An Essay on Technology in the Classroom:  
Are You Willing to Be Blissfully Out of Date?

Bob Jensen at Trinity University

The Essay Request

My Essay

"In what ways should course content materials be modified for online learning?"


Replays from Daring Educators on the Leading Edge of Education Technologies  

Wonderfully Said  

1998 New Faculty Consortium Slides by W. Steve Albrecht

A Message from Tom Omer About Helping Colleagues

My March 17, 2000 Letter to The Wall Street Journal

Onsite versus Online Universities in the 21st Century

How To and How Not to Deliver Distance Education 
War stories from teachers in the first accredited online MBA program.



Essay Request

Message from Professor Griffin on March 14, 2000

 I am the chair of the new faculty handbook committee (T&C section, AAA) and am following up on a suggestion made by Kathy Sinning, one of the committee members. She indicated you might be willing to provide an essay on using technology in the classroom. Is this something you might consider? If it would be helpful to you, I could provide you with copies of the material we have to date for the handout or simply a copy of the table of contents. I look forward to hearing from you. If you have questions, let me know. Lynn

Lynn Griffin Department of Accounting School of Business North Carolina A&T State University Greensboro, NC 27411 336-334-7581 ext. 6008

Bob Jensen's Essay for the American Accounting Association's New Faculty Handbook

Important Questions With Frustrating Answers 


Educational Technologies That Will Not Be Focused On in This Essay

It is assumed that virtually all accounting educators make use of presentation software (often PowerPoint), email, and spreadsheet software (usually Excel).  These are outside the focus of this essay except to recommend that presentation software, as well as lecturing in general,  be used sparingly in class.  If students have five courses in a day and all five instructors flash repeated PowerPoint screens in front of them, the students are brain dead by the end of the day.  Classtime should keep students active as much as possible with case discussions, student presentations, team tasks, etc.  Use of e-mail with students is recommended unless the demands on the instructor's time become onerous.

This essay will not focus upon courses that never meet synchronously (at regular class times) or only meet a few times a semester.  Courses that are virtually asynchronous require education technologies.  My discussion of asynchronous education can be found at


Examples of Educational Technologies That Will  Be Focused On in This Essay

Although I will not address each of the topics below in any kind of detail, it may be useful to note that I am referring in this paper to the following types of technologies:

Examples of what accounting professors can and are doing with educational technologies can be found in the Accounting Coursepage Exchange (ACE) program sponsored by the American Accounting Association.  See 

The American Accounting Association has some great Faculty Development helpers at  For example, you can read about both submissions and winners of the prestigious Innovation in Accounting Education awards.


Will educational technologies improve the performance of students and make them better prepared to be life long learners?

I don't think that there is any doubt that accounting students must learn more than ever about information technologies and the web.  Business reporting is going to change dramatically with web reporting.  It is vital that all accounting faculty and students become familiar with the IASC research report on this topic at 

In the short run, we will see rapid changes in university curricula to adjust to powerful student demands for e-Commerce. This complicated aspect of commerce is a high priority in business education.  There are new e-Business and e-Commerce sections being formed at the AACSB --- see

My bottom line prediction is that education of the future will focus on development and use of knowledge bases. My analogy here is a comparison of a Model T Ford with an F-17 airplane. At age 14, my father could tear apart every component of a Model T, jerry-rig some of the parts in a barn, and have the car up an running in no time. Educators of the past prided themselves on being integrative scholars who could recite the major knowledge of many disciplines and produce a graduate who knew an amazing amount about a lot of things such as history, economics, psychology, literature, music, mathematics, statistics, etc.

When confronted with an F-17, however, an expert mechanic hardly knows where to begin. It takes a huge team of very highly skilled specialists to tackle an F-17, and that team may not be able to fix all of the 50 computers aboard a single aircraft. The knowledge base of virtually every discipline is becoming so immense that the way in which scholars approached issues in the 20th Century will change radically in the 21st Century. Future scholars will not necessarily be narrowly-focused specialists, but they will be adept at using technologies to integrate stored knowledge bases and attempt to creatively add to both the specialized components of knowledge and the integration of knowledge. The goal of education does not change dramatically over time, but the process will change radically. Learned teams will replace learned individuals. Learning will take place in real time at any place rather than in discrete time periods in classrooms.

