I found this to be a really valuable exercise. Even though I had 4 (out of 9) ideas that ended up fairly close, two really stood out in the final scores, and those are the ones I’ll be looking at developing.
Just a comment from a couple of us non-math types (my buddy and I discussed this in our weekly check-in yesterday), in future something more visually interesting and fun than a spreadsheet might be better. My own associations with spreadsheets are, at best, nothing at all. At worst, really negative, like a bad day at work trying to fathom a concept and accounting program that seems utterly foreign to anything my brain has ever faced, and feeling inadequate as a result. My buddy has even less experience with spreadsheets than I do, and was inclined to give the exercise a miss as a result. I extolled the virtues of the process and said it really is worthwhile so she’s going to try it.
We thought something more gamified would be better, like a game app concept. Or something more restricted in usage, so it only has the fields you need to do this exercise and the formula in the last column to get the result, nothing else. It can be very scary to scroll left or down and suddenly, you’re all the way to Column x or down to Row YY. If someone has never used a spreadsheet before, they won’t know what just happened or how to fix it. And there ARE people who have, indeed, never used them! Believe it or not! 🙂
I don’t know how easy it would be to do that. Or maybe you just need an extra optional help or support section for those who haven’t used a spreadsheet to consult so they understand how it will work.
So it’s a very useful tool within the course, the functionality is great, it just needs to be somehow more user-friendly. Maybe Greebly the Gruesome Gremlin can enter our scores and jump up with the final tally in his mouth or something! Maybe little ladybugs crawl all over the page and converge on the highest scores. I don’t know, I’m just making this up! But something less like, *gasp*, accounting or the less fun side of computers and more like the storyline you’ve already got going for our trek up the mountain.