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Academic Overview

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this unit, students will have:

  • A sound knowledge of spreadsheet applications which will provide an understanding of business spreadsheet modelling for analysis, reporting and presentation of organisational data;
  • learnt to construct applications using VBA as the language for enhancing the appearance and useability of spreadsheet and database systems;
  • a knowledge of the use of relational databases for analysis, reporting and presentation of organisational information;
  • an appreciation that a knowledge of programming can be used to enhance the utility of office productivity software packages.

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

Assessment Summary

Examination (2 hours): 60%; In-semester assessment: 40%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Assignment 1 5% 11.00pm, 21 August 2011
Assignment 2 15% 11.00pm, 9 October 2011
Class Test 10% Week 8 lecture, 11.00am, 16th September
Tutorial tasks A maximum of 10% is awarded for the 12 weekly tutorials. During the relevant tutorial
Examination 1 60% To be advised

Teaching Approach

Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
This teaching and learning approach provides facilitated learning, practical exploration and peer learning.


Our feedback to You

Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
  • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
  • Graded assignments with comments
  • Test results and feedback
  • Solutions to tutes, labs and assignments

Your feedback to Us

Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:

Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

Recommended Resources


  • Microsoft Excel 2010, New Perspectives Series, Parsons, Oja, Ageloff and Carey, Comprehensive Edn., Course Technology.
  • Microsoft Access 2010, New Perspectives Series, Adamski, Hommel and Finnegan, Comprehensive Edn., Course Technology.

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0 Register for an FIT1013 lab - these start in week 1. No formal assessment is undertaken in Week 0
1 Unit information. Excel: Working with formulas and functions. Working with Excel tables. Analysing data: working with Excel tables, Pivot tables, Pivot Charts, filters including advanced filters, etc. Tutorial week 1: Unit intro. and Excel exercises.
2 More Excel functions: AND(), OR() and NOT(); Nested IF; VLookup(), Match(), Index(), IffError(), ISNA(), Choose(), Database functions. Excel: Range names, data validation, worksheet and workbook protection, macros - the macro recorder. Tutorial week 2
3 Excel: More on Decision support: Goal Seek, Data tables, breakeven analysis, Scenario Manager. ActiveX controls to help develop an Excel application. Tutorial week 3
4 Fundamentals of VBA programming - string variables, string concatenation. The InputBox function, MsgBox prompt, Val function. Object variables in Excel VBA. The Set statement. VBA examples. Variable scope. Tutorial week 4; Assignment 1 due 21 August 2011 at 11pm
5 VBA: Numeric variables. VBA coding examples using a ListBox. Using the WorksheetFunction Object, using worksheet functions in VBA. VBA Control structures, Selection, Selection Case. Nested Selection. Comparison, Relation and logical operators. UCase and LCase functions. Debugging code. Tutorial week 5
6 VBA: Date variables. Date functions: DateDiff, DateAdd, DateValue, TimeValue, Offset property of the Range object. Control structures, repetition. Do loop control structures. For..Next statement. For Each..Next statement. MsgBox function - Buttons argument. Customising screen elements. Custom GUIs - Creating User Forms. Form design. AddItem method for ListBox. Array variables and string manipulation functions. Tutorial week 6
7 Relational Database concepts: field, record, table, relational database, primary key, and foreign key. Query, Form, Report wizards. Compacting and repairing. Creating a database, table relationships, referential integrity. Database inconsistencies, cascade update, cascade delete. Tutorial week 7
8 Class Test Tutorial week 8; Class Test in week 8 lecture - 16 September 2011 at 11am
9 Introduction to queries, maintaining a database. Simple queries. The Expression builder. Calculated fields. Aggregate functions. More advanced queries: Pattern match. Like, In, Not operators. Parameter queries. Crosstab query. Find duplicates, find Unmatched, Top value queries. Lookup field Wizard. Input masks. Data validation. Tutorial week 9
10 Action queries, Indexes, Joins, SQL â Structured Query Language (brief). Joins. Indexes. Creating Custom Forms. Guest presenter. Tutorial week 10; Assignment 2 due 9 October 2011 at 11pm
11 Access macros, macro groups. Switchboards, command buttons. VBA for Access. Managing and securing a database. Tutorial week 11
12 Summary and revision. Tutorial week 12
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken in SWOT VAC
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your MUSO (Blackboard or Moodle) learning system.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

To pass a unit which includes an examination as part of the assessment a student must obtain:

  • 40% or more in the unit's examination, and
  • 40% or more in the unit's total non-examination assessment, and
  • an overall unit mark of 50% or more.

If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination total assessment, and the total mark for the unit is greater than 50% then a mark of no greater than 49-N will be recorded for the unit

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Assignment 1
    Data analysis using PivotTables.
    Criteria for assessment:

    The assessment for this assignment will be based on your ability to:

    • Analyse a structured range of data using a PivotTable to analyse the data.
    • Use the analysis to provide a summary report of recommendations.
    • Use a PivotChart to substantiate the analysis and recommendations.
    Due date:
    11.00pm, 21 August 2011
  • Assessment task 2
    Assignment 2
    Creating an application using Excel visual basic for applications.
    Criteria for assessment:
    The assessment criteria will be based your ability to perform the following tasks:
    • Write Macros (sub procedures) using VBA in Microsoft Excel
    • Use appropriate data types, to declare and use variables and/or constants
    • Use the Workbook, Worksheet and Range objects
    • Write event procedures for some Excel and VBA objects.
    • Use other objects as necessary
    • Use repetition and selection structures in VBA code
    • Perform data validation on user input
    • Use the Vlookup() worksheet function in VBA code
    • Construct arithmetic expressions in VBA code.
    • Follow appropriate rules relating to the scope of variables
    • Design user forms, using a variety of common graphic-controls (graphic-objects)
    Due date:
    11.00pm, 9 October 2011
  • Assessment task 3
    Class Test
    The test will be based on materials from weeks 1-7 inclusive
    Criteria for assessment:

    Students will be required to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the materials presented in lectures and tutorials from weeks 1 to 7 inclusive.

    Due date:
    Week 8 lecture, 11.00am, 16th September
  • Assessment task 4
    Tutorial tasks
    These should be completed each week during tutorial time.
    A maximum of 10% is awarded for the 12 weekly tutorials.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Week 1: tasks involving introductory concepts based on the first 2 chapters of the Excel text.

    Week 2 onwards: tasks will be given during tutorial classes based on lectures from the previous week - see unit outline.

    Due date:
    During the relevant tutorial


  • Examination 1
    2 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:

Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-procedures.html) for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/. Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz).

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Other Information


Student services

The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at www.monash.edu.au/students The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au or the library tab in my.monash portal for more information. Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis

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