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

3,660 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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526 - 550 of 684 Reviews for Introduction to Spreadsheets and Models

By Rui R

Dec 26, 2020

some parts of the sessions are very confused

By Steve H

Mar 31, 2020

Very hard to plug in formulas on the quizes.


Dec 29, 2019

Students need more explanation and practice.

By Francisco J S M

Nov 21, 2017

Content is good but not practical enough


Aug 10, 2016

too superficial in the discussed ideas

By Patrick N

Oct 14, 2021

vague and minimal reviewing material

By Bei J

Jul 1, 2017

quiz design is extremely confusing

By Hector P

Apr 18, 2016

A bit too basic at the beginning.

By Scott

May 6, 2020

Quiz questions were ambiguous.


Aug 19, 2022

Peer-works would be usefull!

By 戎犀

Feb 13, 2018

Material is not deep enough.

By kasite u

Jun 30, 2021

quizzes were confusing

By Yousef A

Sep 9, 2022

needs more examples

By Viktor L

Mar 23, 2016

Good course overall

By Henrik Y

Jan 13, 2021

Very tough quizzes

By Thomas V

Oct 15, 2018

No implementation

By Yu P Y

Jun 2, 2016

Good introduction


Mar 18, 2016

Poor quize

By Shrenik V Z

Jan 10, 2018


By Orlando C

May 7, 2018

The Wharton School and Penn by extension has taken such tremendous effort to put together a great on-line offering. Some of their finest professors have made some of their rigorous coursework easily accessible via this platform.

This course however is one of the weakest that I have experienced both on this platform and from The Wharton School. The material covered is indeed dry in nature but the lectures - uninspiring - make it more so. The quizzes, designed to test your retention and understanding of material covered are ambiguously worded and not at all helpful in developing skill level around modeling. In more than one case, students are asked to write formulas that can use input data to create an output that will help make a decision. Many correct formulas are not recognized as correct by an overly rigid set of data in the grading system. That creates confusion - not helpful in developing skills.

Words such as "simplify" and "logical" appear in quizzes. These words are subjective, so the "logic" of a student may be different from the "logic" of the professor. Again, creates confusion.

It could be that one of the objectives of the professor is to get the student to think differently about modeling so as not to be overly linear. If that is the case, that is a good objective. However, whatever the objectives are - they are not clear nor directly put.

If you have little experience with financial models you will likely find this course to be both confusing and frustrating. If you have had some exposure to financial models you may find this course to be even more confusing and frustrating.

By David A

Jun 7, 2020

Pros: -Learned some new Excel shortcuts and tricks

-What-if Analysis and Solver

-Random variables and Monte Carlo Sim

Cons: -The combination of boring lectures and next to no screen aids, as well as bare bones "slides" seemed like the course was setting students up for failure. Minimal effort toward the learning process, just lectures and working in Excel.

-Not a single "fill in the formula" quiz question was marked correct, even though I took the formulas directly from the Excel sheet (modified of course for the example cells in the questions). My only explanation for this was that maybe there is only one "correct" answer that can be input? So if I say C8*H3 and he says H3*C8 maybe it's wrong?

-The prof enjoys writing (and sometimes speaking) at a very high level. Complex wording and sentences that span 3 or 4 lines are difficult to decode. I found myself reading one of the quiz questions 5 times in a row trying to figure out what he was actually looking for. We understand, you have a PhD. State the question simply. True communication is the response you get. I felt he was trying to force people to decode his complicated writing instead of helping us to understand the concepts. Student understanding should be of greater concern than complex sentence structure.

Overall: I would only recommend this class if you really want to learn some new excel functions and need to know linear models and Monte Carlo simulations. Even then, I would exhaust other resources first.

By A J

Jan 24, 2023

I have completed several of the other modules in this course and the lecture/videos content was well planned out and detailed. The quiz at the end of each week covered the content, challenged, but the questions we clear and always had a clear answer (once the content want understood) - This is required when you're answering multiple choice questions.

Introduction to Spreadsheets and Models on the other hand was terrible, i am self taught in Excel, so i wanted to polish my skills and fill in some gaps, i found the content skimmed over points, didn't always make it clear why you would use certain techniques or methods. The quizzes in this module at the end of each week were even worse than the lectures, the questions were some times ambiguous (which isn't what you need with multiple choices), perhaps due to the limitations of the platform you couldn't have interactive excel questions and answers - well then you need to structure the questions differently - i am certain my formula is correct, but it's marked incorrectly due to, i am still not clear, lower case usage perhaps? You could ask a question where the use of formula is required to give a single answer, which can either be right or wrong. To format the module in this way is just unimaginative.

By Geir E A A

Aug 26, 2018

Unfortunately, I have to say I was disappointed with this course. Especially right after doing the "Foundations to Quantitative Modeling", which held a high standard containing very thorough- and clear instructions. I felt that parts of this course were not explained thoroughly enough which made it feel very "jumpy" and abstract. -This was then later verified in the tests where the question/thought; "did he even go though this?" often arose. Furthermore, the excel sheet that can be opened by oneself, on the side of listening to the videos, or reading the lessons, sometimes didn't fully match the one you saw in the video lesson. -For example; the reference points could be different.

Now I'm hoping the next course is more like the first one, which I very much enjoyed!

By Valentin Z

Sep 23, 2017

Contents of this part of the Specialization looked very promising (especially after a brilliant first part) but in reality this Introduction is shallow, rather monotonous, and I always had a feeling that it's like a patchwork and not something integral. The best part is that it doesn't take too long to complete, and the bulk of the time you spend decyphering the meaning of the questions in quizes (and at least some commentaries in answers would be great because this is not an exact science like math and there are a lot of possibilities for interpretations) . All in all, there are a lot of much more useful courses on Excel for models. I hope that other parts of the specialization will be closer to the 1st one.

By Dionysios Z

Nov 1, 2016

Some of the ideas discussed are useful & new to me like linear programming and what-if analysis. The content is more suited to this specialization context instead of teaching excel in general so in case you are looking to learn excel, this is not a great course. I didn't like the quizzes, most of the questions added no value. My suggestion to the instructors would be less questions on the quizzes and more relevant to what you teach. I wouldn't complete the course if it wasn't a part of the specialization that I am attending.