Finally on the wild side we have a book entitled the "Brave New World: the Evolution of Mind in the Twenty-first Century," by Ray Kurzweil --- He forecasts that before Year 2050, we will be able to inject nanobots in our blood stream that will contain knowledge bases that attached to parts of our brain. How wonderful it would be if we could inject "FAS 133 Tutorial" with a needle and then know all about this standard without having to read or sweat. I will leave it up to you as to how futuristic you want to take this investigation of knowledge in a needle. 

There is that nagging issue of what the accounting profession will become.  Issues of auditor independence are enormous.  But the profession must not follow the way of the railroads who never looked beyond transporting across iron rails.  The railroads viewed  themselves as "rail roads" rather than transportation companies.  They missed their opportunities to expand into airline and communication ventures.  The accounting profession is at a similar juncture.  If public accounting moves backwards from its new ventures, it stands the risk of being a system of regulated "rail roads" rather than a relevant and viable profession in the 21st Century.  My latest website on this issue is at

Be that as it may, there is still the question of what technologies you use in your classes and how much you and your students rely upon such technologies.  It is possible to conclude with a sigh that adapting to newer technologies is just not for you and your courses.  Familiar reasons or excuses include the following:

In spite of the numerous excuses and reasons why instructors may resist using technologies other than PowerPoint and e-mail, my advice to you is think of what is best for your students.  Wouldn't it be awful if the only writing students did in college was in English composition courses?  It would be terrible if the only time they made an oral presentation was in a speech class.  The best universities have students writing and speaking in virtually all courses.  The same should be true of computing and networking technologies.  These skills and resources should be used in virtually all courses.

One of the most frequently asked questions asked in my education technology workshops is as follows:  
"In what ways should course content materials be modified for online learning?"

My quick and dirty response is that faculty who develop content should learn how to use FrontPage or some other good HTML editor and then learn how to screen capture and video capture themselves rather than relying upon technicians.  You can learn FrontPage, Paint Shop Pro screen capturing, and Camtasia video capturing in just a few days with a little help from your friends.  With a little added effort, you can make your online course materials more interactive by saving Excel worksheets as interactive Webpages and by learning how to use JavaScript.  You can learn all of these things in less than a week with a little help from your friends.

  1. Use more screen captures, audio captures, and video captures of things that you normally demo in lecture presentations.   Look under "Resources" below.

  2. Audio capturing is especially important since you can let students hear what you like to say in lectures or case discussions.  For example, in an Excel spreadsheet you can add buttons to that students can click on to hear your explanation of what is going on in various cells of the spreadsheet.

  3. Flesh in PowerPoint, Excel, or other presentations with video and audio.  Camtasia works great for both capturing dynamic computer screen presentations in video accompanied by your audio explanations.  Your video files may take up more space that you are allowed on your Web server.  However, you can save them to CD-R or CD-RW disks that can be sold to students for around $1.00 per disk. You can learn more about Camtasia from .  You can make CDs by simply dragging files to a blank CD using Windows Explorer if you first install Easy CD ( ).  For video illustrations, see 

  4. Try to make your online materials more interactive by saving Excel workbooks as interactive Webpages and use of JavaScipt.  See .  For illustrations on publishing Excel workbooks as Webpages, see 

  5. Make a lot more use of online questions and answers that replace the question and answer type of style that you probably use in lectures.  Amy Dunbar uses this approach extensively.  See You can read about how she developed her first online course at 

One of the fastest growing segments of the communication industry is the area of Instant Messaging, where people can set up "buddy lists" on their computer and have real time text conversations with friends or colleagues. The problem until now has been how to capture the corporate benefits of Instant Messaging without spending the resources to ensure the security of the communication. Enter Microsoft. 

You can listen to Amy Dunbar discuss the use of instant messaging in her distance education tax courses at 


I just shared a platform with Amy Dunbar in a workshop presented at Mercer University on November 9, 2001.  I am amazed at what both Amy and her husband (John) are accomplishing with online teaching of income tax and tax research.  


