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• A spreadsheet template enables a professor to develop individualized problem-solving tasks.
• Tasks are marked automatically and provide students with tailored feedback.
• Feedback focus both on the problem-solving outcome and the problem-solving process.
• When homework, assignments, and exams are marked automatically, the assessment load on professors is substantially reduced.
This paper presents an innovative approach, based on Excel files and a detailed implementation guide, that allows a professor with proficient spreadsheet skills to develop individualized problem-solving tasks for assignments and examinations that test students on cognitive thinking processes beyond memorizing and drilling. The professor accomplishes this goal by requiring the students to model a business problem-solving task in a worksheet environment. Each student’s work is marked automatically by a generic “plug and play” Visual Basic for Application (VBA) algorithm. The scores and feedback provided are tailored to each individual student and address not only the problem-solving outcome but also the problem-solving process. The learning objective discussed in this work is implemented at a Norwegian university business school.
Journal: Journal of Accounting Education - Volume 32, Issue 1, March 2014, Pages 76–87