OpenOffice/Calc 3/Content Design

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Working with Spreadsheets in Calc is a set of tutorials providing basic instruction in using a spreadsheet. Most resources of this type (see list under Learning resources) are structured in a follow-along nature: do this, then this, then this -- learner acts in step with the instructions. This tutorial will offer independent practice activities in addition to the step by step follow-along instructions. Learners can choose to do one or the other or both.

Structuring the Content

Organize the material into chunks. Use the content structure in CCNC Module 4: Using spreadsheets as a starting point:

  • Getting to know the application: Creating, opening and closing spreadsheets| Locating the components of the Calc Screen | Saving spreadsheets | Handling worksheets | Activity | Summary
  • Working with and in cells: Selection in a worksheet | Inserting within a worksheet | Deleting rows and columns in a worksheet | Modifying column widths and row heights | Entering data in cells | Making changes to the contents of cells | Duplicate, move, delete | Shifting cells | Speeding up data entry | Search and replace | Sorting data | Activity | Summary
  • Working with Formulas and Functions: Arithmetic formulas | Error values when using formulas | Cell referencing | Working with functions | Using the logical function IF | Activity | Summary
  • Formatting cells: Formatting cells containing numeric data | Changing the appearance of cell contents | Miscellaneous formatting techniques | Activity | Summary
  • Creating charts and graphs: About charts and graphs | Customising chart type for selected data | Making changes to an existing chart or graph | Moving, duplicating, resizing, deleting | Activity | Summary
  • Preparing the spreadsheet for distribution: Are all data accurate? | Setting up the worksheet | Making other adjustments to the worksheet | Preparing to print | Printing | Activity | Summary

Independent Practice Activities

Learners will be offered opportunities to practice newly learned skills in an independent practice activity, one for each section of content. These activities will serve as a self-assessment for learners to help them determine their proficiency with the skills in that section. Each activity will instruct the learner to perform a series of actions (either in a "new" worksheet or in a .ods file provided for download). Actions will be written at a high level. For example, following instruction on how to enter formulas, the action might be "calculate the total cost for each item in Purchase List," an .ods file with item, count, price, without totals. Screenshots of spreadsheet with completed actions will be offered (upon request) for comparison.

  • Consider having independent practice activities build from an empty spreadsheet to something complete -- see example here or here based on daily weather data. Most people have experience with weather.

Style Guidelines

Working with Spreadsheets... will follow the guidelines set forth in the Open Computing Style Guide, along with the following additions:

  • Use the format " Calc" or just "Calc" and not " CALC" or "OpenOffice Calc."
  • Following the page "Selection in a worksheet", highlight and select can be used interchangeably.


Decided not to include a "Show Me" page at the end of each section. I think "Show me" videos are better included on particular pages, for example, showing how to position the cursor to resize a column. --Alison Snieckus 15:13, 25 July 2009 (UTC).