11/3/10

TOS Review: Financial Accounting

prof in a box  A class that covers financial accounting principles is a must for anyone wanting to be in business.  Professor In A Box offers a course in Financial Accounting for home schooling high school students. As part of the TOS Review Crew, I received  Financial Accounting from Professor in a Box  to review.  

How is Financial Accounting set up?  How does it work? Financial Accounting really is a Professor in a Box.  Michael P. Licata, Ph.D presents Financial Accounting on 4 CD-ROMS containing everything you need to complete the course. There is nothing to install; the program runs from the CD.  This means that I  can have my student use any available computer giving me flexibility for scheduling. CD-ROMs include 1 Instructor’s CD and 3 Course CD’s.

To use the CD-ROM just insert into the CD/DVD ROM Drive and wait for the auto run prompt.  We have successfully used this on my laptop running Windows 7 and on my husbands laptop running Windows Vista. On our Windows XP desktop,  our Auto Play does not work, but I am able to go to ‘computer’, click on the drive containing the CD and bring up the menu for Financial Accounting.

This is not a traditional course and does not contain a textbook.  Material is presented to the student via audio lecture with a slide presentation.  Exercises and Problems are included as PDF files to print.

What’s on the Instructor CD? This is a supplement CD and  contains an introduction from the professor, two different suggested lesson plans, quizzes, exams, a course syllabus, excel templates, and a link to the website.

There are quizzes for chapters 2-12 and 3 exams that cover 4 chapters each.   The quizzes can be taken after completing each chapter or you may choose to take the quizzes at the end for a CLEP style exam.   Solutions for the quizzes and exams are also included.

What’s on the other 3 discs? Each disc contains the Chapter Lectures, Problems, Solutions, Key Concepts and Printable Slides.  Disc 1 contains chapters 1-4, disc 2 contains chapters 5-8, and disc 3 contains 9-12.   Professor in a Box breaks each chapter lecture into 2 or 3 parts with 15-40 slides per part.   

Describe a typical chapter or lesson: I printed out both lesson plan suggestions from the Instructor’s Guide so that I could compare them.  Lesson Plan A is the full college course where as Lesson Plan B lists slides and problems that may be skipped.  Both contain all the necessary content to prepare a student for the CLEP exam.  Both plans divide the 12 chapters over 28 lessons with three formats suggested.  For the College Semester option the student would complete 2 lessons per week for 14 weeks.   The Summer School format has 9 weeks with 3 lessons per week.  We’re doing the the Full Year format which suggests taking 1 week to do 1 lesson for 28 weeks.  

A Typical Lesson will take an average of 3 hours.   The Lesson Plan breaks down assignments into 3 or 4 parts and gives a time estimate for each part..

Using Lesson 6 as our example we see that this week we will need to review the solution to problem 3-2 (5 min), View the Chapter 3- Part 1 Lecture working through some problems while you view the lecture (60 minutes),  read Key Concepts and Terms (10 min) , and Homework (75 minutes).   The total estimate for this particular lesson is 150 minutes. Because you can pause the lecture and move to any slide within the lecture, it is possible for the student to take a break while viewing the lecture slides or even to decide to spread the lecture over 2 or more days or sessions.  It does not keep your place, but it is easy to get back to where you left off.

Thoughts from my student: I assigned Professor in A Box to BooBear.  She is 15 and most of her work is at a 10th grade level.  She has plans to become a private piano teacher with her own studio someday. We both feel this course is perfect for those plans.

She shares that he is very thorough and he gives a lot of information. She wishes the slides were just a little bit more clear in his presentations.  Not all of the slides, just some of them.   By not clear, she means she feels that something was missing.  She tells me, “I like this product and I am enjoying the course.” 

My Thoughts and Impressions: I really like the format.  I really felt like I was attending a lecture but with the advantage that I could take a break without missing anything.  I appreciate that the slides can be viewed separately.   With the slides being available separately, I could go back and re-read slides without having to listen to the lecture again. If I were a student, the Key Concepts and the Slides would provide what I would need to review and prepare for quizzes and exams. I think for students preparing for the CLEP, it will be very valuable to be able to return again to the slides and review the Key Concepts.

Although this is a business class, I am finding the principles of accounting found in the first 4 chapters inspiring for getting my household budget/finances in order. I will be requiring Turtlegirl (8th grade) to take this course soon and I will be requiring Tailorbear to complete it when she is in high school. I want to make time to really work through it for myself.  I’ve learned quite a bit from just reading through the key concepts and viewing slides and listening to a few lectures.   

At the time of this review, Professor in a Box is on sale for $99.  This is an online promotion.  According to the website, they have a Marketing Course that ships in Mid-November and another business class is expected in the spring of 2011.  Contact information for Professor in A Box is available by clicking here.

Click on the banner below to read what my fellow crew mates have to say about Financial Accounting from Professor in a Box.

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Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received Financial Accounting from Professor In a Box free of charge for review purposes. I received no compensation.

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