Ideas for Teaching Online (including Distance Education via Centra Symposium) --- 

Educators designing their own web pages may find the National Cancer Institute's "Research-Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines" a useful starting place. The publication includes suggestions for page layout and styles, content organization, navigation, and accessibility. The guide is available online at .

"Seton Hall has developed free software that helps instructors turn their lectures into multimedia presentations for course Web sites. The software, called SyncStream (  ), makes it easy to mix video of a lecture with a PowerPoint presentation or other slide show. To use the program instructors must first record their lectures in the streaming-video format developed by RealNetworks."
Tracey Sutherland [tracey@AAAHQ.ORG

Alternatives to Expensive Video Conferencing

October 21, 2003 message from Amy Dunbar [Amy.Dunbar@BUSINESS.UCONN.EDU

As I understand it, Centra Symposium is the cadillac. Placeware is more reasonably priced, but can do what you want. Also, Fordham was talking about Tegrity in one of his postings, but I have never worked with that product. As for VOIP, I don't think software is there yet.

I use telephone conferencing in conjunction with Placeware. I am cc'ing Dave Will, the guy who worked with me. He can send you information on Placeware. I think he set up Penn State's MBA program with Placeware.

Amy Dunbar 

Macromedia - Flash Technotes: Web Sites Devoted to Macromedia Flash and Flash Developers

Creative Ideas for Teaching --- 

Add variety to a class period and have fun Dogs in the classroom or "who let the dogs out?" The ten rules of... misc. lists -- educational and humorous
Considerations on developing teacher style EDUCATIONAL SIMULATIONS PAGE Generally creative quote of the day
The "ready, fire, aim" method of teaching  Teacher's Windows Wallpaper Urban legends-- Bill Gates on Education???
Zen and the art of teaching "" -- eBay (tm) for educators FREE handouts for classroom teachers
Teaching and the "digital communities" Creative use of video games Humorous grammar rules
Teacher "show and tell" items Star Trek and Star Wars and Teachers More humorous grammar rules
Teaching during the information tsunami Creative ways to encourage reluctant readers Heard about "Internet Time?"
Teaching in Arizona, 1912 The "Big Loader" education page FREE "handout banners" for teachers
Coming soon! Empowering teachers; the teacher as artist Text adventure games and reading  Great materials for Creative Teachers
    A simulated "submarine" inspires learning

Understanding Bandwidth and Streaming Media Production 

Understanding bandwidth is really quite simple, and it is necessary to have a fundamental grasp of what bandwidth is if you are creating streaming media files such as WMV, ASF or CAMV etc. --- 

The purpose of this document is to provide an easy to understand, general explanation of what bandwidth means, and how it relates to video production of screen recordings and content delivery. It is not a technical dissertation, and will therefore, for reasons of simplicity of explanation, use approximation and rounding in most calculations.

How to Capture Streaming Audio and Video

It is not possible to download streaming audio/video files like we download such things as MPEG and MP3 files.  I asked my friends on the AECM to indicate how I could obtain a copy of the scandalous Enron Home Movie that can be viewed as streaming video from the Houston Chronicle --- See 

Todd Boyle told me to get a Mac computer.  He says the Mac can capture streaming video.  For PC users, I received the following answer from Jim Borden who successfully captured the Enron Home Movie using Camtasia.  My Camtasia tutorials are at (including my tutorial on how to run Camtasia).

