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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Spreadsheets and Models by University of Pennsylvania

3,763 ratings

About the Course

The simple spreadsheet is one of the most powerful data analysis tools that exists, and it’s available to almost anyone. Major corporations and small businesses alike use spreadsheet models to determine where key measures of their success are now, and where they are likely to be in the future. But in order to get the most out of a spreadsheet, you have the know-how to use it. This course is designed to give you an introduction to basic spreadsheet tools and formulas so that you can begin harness the power of spreadsheets to map the data you have now and to predict the data you may have in the future. Through short, easy-to-follow demonstrations, you’ll learn how to use Excel or Sheets so that you can begin to build models and decision trees in future courses in this Specialization. Basic familiarity with, and access to, Excel or Sheets is required....

Top reviews


Jun 21, 2017

This course has made me understand cost accounting, has provided a fresh perspective on how to solve some of the challenges i had with management accounting and as a bonus, made me love maths again :)


Jun 11, 2020

The course is worth the time , the faculty teaches you about some complicated advance formulae with so much clarity and ease that even beginners can be pro in excel related to business and finance.

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1 - 25 of 704 Reviews for Introduction to Spreadsheets and Models

By Rob P

Apr 19, 2019

Quizzes need to explain why some question answers are incorrect, or else learning is almost impossible.

By N B

Apr 21, 2019

The information is glossed over quickly and does not prepare the learners for the quiz questions at all. The quizzes are set up in such a manner that it is extremely difficult to learn from them. There is no feedback on written in answers, which makes it impossible to understand the mistake that was being made. The questions on the quiz were also more specific and demanding than any lecture or material from the course would suggest. Interesting material presented in a poor manner.

By Ravi D

May 21, 2019

The lectures are very thin, and questions very arbitrary. In the end I felt this course was very low value.

The tests themselves are poorly graded, obvious correct formula answers are marked wrong (tested my answers on excel).

The Teaching staff are not available. Most answers are 2-3 years old.

By Aditya P

Apr 6, 2019

No theory, Very vague. Questions asked unrelated to what the teacher said.

By Nicholas J C

Feb 10, 2019

Extremely content light. Quizzes are bizarre and basically rely that you go back to the lecture and find the one sentence where a comment was made. There's no interactivity. Really pales in comparison to the first course in the sequence. I really hope this specialization gets better or this will be a SLOG. I expected better from Wharton!

By Margaret B

Apr 7, 2016

What to say about this course? On the one hand, I learned a lot which merits the three stars. On the other hand, the quizzes were very poorly designed. It took me the maximum three tries on every single quiz to pass and I did just barely. Hey, this is EXCEL, not advanced calculus! Also, there were questions on the quiz that weren't even covered in the particular module. E.g., on quiz #1, there was a question about "objective functions" which the instructor didn't explain until the last course module. There were times when I questioned my own sanity until I read in the course discussions that others were experiencing the same issues. Before presenting this course again, TEST, TEST, TEST the quizzes and answers!! And if you're not going to allow for a range of correct answers or formatting variances, then change all questions to multiple choice where there's (maybe) a fighting chance of passing. I am immensely relieved this course is done and I can move on to the next one in the specialization--hoping it's better organized as was the Fundamentals course that Richard Waterman taught. I was fearful that a course in Excel was going to doom me for the rest of the specialization. Last recommendation: improve the presentation materials. Provide more details for reference purposes. Okay, I'm going to go relax, now, to recover from this trying experience....

By Andre B

May 5, 2020

Keeping in mind that this course should introduce spreadsheets and models, it is quite a discombobulated attempt at doing so. The 'models' are glossed over, and too much focus is placed on simple spreadsheet functions which can easily be learned via internet searches. The quizzes are riddled with ambiguity, potential solutions don't take into account multiple solution possibilities/variations such as optional excel function parameters, and numerical questions do not specify rounding requirements. This will likely lead to several attempts to pass the quizzes despite knowing the correct answer but not the specific solution required. Thus, making quizzes a chore rather than a test of knowledge. There is a disconnect between the material covered and the material tested, and there are inconsistencies between supplied spreadsheets and in-lecture examples. Additionally there is a notable error as the lecturer refers to the 'coefficient of determination' as the 'covariance' in one of the videos. Not something you want to hear when someone is teaching the interpretation of excel regression outputs. For anyone who has used Excel before (to do a calculation) and knows how search engines work, I would not recommend taking this course. You're better off just searching the syllabus sections online as there are tons of free resources that provide exactly the same information. There are plenty of websites that can not only teach you this content, but do so much more comprehensively and in an introductory business modelling context. All of that is provided freely online, with equivalent brevity and clarity to the lectures in this course. Other online course websites also offer much more comprehensive excel modelling and intro courses that 'blow the socks off' this one and for under 20 bucks when on sale (frequently)! The only acceptable reasons to take this course are: the specialization prerequisite, or you are interested in business but 'Excel' and 'Google' are undefined words to you.

