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Required Materials
Learning Outcomes
Exams and Projects
Grading Policy

Required Materials Prometheus Series

You will complete all of your coursework using the Prometheus Series course materials available at The Prometheus Series is an online program that contains all of the course readings, tutorials, and assignments for this course. You must subscribe to the online course materials to complete this course.

Please complete the following steps to subscribe:

Please complete the following steps to create a user account:

For more information on accessing and using the course software, please reference the “Course Software: Getting Started” section of the course.

A note about web browsers:

When using MyEducator, Internet Explorer may prohibit downloaded Excel workbooks from working correctly. It is recommend to use one of the following browsers to download the MyEducator resource file(s):

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Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to do the following:

  1. Excel spreadsheet basics
    1. Construct an Excel spreadsheet with appropriate formulas, functions, labels, charts, media inserts, hyperlinks, and data base functions.
    2. Navigate the Excel environment by managing workbooks, worksheets, and cells.
    3. Perform statistical and financial calculations using formulas and functions in Excel.
    4. Output reports.
    5. Analyze data using logic and reference functions in Excel.
    6. Manipulate text, dates, and times using Excel functions.
    7. Develop appropriate and professional-looking charts using Excel.
  2. Excel spreadsheet modeling and advanced techniques
    1. Build spreadsheet models of common business processes.
    2. Build robust spreadsheet models of business problems in order to make rational, data-driven, effective managerial recommendations for solving those problems.
    3. Manipulate spreadsheet models of business problems to examine the robustness of proposed solutions to those problems.
    4. Implement macro programming techniques for automating spreadsheets in order to create flexible and powerful spreadsheet models of business problems.
    5. Evaluate the effect of changing the inputs to spreadsheet models on managerial decision-making.
    6. Perform optimization analysis using the Solver feature in Excel.
    7. Perform statistical analyses using functions in Excel to determine inputs for spreadsheet models.
  3. Access table basics
    1. Create database tables and relationships.
    2. Specify the appropriate field properties.
    3. Create and edit forms.
    4. Import data from external sources.
  4. Build appropriate spreadsheet models of business problems to make rational, data-driven managerial recommendations effectively solving those problems.
  5. Manipulate spreadsheet models of business problems to examine the robustness of proposed solutions to those solutions.  

“Unofficial” Learning Outcome

The learning outcomes above reflect the formal knowledge we plan to help you develop by the end of the course, which are assessed via exams and assignments and reported back for accreditation purposes. However, there is one other unofficial learning outcome I would like you to develop. This is unofficial because it is very difficult to evaluate.

You must learn how to find answers to your own technology questions and to solve your own problems. Yes, as your instructor, I am here to teach and to help. However, what makes someone a technology master is not that they know everything there is to know about IT. That is an impossibility because no other discipline changes faster than IS. You are a real master if you know how to find all of the answers to your IT problems. There is nothing more empowering than knowing that you don’t have to depend on others in order to succeed. Countless recruiters have stressed the importance of this skill to us. They want employees who know how to take the initiative to solve a problem and who can improve existing solutions.

An exclamation employees and students are much too casual about making when learning a new technology (or taking a course) is, “I am so confused!” The person making that statement often implies a jab at whoever may have caused the confusion rather than a sincere plea for help. What this statement implies to me (and managers) is that an employee or student is unwilling to put in the effort required on their part to process the information they have already been given or have access to (e.g., Google). Too often we want to blame others when the going gets a little tough. You have the power to be an IT master if you are willing to do a little research. That does not mean that you should never ask for help. When you have put forth adequate effort, I absolutely want you to ask me and the TAs for help. However, if you are one of those types who feels that “all technology hates me” (you know who you are), then I want you first to try forcing yourself to find some answers on your own.

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All of the homework instructions are contained in the assignment files you download from the MyEducator website. Use the “Assignment” menu item in the workbooks to access these instructions and to submit assignments for grading. Each of the homework assignments will require you to use the skills you have gained from working through the respective lessons. Please note that only the points earned on the Test Your Skills assignments will count toward your final grade in the class.

You will have two opportunities to complete each homework assignment. Your score will be the average between the two attempts. There is no time limit on the homework assignments.

You may also notice that chapter 9 is missing from your materials in the MyEducator e-book. This is not a mistake. I’ve asked MyEducator to remove that chapter (which covers PivotTables and PivotCharts) because it will be covered thoroughly in IS 201 (required for all Marriott School majors).

Contact your instructor at once you have completed every assignment in the course and let him know that you have completed all assignments in the course. He will then record your grade in this system which will allow you to request the final exam. You will not be able to take the final until he records your grade.

Microsoft Access

You’ll notice that Microsoft Access is not included on either the midterm or final exam. Rather, the homework chapter you will cover on Access will help prepare you for the database component at the beginning of IS 201 (which is required for all Marriott School majors). Therefore, I highly recommend that you take IS 201 immediately after taking this class. IS 201 is only a prerequisite for accounting and IS majors. All other students can take IS 201 at any time during their programs. However, you will learn valuable skills in IS 201 that will help you to get internships and will make other classes easier because you have the relevant technical skills. I have added this paragraph into the syllabus because I have lost count of the number of students who have lamented to me that their finance, supply chain, and other majors would have been much easier if they had taken IS 201 before their junior year.

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Exams and Projects


The midterm and final projects are basically extended assignments that will require all of the skills you have acquired throughout the course up to that point. The midterm covers Excel basics; formulas and functions; logic and reference; date, time, and text; and charting. The final project will cover basic modeling, advanced modeling, statistics, and optimization. The rules for exams are the same as those for homework.

Final Exam

This course includes a Final Exam. The final exam is short and only has 10 multiple choice questions. The questions are high level questions regarding the course content. If you have reviewed the course readings, you will have no problem passing the exam. The final exam will account for 6% of your final grade.

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Grading Policy

Assignments Points Possible
Getting Started 50
Excel Basics 100
Formulas and Functions 100
Logic and Reference 100
Date, Time, and Text 100
Charting 100
Basic Modeling 100
Advanced Modeling 100
Statistics 100
Optimization 100
PivotTables 100
Midcourse Project 200
Final Project 250
Final Exam 100
Total 1600

Grade Scale

Percentage Grade
A 93
A− 90
B+ 87
B 83
B− 80
C+ 77
C 73
C− 70
D+ 67
D 63
D− 60
E (fail) 0

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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