Hopefully you've had a chance to download the video, and it is working for you.
In terms of how I was able to record the video, I found the following help file from that gave some advice, as follows:
"Hey everyone, don't get all mad at Real Player for being so shitty as it is. Do what I did--GET EVEN!!! First off, I found this nice and nifty little plugin for Winamp that enables it to play Real files. If anyone is interested in it, go to to download it. Then, make Winamp the default player for all Real media types. And no, you can't totally uninstall Real Player from your system. The plug-in uses the basic core elements of Real Player to play Real Media files.
I am not done yet! I have found some ways to convert Real media to better standard formats. For Real Video, I have found a neat little program that directly converts Real Video files to .avi. It is called TINRA(This Is Not Real Anymore). It can be found on this site-- The only problem with that is that the output .avi file has the audio and the video portions out of sync. That can many times be fixed, though, using VirtualDub. Another way to convert Real video to .avi is to use Camtasia. Camtasia can be found at The only thing I don't like about that program is that the only way you can record the audio portion of the Real video file is to use a microphone. That can be bypassed, though, by just simply running a jack wire between the speaker jack and the microphone jack. The sound still isn't the best but it is better than sticking the microphone up to the speaker. A better way to bypass the microphone altogether is to use the Sound Blaster Live video card if you have one or can fork over $150 for one. The Sound Blaster Live video card places an input into the Recording section of the Windows Volume Control called "What You Hear" that maps the audio internally in the sound card to the microphone. This allows direct recording of audio generated by applications simply by enabling audio recording in Snagit or Camtasia. Check your sound card. Some sound cards may also have a mixer control that allows you to map the audio to the microphone input.
Now with the Real Audio. The two ways I have found that make it possible to convert Real Audio to .mp3 or .wav are Streambox Ripper(versions 2.009 or older) or Jet-Audio Extension. Both of them work real well, in my opinion.
With all of those tools to avert the crappiness of Real Player, my Real Player is tucked away nice and snug into my Program Files folder, only to be used once in a blue moon to adjust some settings. Please email me any other ways that someone can successfully put Real Player in its place. Have fun! "
I have a Santa Cruz sound card, and was able to change one of its settings, and just like that, I was able to capture the audio using Camtasa. I had also tried HyperCam from, and was having the same problem; I could capture the video but not the audio. Once I got the sound working in Camtasia, I have not gone back and tried HyperCam to see if I could record the sound and video from the streaming Enron movie.

January 30, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas []  


A 2001 RAND Corporation report, CONDUCTING RESEARCH SURVEYS VIA EMAIL AND THE WEB [ISBN: 0-8330-3110-4], discusses the pros and cons of using email and the Web to conduct research surveys. The authors (Matthias Schonlau, Ronald D. Fricker, Jr., and Marc N. Elliott) provide an overview of the various aspects of the research survey process, guidelines for choosing the type of Internet survey to use, and suggestions for designing and implementing Internet surveys. The report is available for purchase in paperback or online in PDF format, at no charge, at

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit research organization "providing objective analysis and effective solutions that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors around the world." For more information, link to is a great helper site (especially for MP3 audio conversions) --- 

MP3 & Audio
MP3 Search, CD Burners, Players, New releases...

Tools, WebFerret, Chat, Browsers, New releases...

Action, Strategy, Casino, Arcade, New releases...

E-mail, Taxes, Finance, New releases...

Palm OS, Pocket PC, Cell phone, New releases...
Multimedia & Design
Video, Image Editing, Animation, New releases...

Web Developer
HTML Editors, Site Management, New releases...

Software Developer
Tools & Editors, Java, ActiveX, New releases...

Utilities & Drivers
Drivers, Antivirus, File Compression, New releases...

Home & Desktop
Screensavers, Wallpaper, Themes, New releases...

Downloads for  Windows  |  Mac  |  Linux  |  Palm  &  Handhelds


Webmonkey's How to Library



Bob Jensen's helpers are linked at 

"Educator-Specific Templates," by Judith B.Rajala, President and Founder of, T.H.E. Journal, September 2003, Page 32 --- 

TechKnowLogia --- 

TechKnowLogia is an international online journal that provides policy makers, strategists, practitioners and technologists at the local, national and global levels with a strategic forum to:

Explore the vital role of different information technologies (print, audio, visual and digital) in the development of human and knowledge capital;
Share policies, strategies, experiences and tools in harnessing technologies for knowledge dissemination, effective learning, and efficient education services;
Review the latest systems and products of technologies of today, and peek into the world of tomorrow; and
Exchange information about resources, knowledge networks and centers of expertise.

