanation of things and quizzes to

By Khoo H M S

Jun 30, 2021

G​litchy, instructors are not responsive

By Jessica H

Nov 19, 2021

Note: This review covers the entire Specialisation, not just Part 1. Thank you to the course creator/lecturer, Charlie Nuttelman. This Specialisation was incredibly useful to me as a novice programmer. Unlike some of the other free/low cost online content out there on VBA this course is well-structured and rigorous enough to actually gain a solid foundation in programming concepts, and more importantly to be able to apply the material to real world situations. I've only just completed the course but have already created a couple of macro-based report collation tools at work that have been very well received since they save time and improve accuracy. I have a couple of other bigger projects I'm now planning at work, which have long been an ambition of mine but out of my league until now.

The course really is quite challenging (if you have experience in another program it will probably come much easier for you!) and one really does have to think and try things out in the assignments and later projects to get an outcome - which is important since that's what it'll be like writing VBA in the wild!

The video content is very well presented and well-thought out and Charlie's passion for maths, programming and creative solutions really shone through. The content is structured logically, with a good progression in difficulty moving along the weeks and parts.

Another great thing about this course is that rather than get bogged down in the minutiae of every VBA term/syntax it focuses on broad programming concepts such as loops, iteration, arrays and debugging/problem solving. So I'm now feeling much more confident to get into learning other languages I have in my future learning goals

By Istvan K

Sep 12, 2021

I​ am giving this course 5 stars, because it is really in depth. I have studied vba before, did other online courses, but this one stands out. Thanks to the quizzies and assignments the material in the lessons gets stuck in ones head a lot easier, than in other courses I have done. One criticism though: I have only completed the mandatory 4 weeks from part 1. I intend to do week 5 as well, though I am not certain I will make it until deadline. I checked the other two parts of the specialization and as far as I can tell, EVENTS are completely neglected/left out, eventhough they are a very importnat part of automating things with vba. So if I am not mistaken and they are not inculded, the whole specialization only will get 4 stars. Part 1 has earned 5 though, they are well deserved.

By Darren R

Apr 10, 2019

This is an excellent course. One of the best I've taken. The pacing and level of challenge are perfect. Not too easy, not impossible. There are no surprises in the quizzes or assignments. You will have everything you need to excel by watching and following along with the videos. Even though there is an engineering bias in the course, and I don't have an engineering background, Dr. Nuttelman ensures you'll have enough explanation to follow along and complete assignments.

Dr. Nuttelman has done a fine job in creating this course. It goes to show that all you need to create a great course is a great teacher, simple videos, clear audio, and engaging and appropriately challenging material. No gimmicks, no nonsense! This course delivers!

By Hui L H

Sep 8, 2019

This is an awesome course for me. I love the way Dr. Charlie teaches the course. He always goes through material step by step and re-cap a couple of important concept in the pop-up quizzes at the end or in the middle of the video to refresh your memory. You can see how the course is well thought-out by looking at the course schedule and after taking the class. For the function of my job, I need to use excel including formulas, optimization tool, VBA...etc. extensively but I have never been exposed to a complete training for it so this course is totally a livesaver for me. I highly recommended this course to people who need to excel for their job or people who are just interested in advanced excel skills. Thank you Dr. Charlie!!

By Matt F

Feb 27, 2018

Great class! I have been looking at increasing my Excel skills and wanted to learn VBA, however, I really could find a class that had what I needed. This class was what I was looking for, even though it is more engineering based. I highly recommend it for getting into VBA. I liked the mini quizzes and the assignments. They both help you learn and retain the material. Dr. Nuttelman was also very responsive. Had been staring at my VBA code too long and wasn't able to figure out why my code wasn't working correctly on one of the assignments. I sent it to Dr. Nuttelman and he was able to look over my code and point out the problem. Very quick turnaround on getting an answer too! I will be signing up for Part 2 of this course.

By Sanjeev B

Aug 17, 2018

I love how this course has been structured. VBA being a very expansive programming language can get very intimidating for beginners and there are plenty of course available about VBA where students quickly get overwhelmed or loose interest right from start. This course has been structured perfectly in getting rid of these two common issues.

Also, I love the solving/grading section (post quiz). It just allows the student to apply the knowledge gathered in a practical way, in order to pass on to the next level. Makes it fun and keeps the student interested in the course, needless to say that it inherently allows strengthening the fundamental concepts of VBA.

Great work professor Nuttelman, full marks to this course!

