Commonwealth Computer Navigator's Certificate/Milestone 3/Swot Module 4

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This analysis is based on the Open ICDL Module 4

Guidelines for the analysis can be found at Guidelines for SWOT Analysis of Open ICDL


  • Add your points below:
  • Module maps identically onto the existing syllabus.
  • Language used is easy to read and understand.
  • Instructions are clear and concise.
  • Screenshots used assist in clarifying any ambiguous areas.
  • Content is accurate


  • Add your points below:
  • Users must be informed about the order in which modules should be attempted, as otherwise, there will be gaps in information that should have been covered before starting this Module 4.
  • Page 5 of Module gives instructions on how to "Open a spreadsheet under Windows" and "Saving files in Windows", but there is not much parallel referencing to Windows thereafter. Is it the intention to continue to give equivalent instructions on "How to... in Windows?"
  • There are no clear activities in this module. It is evident that this was not the intention of the writer. A decision will therefore need to be made as to whether self-assessment exercises should be included. Having said that, students' understanding of the operations involved in Chapters 4, 6 and 7 could be enhanced with appropriate learning activities.

Design and development issues

  • Add your points below:
  • Introductory Chapter should be included. Among other things, it can indicate if students should study another module before attempting this one (strongly recommended). Can also give an overview of chapters to come. In this regard, it is recommended that the order of the current Chapters 4 and 5 may be reversed. In a changed order, Chapters 1-4 (Chapter 4 - Formatting) describe the main features of the application, and Chapters 5 -7 (Chapter 5 - formulas and functions) look at how the application works, i.e. its operations.

CHAPTER 1 - Using the Application

  • May be useful to begin with explanation of CALC (and LINUX, if not done in previous module)
  • It may also help to include a brief overview to introduce main sections of this chapter, and others to follow; this is done sometimes, but not consistently.
  • Page 3 - Formula Bar - Explanation may also say that this will be developed more fully on Page 46. On the whole, good practice to forecast later explanations if aspect of learning only partially dealt with at earlier stage.
  • Page 7 - Section - Saving to a floppy disk ... (add, OR MEMORY KEY).
  • Page 9 - First sentence in section Save a spreadsheet etc , that spreadsheet is a tool for doing calculations, belongs to introductory paragraph. Also third paragraph, in sentence, Alternatively, you may wish..... such as Microsoft Excel - Word "use" should read as "used".
  • Page 11 Sentence in intro statement, i.e. 'The most useful of these is 'Find' - move to segment lower down that deals with this feature.

CHAPTER 2 - Cells

  • Page 21 - Heading 'Insert data' not needed. Intro on 'data types' good idea, but too much detail given. No need to go into operations here. Keep description at conceptual level at this point. The functional details can be included at appropriate points in rest of chapter.

Also Page 21, in section on 'Entering data', term 'Input line' used but this was not used when Formula bar was first introduced.

  • Page 22 - The notion that cells are organised in rows and columns should be introduced somewhere on page 22. That would make Pages 23- 27 more meaningful.
  • Pages 30-31 Good introductions in these sections.
  • Page 30 - Is there an error in the operation here - moving a range of cells (A3:K5) to a single cell, B7? Same in sequence at top of page 31.
  • Page 31 Section - "Use autofill tool.....entries", Cell addresses in example are incorrect. They identify vertical cells, when the cells should read horizontally as indicated below:-

2- Type 1 in A1 and 2 in A2 - This should read - Type 1 in A1 and 2 in B1 3- Select A1 and A2 - This should read - Select A1 and B2 6- Now type 100 in B1 and 101 in B2 - This should read - Now type 100 in A2 and 101 in B2

  • Page 32

8- Type 5 in C1 and 8 in C2 -This should read - Type 5 in A3 and 8 in B3 10- Type Jan into D1 and Feb into D2 - This should read - Type Jan into A4 and Feb into B4 12- Type January into E1 and February into E2 -This should read - Type January into A5 and February into B5

  • Page 34 - Section - "Use Edit->Delete Cells

Instructions could include an example of each of the options available in the "Delete Cells" Dialog box - i.e. "Shift cells left"; "Delete entire row(s)"; and "Delete entire column(s). This would emphasise what is actually happening. Also in example given, should it be C15:F15 and C10:F10?

  • Page 36-37 - Is the explanation for 'backwards' contradictory? It states, 'By default, the Find procedure moves to the right and down the spreadsheet, i.e. FORWARD'.
  • Page 37 - In Section on 'Sort Data', greater prominence should be given to concepts of 'record' and 'field'. Also more extended introduction about situations in which one would need to sort data can be helpful to students; to be followed by brief overview of 2 types of sorts.

Chapter 3 - Worksheets

  • Page 41 - In section 'Insert a new worksheet' the instruction 'Click on tab adjacent to new worksheet' is not clear to me, since the NEW worksheet is still to be inserted. Can another reference point be used to locate the tab?
  • Page 42 - Instruction #2 at top of page states 'Select Rename in the CONTEXTUAL menu that appears'. The term 'contextual' is not a familiar one.

Chapter 4 - Formulas and Functions

  • Page 45 - Introductory paragraph in section 'Arithmetic using cell references etc.' could be re-phrased. Somewhat disjointed.
  • Page 47 - Suggested re-phrase of sentence under table at top of page: When you do arithmetic calculations involving ...priorities. (THEN INSERT) The level of priority determines the order in which these operations are carried out. There may be need to include some examples here to illustrate how this works.

End of the page - Section on Cell referencing' may need introductory explanation, in particular to heighten understanding of the term 'referencing'. The concept of 'addressing' should also be introduced here.

  • Page 48 - In section on 'Absolute addressing', make preceding explanation be consistent with example. The first sentence should read 'If we put the $ symbol in front of the column letter AND the row number, then the reference will not change'. Then for Mixed addressing, the explanation can start with the sentence 'If you put the $ symbol in front of either the column letter or row number, but not both, you make either the column or the row absolute.'
  • Page 49 - Sentence explaining SUM in section on Syntax - should it read, 'Where range is the range of cells that are being SUMMED ...? Also the explanation that 'Average functions in exactly the same way as SUM ...' may be misinterpreted.
  • Page 50 - Instruction # 1 under screen shot, should it be 'Select rows 3 to 7'? Then to the end of the page, Instruction #4, should it be 'Enter the following in B3:B7?
  • Page 51 Similar chages may be required for #1 and #3 in middle of page.
  • Page 52 - Last sentence on page, insert 'used' in sentence, to get 'Notice the mixed mode addressing USED in this example.'