Term Project

The term project will be a group exercise and will be based on the groups we use in class. The objective of the term project is to take the skills you learn this semester and apply them by building a spreadsheet that provides a unique and innovative solution to a problem. It is up to each group to select a project to complete. The project does not have to be restricted to engineering applications. While I expect most spreadsheets will involve VB, particularly innovative non-VB spreadsheets will also be accepted. Since you need to acquire the skills necessary to complete the project prior to beginning, I expect you to do most of the work on this project during the last 3-4 weeks of the semester. We will spend the last lecture doing quick presentations on each of the term projects.

As you select a project, try to find something that is roughly equivalent to the level of effort required for three homework assignments. Don't be afraid to select something challenging, but at the same time, be sure you don't bite off more than you can chew. If you have any doubt about the appropriateness of your project, please come and visit with me. You should also feel free to use the internet to help you figure out how to solve the different issues involved in your project. I don't have a problem at all if you find and re-use snippets of code (no need to re-invent the wheel). In fact, one of my main objectives with this project is to help you learn how to find solutions independently. But of course, you can't simply copy a completed spreadsheet you find on the internet.

Potential Topics

Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about potential topics:

Start looking for ideas early in the semester and don't hesitate to discuss your ideas with me if you want some advice.

The project cannot require any kind of special installation. It needs to be able to run on any standard version of Excel so that anyone can download it and run it. You also should not require use of any additional files (such as external image files). In the end you should upload a single *.xlsm file (not a zip archive).

Documentation

The spreadsheet you submit should be self-documenting. You are required to do the following:

  1. Add an extra sheet to your workbook titled Help where you describe the objective of the spreadsheet and provide a set of instructions on how to use it.
  2. Add comments liberally to your source code describing what each block of code is doing.

Your spreadsheet should be well-documented so that I can figure out what it is supposed to do and how it works. You can do this either by incorporating your documentation inside the spreadsheet in the form of text in cells or in textboxes, or you may wish to dedicate an entire worksheet to documentation. I want the documentation to be self-contained so that I can select some of your projects to post here as sample projects for future semesters. You should be prepared to give a four-minute presentation of you spreadsheet to the entire class on the following day.

Demo Video

Each group will be required to prepare and submit a demo video showcasing your term project. Follow these instructions:

Creating a Term Project Demo Video

This is due at the same time the term project is due.

Submission

You will submit your project by uploading it via Learning Suite. The project due date is shown on the class schedule.

Each member of the group will need to submit the term project. Please remember to include a link to the demo video along with the project title and description document (see Learning Suite Assignments section).

Grading

Term projects are graded using the following formula:

Scope Level of effort for the project should be roughly equal to three homework assignments (at a minimum) assuming three people per group. Adjustments will be made for larger or smaller groups. 20%
Functionality Does everything work the way it is supposed to? Does it crash? 20%
Design Design should be clean and professional 20%
Documentation Help sheet plus comments in code 15%
Demo Video Prepare demo video on YouTube and submit link 5%
Wow Factor This is to recognize projects that show a high level of innovation and creativity. Blow my socks off to max out this score. 20%
  Total: 100%

Sample Term Projects

Here are the projects that were submitted in prior semesters. You may want to check them out in order to give you some ideas.

2012 Winter Term Projects
2012 Fall Term Projects
2013 Winter Term Projects
2013 Fall Term Projects
2014 Winter Term Projects
2014 Fall Term Projects
2015 Winter Term Projects
2015 Fall Term Projects
2016 Winter Term Projects
2016 Fall Term Projects
2017 Winter Term Projects
2017 Fall Term Projects
2018 Winter Term Projects
2019 Winter Term Projects
2019 Fall Term Projects
2020 Winter Term Projects