PC Movies Get Two Thumbs Up for Computer Application Training

By Mahoney, Lois S.; Welch, Judith K. | Strategic Finance, September 2000 | Go to article overview
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PC Movies Get Two Thumbs Up for Computer Application Training


Mahoney, Lois S., Welch, Judith K., Strategic Finance


They may not entertain you like Jurassic Park, When Harry Met Sally, and Titanic, but PC movies, a new way to deliver computer application training, are the hot ticket to cutting training costs while ensuring a consistent learning experience. Employees can watch movies--on their own computer--to learn exactly what menus and buttons to click to use the features and functions of a software application. It's a practical new approach to training, especially for companies with sites across the country or around the world.

To provide step-by-step instructions on how to use a computer application, PC movies automatically record every click, scroll, and action on the screen--even a voice for narration. These simple and flexible multimedia applications turn a personal computer into a VCR. That's right, a VCR. You pause. You fast-forward. You rewind. You record. Just like watching a movie on your home VCR. With this approach, the training moves at a pace that's right for any student.

Here's why we give PC movies two thumbs up, what you can use them for, how to create one, and distribution methods.

BLOCKBUSTER ADVANTAGES

Studies show that people using PC movies perform as well as those having person-to-person training. The movies provide the same basic training as live training, but with PC movies the company doesn't have to provide repeated training presentations of the same material. And there are other benefits as well.

A key benefit for those of you with multisite locations is you don't have to spend time and money on travel related to training. With PC movies, all employees have easy access to a training tool. The end result? Consistent quality training for all employees no matter where they're located because they view the same instructional PC movie. And that also means that all locations are following the most up-to-date company computerized procedures.

They're convenient as well. Instead of having to plan around a training session, you can view these company-made movies when you have time. And what could be more convenient than viewing movies on your PC? After watching the movie, you can always go back and review it if you have problems with an application. If these movies are kept short and easily digestible, an employee can review them on an as-needed basis and avoid taking up other employees' time with obvious questions.

MANY USES

Here are some of the things PC movies can do:

* Demonstrate computerized accounting applications,

* Reinforce and document key concepts,

* Provide a step-by-step review of how to perform concepts that trainers demonstrate, and

* Provide remedial assistance for prerequisite skills.

Computerized Accounting Applications

Not only are they a fast and effective tool for new employee accounting application training, but they also serve as an excellent training tool for all employees on new software applications. PC movies can demonstrate computer applications for any accounting need, including package and custom accounting software and spreadsheet, statistical, presentation, and word processing software.

In particular, they excel at application development learning tasks. For example, new employees can learn to enter data into a computer package, run stock reports, or query a database for information. In order to keep the length manageable, each movie should teach a single learning task. To demonstrate more complex tasks, a series of movies can be sequenced together. Figure 1 shows an example frame of a PC movie on how to develop and use macros in MS Excel. To download a movie, visit reach.ucf.edu/[sim]acg4401/scm_first.htm.

Demonstrate and Document Concepts

PC movies also can demonstrate any technology implementation of accounting concepts as well as document complex accounting spreadsheets. Employees can be trained to use software to enhance their data analysis skills.

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PC Movies Get Two Thumbs Up for Computer Application Training
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