Thursday, February 23, 2006

excel divide

I had just completed my first day teaching assistant assignment on BUS230/231 Decision Modelling (Linear Programming or also known as Operation Research) for first year Development and Resource Economic (DRE) students and I found sentimental feeling as recalling my first time taking this same course last year.

In today first session, Dadhi (my partner) firstly explained about the algebraic form of a linear programming model of one exercise, then the second part of mine is to explain them how to transfer those algebraic form into spreadsheet model with Microsoft Excel and find the solutions.

After responding to several questions during our presentation, we found later that the basic problem still occurs for most of students as last year when we took the course. Among 20 students, I can say that only maximum 5 to 7 students whose Excel literates. The rest is quite far behind on understanding Excel formula or shortcuts or so on. We need to guide them one by one on their unique first ‘kisses with Excel.

Meanwhile, I already felt that most of students have problem already with math-algebraic part since there are not many good-math-student like usually. Note that I am one among the stupid-math-student last year even until now. But, this Excel stuff is more technical problem and gets to be quite annoying because it’s something that needs more ‘training’ than remembrance. Can I call this phenomenon as Excel Divide for them? I guess so…

Now I am wondering how is the situation of Indonesian students from far away places or remote areas, such as Kalimantan or Papua region, which perhaps have the same ‘literacy’ on computer like African friends?

I feel very lucky (thanks God!) that I lived and got study in capital city and being exposed enough with digital technology…

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