UW Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning, Instructional Computing Services
Last update: 27 October, 2011; R. Hill
Spreadsheet software provides rows and columns of cells, to be defined in terms of values, labels, and forumulas involving other cells.
For a standard grade book, use rows for students and columns for grades, titles on top and left, values in the lower right portion. Freeze the titles ("Window" menu).
Example: Consider, for the fictional course CS 1090, of about 30 students, the cumulative contribution of two homework grades, where Homework #1 has 15 possible points and counts for 2% of the total grade, and Homework #2 has 40 possible points and counts for 5%.
Setup, where formulas are entered into column M:  Display:  



Even better, use a row to record the possible points and weight of each assignment.� Absolute references to cells (with dollar signs) will not change when the formula is copied, in this case, from one row (one student) to another.
Setup:
J  K  L  M 

...  Hwk1  Hwk2  HwkContrib 
Student in row 19...  11  29  =(K19/$K$37)*$K$38+(L19/$L$37)*$L$38 
Student in row 20...  14  31  =(K20/$K$37)*$k$38+(L20/$L$37)*$L$38 
...  �  �  � 
Possible (row 36)  15  40  � 
Weight (row 37)  0.02  0.05  � 
The resulting Display will be the same, but the points and weights can be easily adjusted if necessary.
Examine these versions for various other options. 

Final Hint: Save a worksheet in '.csv' format ("commaseparated values") for archival, reading as text, and use by other applications.