Bob Jensen's threads on education technologies are at

Bob Jensen's threads on examination technologies and assessment are at 

Summaries of some useful technology resources for educators are given at 

From Syllabus News on March 25, 2003

New Products: SCORM Simulation Tool for eLearning Market

A simulation software company released what it called the first SCORM- compliant simulation software designed for the eLearning market. eHelp Corp. markets RoboHelp, a Flash-based simulation application that enables trainers to create simulations with quizzing and scoring capabilities. The simulations can be integrated with a learning management system, viewed on a Web site or intranet, burned on a CD, e- mailed to an end user or integrated into a Help system. RoboDemo can record the use of any application or on-screen activity, and creates a movie in Flash format with visible and audible mouse clicks. Simulations can be easily enhanced by adding rollover and transparent text captions and images, audio, interactive text fields and click boxes, eLearning-specific features like quizzing, scoring and branching, hyperlinks, and special effects.

Teaching Tips From Some Veteran Accounting Educators

We continue to have great experiences with the approach designed by two of our faculty members and described at 

Ed Scribner 
New Mexico State University 
E. Scribner [escribne@NMSU.EDU

The other day, an MBA student (one of the brighter ones), who took a Managerial Accounting course from me last Summer, dropped by my office and we got talking about the course.

He told me that an episode which the class really appreciated was when I made some paper boats in class. There was an illustration of a boat producer in the class text to illustrate manufacturing and job order costing and I thought I could provide a visual illustration by folding papers into boats as I used to in early grade school.

The plane white sheets represented direct material and I provided the direct labour. Some papers were partially folded (work in process) and others completely folded in boats (finished goods). I had a small bottle of glue, scotch tape and some paper clips as illustrations of possible overhead costs. I "sold" some of the finished products to the students and removed the boats "sold" as cost of goods sold, from my inventory of finished goods. The whole exercise took 5 mins or less. According to the student, he and the other students got a good understanding of the various manufacturing costs from that exercise.

I was debating whether I should try little "projects" like the above in class. This was an MBA class and I was afraid that some of the students may perceive such exercises as too "simplistic" or "antics" of the professor they have to bear.

We had a discussion on the list-serve a year or so ago about "low-tech" teaching aids in accounting and was wondering whether anyone has any recent experience (good, bad or neutral) using some of these teaching aids.

George Lan 
University of Windsor

I use golf balls to illustrate the LIFO, FIFO, and average cost methods. I bring a sleeve (3 balls) of balls with the number 1, one with 2, and one with 3 on them. Then I show how they are interchangeable but if there acquisition cost was different, you have to make some assumptions about which ones were sold and which ones are still in the ending inventory. This works much better than examples on the while board, etc. and I wish I could think of more of them.

Denny Beresford
University of Georgia

I have used different color blocks and tinkertoys. Again it helps the students to visualize the components of a product, and I can create different works cells etc. While not wanting to admit it the students love being able to use (play with) with blocks. They remember the relationships later. I have also used putting the blocks together to help develop standards, and what a time standard can mean.

Exercises like these take a couple of minutes to make a lasting impression.

Stokes, Len

Ed Scribner provided a link to this tremendous set of accounting teacher helpers --- 

Distance Education Magazines and Journals 

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Center for Instructional Technology recently revised and updated our guide on multimedia resources. "Multimedia Technology: Recommended Resources" includes recommended books, a list of magazines that cover multimedia topics, and links to multimedia-related associations and conferences. 

The resource guide is available at 

Video and Other Helper Tutorials --- 
(New videos will be added steadily for the next several months.  I love Camtasia.)

My main tutorial page has shifted to 

Create your own music on the Web (free) --- 

NetRipper 2.0 (Photographs, Graphics, Education) 

Net-Ripper Features Net-Ripper Features
Net-Ripper turns your favorite Web gallery into a slide show WHILE IT DOWNLOADS! Images are RESIZED TO YOUR SCREEN, and there's NO CLICKING on popups and links! View previously captured images OFF-LINE.
How does Net-Ripper work? How does Net-Ripper work?
1. Rips The Best Images from Web Sites.
Net-Ripper is an enhanced web browser which instantly turns images from web pages into slide shows. Multiple pages are searched at once for images and movies, annoying popup message and banner adverts are skipped, meaning more efficient use of connection time. Net-Ripper also remembers where it's up too, and will carry on grabbing where it left off when a site is visited again.

