WUFA Faculty Grant

These are the slides from a presentation I made on the Faculty Development Day. The previous presenters went long, so I only had 3 minutes. However, I was able to keep to the time limit by doing 1 sentence per slide…

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Summer Evaluations

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Course Reviews

Here are my evaluations for the Fall semester. I’ve picked out a few of the more interesting comments.

Truest quote:

The workload is a bit much for brand new material.

This is a persistent issue in the class — we cover a lot of material.  The class goes over Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.  We also spend a lot of time working on Capsim, which is a business simulation.  I enjoy Capsim, as it gives a practical context to the abstract skills people learn.  However, it has a significant learning curve.  I’ve been using the MBA version of the class to develop a simpler business game that doesn’t involve quite as many details.


On a lighter side, some people left humorous comments

Funny, helps learning stale information slightly less painful.

Capsim is fun despite people’s hatred towards it


Several left nice comments

There is a lot about excel and word especially that I did not know. This has already been beneficial to me throughout work and school. I feel like this course will be extremely helpful at the beginning of a student’s educational experience.”

Professor garrett is always there for you and genuinely cares about your performance in the course. He schedules meetings with students to ensure a solid grade and understanding of the course

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Eye-Tracking in Instructional Videos

Eye-Tracking in Instructional Videos is a presentation I gave at the ISECON 2015 Conference.  A copy of the paper is also available below.
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New paper published

My most recent paper, titled “Textbooks for Responsible Data Analysis in Excel” has been put online at the Journal of Education for Business.

Abstract: With 27 million users, Excel (Microsoft Corporation, Seattle, WA) is the most common business data analysis software. However, audits show that almost all complex spreadsheets have errors. The author examined textbooks to understand why responsible data analysis is taught. A purposeful sample of 10 textbooks was coded, and then compared against spreadsheet development best practices. The results show a wide range of approaches, and reveal that none of the 10 books fully cover the methodologies needed to create well-rounded Excel data analysts. There is a need to re-evaluate the teaching approaches being used in office application courses.

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Informatics & the Auto Industry

Below is a presentation for the Carl-Benz Academy on May 20th, 2015.

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Excel CAIR Presentation

Improved Data Wrangling and Validation in Excel
Presented November, ’14 at CAIR

Are your Excel spreadsheets error-free? This presentation is intended to help you use automated processes to clean up and transform data in Excel. The overall approach combines vLookup, conditional formatting, named cells and ranges, formatting for meaning, and spatial layout. The resulting approach reduces errors, increases auditability, and speeds up repetitive tasks. Virtually all Excel audits find errors; this presentation is designed to increase your confidence in data wrangling tasks.

Garrett CAIR Workbook

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CAIR Focus Group Presentation

More than just getting input, we used focus groups to build a policy, grow support, and fast-track implementation. For our small tuition-dependent university, admissions standards are a politically charged topic.  A small team began by creating data-driven admission criteria. We then used focus groups to engage with stakeholders campus-wide. Each focus group began with a brief presentation, and then quickly transitioned into a guided dialogue. The meetings allowed the team to find and address points of opposition. By the time the proposal went to the full faculty body and administration, most of the potential critics had already been engaged. This session will present the focus group methodology used to build consensus.

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Combining columns of text in Excel

Excel’s & (ampersand) symbol is powerful tool for combining columns.  For example, you can

  • Display names in different ways.  Eg., “John” in A1 and “Smith” in B1 can be shown as
    • John  Smith by =A1 & ” ” & B1
    • Smith, John by =B1 & “, ” & A1
  • Making a mini-mailmerge for copying & pasting student grades into an email (see video).
    • Named fields help with this.  Instead of =”Hello, how are  you today ” & A1 & “?” , write =Greet & A1 &”?”, and name a cell Greet with the opening message.
    • Another useful function is =char(10), which inserts a line break into your text.

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Course Evaluations for Fall 2013

I recently received my course evaluations for the Fall 2013 term. They’re linked below.

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