By Celso C F

Sep 1, 2019

Excellent course. This course teaches the mechanics of how to create macros/VBA subroutines, key concepts related to programming and very interesting examples on how to apply everything that was learned are given throughout the course. The explanations are clear, precise and easy to understand.

I have to confess that I was afraid about how challenging this course would be, because learning how to create Excel macros has always been a big deal for me. Professor Nuttelman does and excellent job in this course, even though the course is supposed to last 5 weeks, I was able to finish the 5 modules in 2 weeks.

I am now taking Part 2 of this course and, as soon as I finish it, I plan to start working on Part 3.

By Valerie W

Oct 17, 2020

This course is very comprehensive, and the hands on assignments give us plenty of opportunity to research and practice to fully comprehend what had been taught.

I had attended a 1 day basic VBA course previously with the professional body I was with before. It had been a confusing experience. Hence I really appreciate how each video gives bite size information from basic operators and logic of VBA, to the structure of the subroutine and functions, the flowcharts to guide the analytical planning of the codes for problem solving. I totally enjoyed this online course!

Highly recommended even if one has none or limited programming background. Some Excel knowledge would be helpful I feel. Awesome course.

By Nicolas M

Apr 27, 2020

First of all, I want to thank Professor Charlie Nuttelman, an excellent instructor who guided us in the first steps, of learning VBA, I liked the course, because it was orientated to engineers, the way he explained the algorithm. I have been programming for almost 3 years, but I learned other loops, like do until loop, do loop. and The final week, was so interesting. Because in my career civil engineering not only we have to optimize costs, but also we have to build strong and resistance structures. Also, it was very was useful in the bisection method, because we deal with a lot of non-linear equations, and we have to solve them numerically.

By Talal F

May 10, 2022

When i first saw this course on coursera i was not sure whether to take this course or not. Consequently I wasted my 3 months in surfing google and other websites but nowhere found any better and organized way of teaching VBA programming than this course. Today I completed Part 1 of this course and without any exaggeration it gave very much exposure towards VBA. Now I am willing to take Part2 and Part3 as well. The teacher is also very good in teaching, explains every concept in depth. Some topics were quite advance however it was a very good learning experience. Thanks to the teacher "Charlie Nuttelmen" and Coursera for amazing course !

By Matthew A

May 3, 2018

Fantastic course, 5-stars!

Possible improvements:

1) In section 5 when building the algorithms you could also add a check for convergence using a tolerance. The 20x for loop seems somewhat arbitrary. This is pretty easy to do, but might be a nice addition for people who haven't coded these algorithms before.

2) Not sure if this is possible, but there's a way to pass a function as a variable in VBA, then in section 5 you could build more generalized solver/optimization algorithms (as opposed to having to re-code the algorithm for each new function you encounter).

Again, great class learning a ton!

By Murtuza B

Dec 17, 2019

Really enjoyed the journey. Material is presented in a very lucid way. Also the grading style is innovative. It feels like you are finding the code to the lock which will lead you to the final treasure. One thing I would like to tell you all is, please complete the week 5 as well (it is optional). The real fun starts at week 5. The new and the fun things about excel is in week 5 material and tests. Also week 5 has all the real life applications of what you have learnt previously. I wish you all good luck. Also I would like to thank the creator for his time and great service.

By Archana M

Jun 17, 2020

The course was very insightful. Prof. Nuttleman kept up with his words of providing a challenging learning environment. The quizzes and assignments were superb! They really get your mind into thinking about solving a problem. Another good part is working with excellent examples - also to note that Prof. Nuttleman subtly demonstrates a live example by making the grading part itself in VBA! The course can be relatively easier for someone who already knows some programming, but it can also be a good path to begin with programming. I would totally recommend this course!

By Mertcan K

Mar 13, 2022

This course is quite beneficial. Dr. Nuttelman explained everything in an easy-to-understand way, so I had no trouble understanding. The videos, quizzes, tests, and projects are all quite useful. Those questions appear in the assignments and are similar to what you learn in class. The questions are neither too easy nor too difficult to answer, which is crucial for good learning, in my opinion. Thank you for developing such an excellent educational platform, Coursera. Dr. Nuttelman, thank you so much for explaining these things in such a clear and concise manner.

By Vinayak N

Jul 30, 2018

It taught me a lot of things in a short period of time and I look forward to using the knowledge in my day to day life for doing tedious things in an effective manner with short amount of time.

The instructor was concise and cogent and the assignments are designed to test your understanding of the concepts pretty nicely.

I feel the number of questions per assignment could be increased to give more practise or at least optional questions should be provided for interested people for the same purpose. Apart from that, great work, loved the course, Thanks Charlie!