Graduates' use of spreadsheet tools in learning and applying financial mathematics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution

Abstract

We investigate the use of spreadsheet tools, such as Microsoft Excel® in the workplace by recent graduates and the use of spreadsheets in the teaching and learning of finance theory and financial mathematics. We seek the opinions of recent graduates, employers and students using questionnaires. This study is conducted by the Department of Actuarial Studies in the Division of Economics and Financial Studies at Macquarie University, Australia. This study investigates: • The use of spreadsheets and other financial software in the workplace by recent graduates and the extent to which these skills were learnt at university or on the job, • The type of software skills required by employers of recent graduates, • The opinions and attitudes of postgraduate coursework students regarding the use of spreadsheets and financial software in the teaching and learning of actuarial and financial mathematics. In industrial practice, many complex and tedious financial and statistical calculations are done using spreadsheets. Spreadsheets can be used both to perform the calculations and to produce reports, tables and graphs to present the results. However, at university level the traditional approach used in teaching financial and actuarial mathematics is to get students to solve the problem using pen and paper and then to do all any calculations using a calculator. The traditional approach may be a barrier to the learning of financial theory for many students. This study investigates the nexus between learning and work in order to modify the university curriculum. We aim to equip graduates with applicable skills for use in the workplace and to improve the learning of financial theory.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearching work and learning
Subtitle of host publication5th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning (RWL5) : abstracts
Place of PublicationBelleville, South Africa
PublisherDivision for Lifelong Learning, University of the Western Cape
Pages73-74
Number of pages2
ISBN (Print)9781868086580
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventInternational Conference on Researching Work and Learning (5th : 2007) - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 2 Dec 20075 Dec 2007

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference on Researching Work and Learning (5th : 2007)
CityCape Town, South Africa
Period2/12/075/12/07

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