Professional Education: How We Learn
We all seek out education for different reasons. According to a recent poll of association executives, the top five motivators for participating in continuing education programs are:
1. To keep up to date professionally. (No small feat in today’s rapidly changing regulatory environment!)
2. To increase competence in your job
3. To learn completely new skills or knowledge
4. To maintain or improve skills or knowledge you already have.
5. To increase your self-confidence as a professional or practitioner
Although face-to-face is still the learning format of choice for the majority of practitioners, the tide is turning towards online delivery. Web-based education bypasses the barriers of classroom education being too expensive or requiring travel.
The webinar/webcast format brings CPAs many “extras” that have always been important to them in the learning process.
· Access to the materials before the program; users can download the course materials (PPT and any supplementary) before the program.
· Access to the instructor; Users can submit a question for the speaker before, during or after the program.
· Supplemental resources; Bonus resources are made available when applicable. For instance, this last year CPE Link provided the entire compiled Q&A from our Federal Tax Update programs.
Webcasts appeal to all kinds of learners. Kinesthetic learners are kept engaged when they mouse click to answer polling questions or raise their hand. Visual learners enjoy the PowerPoint slide presentation and screen sharing that most instructors do. And, of course, auditory learners are served with listening to the presenter via VOIP or teleconference.
And everyone can benefit from repetition to reinforce learning. CPE Link allows webcast attendees access to the recording for three months following the live event.
by Sue Anderson - Based on 30 years of experience in continuing education for accountants. Currently program director for online CPE provider, CPE Link. Formerly with the California CPA Education Foundation managing key operational areas including marketing, program development, and distance learning.