2. Creates a Slide show as it Rips.
The slideshow is created as soon as the first image is downloaded, and plays while Net-Ripper continues to download and add images to the slide show. Images are re-scaled to fit the screen as they are played, there is no need to scroll to see all of a large image, or to reduce screen resolution to make small images a reasonable size.

3. An Offline Browser. 
Net-Ripper automatically archive images downloaded for later offline access, displaying all the sites grabbed using thumbnail images. Users can browse through the sites and individual images, deleting those that are no longer required. Any of the archived images can also be displayed as a slide show.


Flowchart Software

February 19, 2003 message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU

Smartdraw -   - is an excellent choice for auditing and AIS classes. The trial is 30 days - long enough for students to use and learn the basics of flowcharting. I have a Flash animated tutorial on document flowcharting at:


Richard J. Campbell

February 20, 2003 reply from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

I have had excellent luck with plain old Word. I'm mildly surprised there are flowcharting packages still out there, although I applaud the stamina and courage of MS competition.

Some might not be aware that Word comes with a full palette of flowcharting tools, including a few that are too technical even for us AIS geeks.

To get to the flowcharting capability in Word, move your mouse into a blank area in the menu bar at the top of your window. Right click to get a list of toolbars. Click on "Drawing". That will put a drawing toolbar in your window. On the drawing toolbar, click on the "Autoshapes" drop-down arrow, and select "Flowchart".

To create a flowchart, click a shape on the Flowchart Autoshapes toolbox, then go to your document and in the drawing area, drag your mouse across the area where you want the symbol to be.

You can right-click on the drawing area to resize it. Once you place a symbol on your flowchart, right-click the symbol and select "format autoshape". You can color them, change the line weight and color, and even add fill effects such as shadowing and textures, etc.

The XP version of Word has 28 flowchart symbols, whereas my old green plastic IBM template has only 21!

By using other shapes on the Autoshapes menu you can add professional-looking arrows, call-out boxes, pillows and clouds for comments, stars, banners, special lines, etc. You can group shapes, move them to the front or back to let them overlap, and do all sorts of other magic.

All of this comes standard with Word. I used to have my students use the free sample from Visio, but now, I just show them how to get started in Word, and they do the rest. Flowcharting used to take up two or three days of my systems class, including samples, etc. a dozen years ago. Now it takes up about fifteen minutes, including a walk-through. And the quality of the student submissions and assignments has gone way up, too.

I give my students a reference page of what the symbols mean and how to use them. See: 

There are all kinds of "Easter Eggs" like this hidden in modern MS Office packages that can save time and money.

(Yes, I know that SmartDraw and Visio are much more powerful than Word drawing. But for my purposes, Word can handle most of what my students need to do...)

David R. Fordham 
PBGH Faculty Fellow 
James Madison University

February 20, 2003 reply from Roberta (Bobbi) Jones [roajones@CALPOLY.EDU

All, Word is OK but it doesn't have "connectors". I use Excel or PowerPoint, both of which have "connectors" that move and change as you shift around the outher symbols. Everything that is available in Word is available in the other two programs as well. 



February 20, 2003 reply from Barbara Scofield [scofield_b@UTPB.EDU

My favorite flowcharting software is rfflow ( ) and the advantage of creating the charts on an underlying grid, having labels formatted at the same time as shapes, and moving items with all of the arrows remaining attached is a great timesaver. Plus it has an option that generates html /gif pages for immediate linkage to my website.

There is a free trial.

