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Added by Giorgos Paschalis, last edited by Giorgos Paschalis on Feb 25, 2009


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The Spreadsheet Activity allows a sequence author to provide data in a spreadsheet format to Learners.
Learners can then perform their own calculations on and manipulations of the data.

By default, the Spreadsheet tool allows each learner to save their own individual copy of the spreadsheet. The activity can be configured to allow Monitors to mark each Learners spreadsheet.

 Spreadsheet Authoring
All properties sheets contain three tabs:

Basic: Which controls the Content of the Activity.Advanced: Which controls the Behaviour of the Activity.Instructions: Provides information on the Structure of the activity.

View of the Spreadsheet Authoring Basic Tab.

The Basic Tab for the Spreadsheet Activity allows authors to specify
a title for the activity, create Learner instructions, and defines the
questions that will make up each record:

Title: All Activities have a web page title which is
presented at the top of the activity page when displayed in the
Learning Environment. This is NOT the same title as the Title that can be set using the Properties Inspector.Instructions:
All Activities have a text area that is presented beneath the title.
This is where the main activity text to be displayed to learners is
entered. The text can be formatted using the Rich-Text Editor. Image,
Video, Audio and URL content can also be displayed in the Instructions

Specific Feature: Spreadsheet Applet
The Spreadsheet is where the data and calculations for the activity
are entered. The Applet contains a comprehensive help menu, which is
accessed by clicking Help in the top-right corner of the applet, and is reproduced here.

You may also like to read the Simple Groupware manual available here.

Some of the most useful spreadsheet functions are listed below:

Spreadsheet Functions
The Spreadsheet can be viewed in one of several modes. These are
changed by clicking the labels in the top-right corner of the applet.

Values: shows all the calculated values on the screen (default mode)
Auto: calculates and updates values in real timeManual: Disables automatic calculations (gives better performance)
Click Refresh to update the values in the spreadsheet if Manual mode is selected.

Formulas: shows the formulas in the spreadsheet.

Formulas: shows all formulas on the screen

Styles: shows all styles on the screen

Cell References

A1 gives the value of cell A1A2:A4 gives the values of A2, A3 and A4 in an array[A2,A4] gives the values A2 and A4 in an array.

NOTE: Cell values are always given using capital letters. ie: a1 will not give the value of cell A1.

Maths Formulae

For addition of a row: sum(A2:A4) gives A2+A3+A4For addition across columns: sum(A2:B3) gives A2+A3+B2+B3For averages: avg(2,3,4) gives (2+3+4)/3 = 3For minimum values: min(2,3,4) gives 2 (the smallest value in the array)For maximum values: max(2,3,4) gives 4 (the largest value in the array)For number of values: count(A2:A4) gives 3 (the number of values in the array)

Keyboard shortcuts

enter / start typing
edit cell

ctrl+x or shift+del
cut cell

ctrl+c or ctrl+ins
copy cell

ctrl+v or shift+ins
paste cell

empty cell

cursor up
go up

cursor down
go down

cursor left
go left

cursor right
go right

go to first cell in row or page left/up if already in first cell

go to last cell in row or page right if already in last cell

page up
go 10 rows down

page down
go 10 rows up

Additional functions and commands can be found here.

Advanced Tab

View of the Spreadsheet Activity Advanced tab.

Lock When Finished: This option is available on all Activities.
Enabling this option in Spreadsheet means that the once the learner clicks Finish
they will not be able to make further changes to the spreadsheet (if
Learner editing has been enabled - see below.) Learners can still view
the spreadsheet by returning via the progress bar.If this option is disabled, Learners can edit their spreadsheets until the sequence is stopped by a monitor.

Authors must select one of the following options:
Play Only:
When enabled, this option does not allow Learner's to save changes they
have made to the spreadsheet. They can still edit the spreadsheet
within their own LAMS session, but changes are not committed.Learners are allowed to submit...: This option is enabled by default.
When enabled, this option means that each learner is required to submit
a modified spreadsheet at the end of the activity. Their changes are
saved and can be reviewed through monitoring. Enable Spreadsheet Marking: When enabled, this option activates the marking component in the monitoring environment, similar to the Submit Files activity..

Add Notebook... : This option is available on all
Activities. Enabling this option creates a Notebook as part of the
Activity, which Learner's can use to reflect on the activity just
completed. The reflections are personal (ie: not shared with other

 Spreadsheet Monitoring

Summary Screen

View of the Spreadsheet Monitoring Summary tab with marking features enabled.

Double Clicking a Spreadsheet activity on the Sequence tab opens the Summary Screen for the Activity.

The contents displayed on the Spreadsheet summary screen depend on
the options selected when the activity was authored. In the activity
shown here, Learners can submit individual spreadsheets, and monitor
marking has been enabled.

The Summary Screen shows the names of the Learners who have
submitted a spreadsheet and provides an interface for monitors to
assign marks to Learner contributions. It also displays which
spreadsheets have or have not been marked.

Learner: Clicking the learner's name will open their spreadsheet (as saved in the sequence) in a seperate window.Marked?: This column dynamically changes according to whether or not the submission has been marked or not.\Mark Buttons: These open the marking interface where a monitor can insert a numerical mark and leave a comment for the learner.\

View All Marks: displays a list of all marks assigned to learners.Release Marks: will display the learner's marks in the sequence view. Learners must log back in to the sequence to view their marks.

Email Notifications
your System Administrator has configured Email notifications, Learners
will recieve an email from LAMS when the marks are released.

Download Marks: Allows monitors to download the learner marks in a Spreadsheet (.xls) format.


View of the Chat Monitoring Instructions tab.

In the Authoring Environment, Authors can use the Instructions Space to attach support files for a specific activity, or leave comments for othe Monitors about how a given activity should be run.

In Submit Files, the Author may suggest instructions for
submitting files offline (e.g. a hand written or printed essay) if
learners aqnd teachers are more comfortable with that format.

Edit Activity

Clicking the Edit Activity button opens a new screen identical to the _'Basic'_tab in the authoring environment.

LAMS versions 2.1 and up support editing of Spreadsheet activities
after one or more Learners have attempted the activity, but provide a
notice warning monitors that changing the content will result in
students receiving different information:

Warning: One of more students
have accessed this activity. Changing this content will result in
students getting different information.

Unlike Live Edit, this form of Editing can only modify the content of an activity, as opposed to the structure of a sequence.


Under Development
Features described on this page are currently under development.
Described specifications and features may change in the future.