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IJIET 2016 Vol.6(7): 570-575 ISSN: 2010-3689
DOI: 10.7763/IJIET.2016.V6.753

Spreadsheets: A Tool for e-Learning — A Case of Matrices in Microsoft Excel

Nchimunya Chaamwe and Langstone Shumba

Abstract—Spreadsheets made their first appearance for personal computers in 1979 in the form of VisiCalc, an application designed to help with accounting tasks. Over the years the application area for spreadsheets has multiplied. One application that is becoming more pronounced is in the teaching and learning of pupils and students. A Spreadsheet can be used as a powerful learning tool for both primary and secondary school pupils. Spreadsheets offer concrete ways to explore abstract concepts in mathematics and other subjects.
Mathematical ideas are conveyed in several different ways using pictures, colored squares, and number lines. A spreadsheet can be a helpful tool for visual learning. Using spreadsheets also promotes higher order thinking skills.
Spreadsheets contain a variety of formulas, which can be used in teaching mathematics. These formulas can be generalized, so that students can see how the outcome is changed when one of the variables in the formula is altered. The spreadsheet tool also promotes the development of problem solving skills and supports "What if..." type questions. Apart from using ready-made formulas pupils can make up their own formulas to manipulate numbers. This paper proposes the use of Ms Excel in the teaching and learning of Algebra in secondary schools. The paper gives a specific example on how a topic such as matrices can be delivered using Ms excel.

Index Terms—Algebra, education, matrices, Microsoft Excel (Ms Excel), spreadsheets.

The authors are with the Copperbelt University, Zambia (e-mail: nchimunya2009@gmail.com).


Cite: Nchimunya Chaamwe and Langstone Shumba, "Spreadsheets: A Tool for e-Learning — A Case of Matrices in Microsoft Excel," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 6, no. 7, pp. 570-575, 2016.

General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-3689 (Online)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Inf. Educ. Technol.
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJIET
  • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Jon-Chao Hong
  • Managing Editor: Ms. Nancy Y. Liu
  • Abstracting/ Indexing: Scopus (CiteScore 2022: 2.0), INSPEC (IET), UGC-CARE List (India), CNKI, EBSCO, Google Scholar
  • E-mail: ijiet@ejournal.net


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