By Loh T J

Jan 8, 2019

The slides were not informative.

By Hayk L

May 13, 2019

While the course can be useful to learn some modelling tricks with Excel, I found the quizz somehow badly designed for some questions, especially the one requiring entering formulas as in real life, a goal could be achieved using several different ways of writing formulas.

But otherwise, the teacher was clear and to the point.

By Adhitama B A

Jun 3, 2020

Very useful content but terribly demonstrated.

By Qixiang Y

Sep 30, 2019

Good content, but crappy quiz.

By Jeffrey C

May 24, 2020

Thought Don was a good speaker, the various examples were interesting and provided good variety for basic Excel business statistical analysis, which I believe was the purpose.

2 severe weaknesses:

1) Quizzes do not provide feedback on missed answers. I realize there is likely some concern about "giving the answers away". Therefore, once a passing grade has been obtained, the testing function should explain any and all mistakes made/or why the correct answers were correct in all iterations of the tests taken.

2) There were many references given to receiving samples of the model examples used in the course. I cannot find them anywhere; also I asked about this in the discussion section and NEVER received a reply from Wharton or Coursera.

These are significant deficiencies in teaching and customer service and remove 2 stars from my grace.

By Ahmad R S

Oct 11, 2021

I would like to give my honest review: The course video/content is basically good, the lecturer explain it clearly and I understand it. The problem is the quiz: First, for the question that requires an excel formula typing answer, I think the answer detector is only detect the ones that match exactly the same syntax with the answer's key so if you type =B*A it will be marked wrong if the key is =A*B; second, for question that allows multiple answers, even if you answer one of the option wrong, the point is zero, no pro-rate score for the correct answers; and the third and the most important is there is no feedback for the quiz, what process is in my answer went wrong, what options did i chose wrong, no there is nothing like that at all, and some question/issue not even explained in the course video/content so in some point i feel like the lesson is not sufficient to take the quiz. Overall, I have finished the course and i would give my gratitude to the lecturer and the team behind the course and hope there will be an improvement for this course in the future.

By Gitesh S

Apr 5, 2016

This course was very average to me. Compared to the first course in the specialization, Fundamentals of Quantitative Modeling, which was absolutely great.

What I liked:

Good info on the tools in excel that are needed.

What I didn't like:

Time spent on content that necessarily wasn't regarding models; the critical material was buried in videos and was very brief. More time should have been spent. Additionally the quiz questions were subjective at times based on what was said on video and the formula answers weren't correctly graded in many cases.

This course could have been much better, maybe I was just spoiled by the first course.

By Jesse U

Jun 3, 2020

The course is quite helpful and valuable, but i felt it could have had more context and content. The presenter Don, seemed to be reading off a script and lacked the personal touch or know how on the subject matter. Also in explaining the various funtionality, the spreadsheets were obviously pre-made, but this then led to some of the steps to be missed in being explained, how they were done etc.

By Leonard P

Jun 10, 2018

I am really trying to learn throughout my learning experience and I think I did throughout this course. However, I believe that there are certain irregularities within this framework, as questions in tests are not communicated properly and furthermore not fully articulated throughout the lectures. This is just to give one feedback and improve certain conditions for upcoming modules. Thank you very much for giving me some extra knowledge and good luck for the upcoming future.

By Guillermo E F

May 16, 2019

I felt modules 1 and 2 tests where a bit misleading in some questions. I think there could be better questions to assess the learning of those modules

By Nataliya

Apr 13, 2021

It's very quick and quizzes do not prepared properly.

By Evan H

May 11, 2019

I thought this was a great course. I have an undergraduate finance degree and it encompasses a lot of the econ/ math/ finance courses I took and actually shows you how all of these elements are applied. Eye opening for me and very helpful.

By Panagiotis G

Oct 22, 2017

Good and practical sessions

By Mthokozisi M

Jun 22, 2017

This course has made me understand cost accounting, has provided a fresh perspective on how to solve some of the challenges i had with management accounting and as a bonus, made me love maths again :)

By Richa S

Jul 30, 2021

This course is a must for all the learners who want to go ahead and achieve big because this course not just teaches you about financial scenarios etc. but the knowledge can be used in real life

By Byron H

Sep 12, 2017

So many tools that I knew existed and have tried to use the How-To's to learn how they work and until the Prof takes you through them one-at-a-time, they never make sense. Great Stuff!

By Steven B

Jan 1, 2019

Course content is generally very good, but could go a bit deeper on the formulation of optimization models, but that may be coming in future classes. Some quiz questions are a bit ambiguous, causes grades to be lower than what should be achievable.

By Prateek S

Dec 29, 2018