March 4, 2010

How To Accounting Video Tutorials

This text was initially published by Profweb under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence, before Eductive was launched.

Vanier College must be ready to face the challenge of answering the constantly changing needs of its students, as a diverse student population brings with it a diverse spectrum of needs. Inspired by publicity circulated about the Student Academic Success Grant at Vanier College last year, a project has become a reality in Commerce and Business Administration and functions as an important learning resource. An opportunity for change has opened its doors to help a percentage of students who were not really absorbing their material, but simply going through the motions of surface learning,

The Video Tutorials, are creating a change! Students are watching the videos and collaborating on learning. They are forming teams of two or more and discussing the material on their own time.

The gist of the project envisioned using Camtasia to create a screen capture and recording to help clearly and effectively communicate how to solve accounting problems through a series of  ‘How To Accounting Video Tutorials’. Because I was.a Camtasia software, help was requested from outside sources. When none came to the rescue, the software had to be learned the old fashioned way, through hard work and dedication.

The video tutorials were designed to help the student understand specific accounting concepts, such as how to apply depreciation, and the different methods of depreciation as well as a number of other complex subjects, such as the relationship between the Trial Balance and the Financial Statements.

The Video Tutorials work with a specific accounting text presently used by the College. They furthermore explain objectives of the problem and how to complete sample problems for the student to view, at their discretion and as many times as they need to grasp the concepts. As most students do not know how to begin solving problems, this material is also be covered.

Originally the video tutorials were designed and prepared to complement an accounting topic, within 2 to 5 minute segments.This length became unrealistic when the actual project started, and the videos are now between 10 to 20 minutes in length. The videos have a special “You Should Know” section that the student must comprehend before attempting to solve problems.

The process of making the videos was quite complex. The steps below give a window into the process.

  1. Conceptualizing the problem in your mind and how to best present the solution in a logical process, so that the student will understand it;
  2. Scripting the text , and designing the solution;
  3. Using an additional software called Snagit, which permits animation such as moving and dragging numbers;
  4. Often working with four or five different spreadsheets to create a uniform flow of the solution;
  5. Recording the process using Camtasia;
  6. Editing and cutting out excess materials;
  7. Creating the project file and then the production file;
  8. Uploading the production file into a readable format which the student would be able to view in an application such as Windows Media Player.
The Opening Menu of the ‘How To Accounting Tutorials’ on Screencast which shows the entire selection of titles available at this time.

Initially, to make sure that the hosting of the videos was dependable, a commercial site called Screencast was selected. The recent Profweb article on “World of Images”, however, suggested a change of address which is in progress. Currently the videos are all online on my blog and will be moving to a blog hosted in the Profweb Personal Space which contains videos embedded from “World of Images”.

The new blog on Profweb’s Personal Space.

Student reaction has been very gratifying. Here are a few examples of e-mails received from students:

The videos were a bit long but when I took the time to look at them it helped get a full insight on what had been covered in class. It’s like having the teacher with you at all times to explain what was not really understood. I’m going to look at them more often now that I see how useful they are.

The video presentations are very helpful because it allows you to cover the topic completely without leaving anything out. However, I do feel that we should get more assignments like the first one on Financial Statements because it allows us to get a better idea on how to do things and helps us better understand the concept.

I found the videos helpful especially the one which showed how to do the income statement, statement of owner’s equity and balance sheet. it would be useful to have more videos eventually to understand  Accounting deeply.

Chart from a video.

Example from a video.

A more detailed survey will be taken, at the completion of the semester. Students will be asked to rate how effective the video tutorials were in helping them to study and prepare for their Accounting Exams and Quizzes. Students studying Accounting from the Department. Of Commerce and Business Administration will be the first to benefit. Students studying, Auditing, Finance and other subjects will benefit from our video learning tutorials as well. In principle, this structure could be applied to many disciplines.

The Video Tutorials, are creating a change! Students are watching the videos and collaborating on learning. They are forming teams of two or more and discussing the material on their own time. Often students who do not understand and do not ask questions are using the Video Tutorials as a review of the material.

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