Advanced Spreadsheeting using Excel

I.     Course Prefix/Number: CAB 235

       Course Name: Advanced Spreadsheeting using Excel

       Credits: 2 (2 lecture; 1 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

CAB135 or consent of instructor.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course is a continuation of CAB 135. Students will learn advanced Excel techniques such as developing customized Excel applications including automating tasks with macros, using advanced functions, using advanced filtering techniques, using what-if analysis tools, and connecting to external data.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Develop customized applications using features including; defined names; data validation; protecting cells, worksheet, and workbooks; comments; and macros.
  2. Use advanced functions to examine and manage data, including logical, lookup, text, and database functions.
  3. Analyze data using advanced analysis tools and techniques, including What-If and Scenario tools.
  4. Connect to and access external data, in order to analyze and manage the data.
  5. Apply critical thinking skills to solve business problems using Excel.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Using Advanced Functions, Conditional Formatting, and Filters
    1. Working with Logical Functions
    2. Using Lookup Tables and Functions
    3. Checking for Data Entry Errors
    4. Summarizing Data Conditionally
    5. Using Advanced Filtering
    6. Using Database Functions to Summarize Data
  2. Developing an Excel Application
    1. Planning an Excel Application
    2. Naming Cells and Ranges
    3. Validating Data Entry
    4. Protecting a Worksheet and Workbook
    5. Adding Worksheet Comments
    6. Working with Macros
    7. Protecting against Macro Viruses
    8. Recording a Macro
    9. Running a Macro
    10. Working with the Visual Basic Editor
    11. Creating Macros Buttons
    12. Saving Workbooks with Macros
    13. Opening a Workbook with Macros
  3. Auditing a Workbook
    1. Tracing an Error
    2. Evaluating a Formula
    3. Using the Watch Window
  4. Performing What-If Analysis
    1.  Working with What-If Analysis and Goal Seek
    2.  Work with One-Variable Data Tables
    3.  Work with Two-Variable Data Tables
    4.  Use Scenario Manager
      1. Create a Scenario PivotTable Report
    5.  Finding an Optimal Solution Using Solver
  5. Connecting to External Data
    1.  Examining Data Sources
      1. Working with Text Files
      2. Working with Connections and Data Ranges
      3. Defining a Trusted Location
    2. Introducing Databases and Queries
      1. Using the Query Wizard
    3.    3. Importing Data into PivotTables and Pivot Charts
    4.    4. Creating a Web Query
      1. Importing Data from the World Wide Web
      2. Importing Data from XML
  6. Creating a Shared Workbook
    1. Sharing a workbook
    2. Tracking changes to a workbook
    3. Merge and compare workbook
    4. Preparing a final workbook version
  7. Work with Enhanced Formatting Tools
    1. Create custom  cell styles
    2. Create custom  table styles
    3. Work with conditional formatting
    4. Work with SmartArt Graphics and Pictures
    5. Work with Themes

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture, demonstrations, hands-on, class discussions, short practice exercises.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, media-based, hybrid or online course.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will be expected to complete assignments demonstrating skills needed for using the various spreadsheet advanced functions and to take quizzes or exams demonstrating knowledge of concepts and practices.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Evaluation will be based on grades received on spreadsheet assignments and exams.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at