Michigan State University masthead graphic Michigan State University masthead graphic


Antoinette Tessmer & Iskandar (Alex) Arifin

FI 355: Financial Modeling
Best Blended
"FI355 offers the opportunity to build a strong expertise in Excel financial modeling which is what Corporate America is expecting from our graduates."
- Antoinette Tessmer & Iskandar (Alex) Arifin -

Financial Modeling – FI355 is a hands-on course in financial modeling, primarily using Microsoft Excel. Topics pertaining to introductory Finance courses are reviewed and applied in order to enhance familiarity with spreadsheet modeling. The course is 100% flipped and is taught in a REAL where participants share their work locally, using table monitors. The instructor makes use of large displays to introduce the daily task and post tips and hints (mini lecture). Online version of the course makes full use of Zoom breakout rooms following a mini-lecture on a document camera. A captioned video recording of the mini lecture is made available within 6 hours.

The following schematic shows the holistic approach that is built around the flipped pedagogy: Preparation, Community of inquiry, Feedback (from instructor), and Peer evaluation (feedback from collaborators).

Preparation: Participants are expected to “work ahead” of classroom sessions by completing online readings/videos sequences, at home. Embedded quizzes, directly related to the readings/video contents, serve as formative and summative self-assessment. A series of 20 videos, produced by the instructors, introduce Excel modeling methods that best serve specific finance topics.

Community of Inquiry: the flipped pedagogy transforms the classroom into an Excel lab where communities of inquiry collaborate towards a common goal. Support is provided by an instructional team (instructor and learning assistants) all through class time. In their communities of inquiry, participants can reflect on readings/videos contents, practice/test their skills in Excel modeling, and interact with one another during hands-on activities. The instructional team encourages students to discuss and practice the day’s finance topic and Excel tools while completing a daily task.

Feedback: An optional 12-hour formative feedback is available at the conclusion of each class session. A thorough summative and formative assessment is provided on an end-of-module group assignment.

Peer Evaluation: Membership to a community of inquiry is determined by the instructor, at the start of each module, following the CATME philosophy (Purdue University/info.catme.org). The CATME platform is also used to post and release formative peer evaluations, at the end of each module. Honest and constructive evaluations are shared anonymously. Participants are encouraged to reflect on their peer comments to improve their collaborative abilities in their next community in inquiry.

Technology Used

  • Loncapa
  • Zoom
  • Flipgrid
  • email

Team Members

  • Antoinette Tessmer
  • Iskandar (Alex) Arifin