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ExPrep Gives Students Hands-on Excel Experience

With less time grading assignments and administering grades, Professor Butz is free to focus on his students with ExPrep.

One of the most significant obstacles restricting business professors from leveraging assignments in Excel is the time commitment to grade them. Professors can spend over 30+ hours a semester to grade assignments and often use office hours, a time dedicated to meet with students, for grading.

However, the reward is well worth it to provide your class with a hands-on Excel experience to reinforce key concepts. In this post, we will explore how Professor Nik Butz from the University of Wisconsin — Stevens Point leveraged ExPrep to streamline grading and dedicate more time to working with students.

“ExPrep has made my life easier hands down. I’ve always thought it odd that there weren’t solutions out there to automate grading of Excel work. ExPrep was exactly what I was looking for!”

Key Takeaways

  1. 90% reduction in time spent grading, reporting and uploading to Canvas
  2. Provide more assignments in Excel each semester, allowing students to get more exposure and practice
  3. Design and automate custom exercises into the ExPrep Grader

How It Began

At the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point, Professor Nik Butz teaches Management Information Systems & Advanced Spreadsheet Applications. Each semester, Butz teaches approximately 100 students across 3 sections.

Professor Butz wanted to provide students with hands-on experience and more practice in Excel but found it impractical to assign exercises that would require anything more than rudimentary analyses. Each assignment given would take 10+ hours between grading, reporting, and uploading to Canvas. Overall, Butz would spend 30+ hours each semester to complete these tedious tasks for 3 assignments in Excel.

In the past, Professor Butz was using McGraw-Hill’s SimNet product. Although SimNet could grade exercises, it was limited to the content developed by McGraw Hill. Through ExPrep, Butz can automate all his own exercises while providing a cheaper option to his students.

After using ExPrep, Butz now spends 2 hours each semester to check the results and transfer them into Canvas. On average, it takes 1 hour to set up an assignment in the ExPrep Grader. Professor Butz sees over a 90% reduction in time spent to complete the tasks post providing an assignment.

The ExPrep Impact

In a discussion with professor Butz, he was able to provide more context into the benefits of ExPrep.

“ExPrep allows me to do more work with Excel in my courses. Before ExPrep, I only had 3 Excel assignments in 15 weeks, which was frustrating as an instructor. I knew my students would benefit from more, but I didn’t have any time to grade additional assignments. ExPrep has changed all that.

As a result of using ExPrep, I also have more time to do academic research. I’m so grateful that ExPrep has given me back so many hours per semester.”

Grading can be time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be with the right tool and approach. After all, you didn’t get into teaching to grade assignments.

Are you interested in using ExPrep for your course? Check out our website and schedule a demo!



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