Barbara W. Scofield, PhD, CPA 
Coordinator of Graduate Business Studies 
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin 
4901 E. University Odessa, TX 79762

JAlbum 2.0 Web Photo Album Generator (free) 

Improve your touch typing skills 

TypingTips --- 

You may contact Roy Oron [

First consider whether you really need to take up server space for thousands of video frames. If you have captured speakers at a conference, video of a talking head is a complete waste of space. You can capture one picture of the speaker and accompany it with his or her audio presentation (along with Powerpoint or other computer files that the speaker may share with you). I illustrate this approach at the following links: 

Sometimes all that is needed is the audio. See 

I prefer to record all audio files in MP3. I do this with Roxio Easy CD Creator --- 

For video capturing of my voice along with things that I illustrate in a computer screen, I like Camtasia --- 

Generally, I make a separate file for each video or audio module. I used to use ToolBook for making clips of avi files, but since ToolBook abandoned OpenScript I have not had much luck at clip making.

I have a super-duper Pinnacle video capture board in my new computer, and you can make clips with Adobe Premiere software that accompanies the Pinnacle System (you can use Premiere with other capture cards as well). However, I do not like my Pinnacle system because it will only capture full screen compressed video (no more avi capturing of smaller windows and lower frame rates). I hate having to capture and store full screen, full motion video that must be played back on special software. Hence, I don't really use my Pinnacle system very often. Whenever possible, I use still pictures with audio.

Hope this helps a little.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: James  
Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2002 12:58 PM 
Subject: video questions and lunch invitation

Hi Bob,

I'm not sure you remember me, but we've met and talked a couple of times. I'm writing today to ask you a couple of questions. (I have recently spent 7-8 hours on your web site and don't see the answers there.)

Here's the context of my questions. I want to begin (take one step) toward develop some online learning materials. For that step, I'm thinking of breaking a video of a talk by some expert or panel of experts into smaller parts, labeling the parts as to the topic discussed, and making them available to the students through the web.

1) When you record the typical sessions at the annual meeting do you use a digital video camera? If so, which model?

2) What software do you use to strip/copy smaller clips out of a longer video? (My understanding of Camtasia is that it's not designed for this purpose.) In your presentations a few years ago, you've said you show a still picture of the speaker and stream only the audio; is that what you still recommend, or has technology advanced enough to make the video idea practicable?

Are you interested in joining me for lunch during one of the AAA Annual Meeting days? I'll buy. In any case, I am registered for your Accounting for Intangibles and Internet Reporting seminar and will see you then.


Some Technology Resources Available to Educators

"Accountability: Meeting The Challenge With Technology," Technology & Learning, January 2002, Page 32 --- 

I Love Camtasia

Camtasia Recording and Producing --- 

I prepared a Camtasia video on how I record Camtasia avi files and how I "produce" a copy of the file as a rm RealMedia file that will play on most computers without having to download the Camtasia Player.  You can read about Camtasia and download a free Camtasia player from 
(If you can play the rm RealMedia version, you do not need the player to view the videos.)

Note that if you want to record audio as well as video in Camtasia, it is best to have the microphone on a stand or clipped to your shirt.  You will probably need both hands free for use of the keyboard.

Also note that you should set up a hot key to toggle between "Record" and "Pause" (I assigned the F9 key for this purpose).  It is common while you are recording to have to do something (such as taking time to bring up another file or refresh you memory on how to perform a task) that you do not want in the video.  To pause the recording process, I simply click on F9.  When I am ready to commence once again, I click on F9 to renew the recording process.  I also assign the F10 key to end the recording process.  You can assign these "HotKeys" in the Camtasia Recorder menu choices (Options, Preferences, Hotkeys).

Camtasia has panning and zooming options even though the video is not being captured in a "camera."  Panning effects are created by moving  the "camera" (usually from side to side) while keeping the subject in the viewfinder.  Zooming entails making the image more or less magnified.

Flesh in PowerPoint, Excel, or other presentations with video and audio.  Camtasia works great for both capturing dynamic computer screen presentations in video accompanied by your audio explanations.  Your video files may take up more space that you are allowed on your Web server.  However, you can save them to CD-R or CD-RW disks that can be sold to students for around $1.00 per disk. You can learn more about Camtasia from .  You can make CDs by simply dragging files to a blank CD using Windows Explorer if you first install Easy CD ( ).

For my Camtasia tutorial video, see 

September 6, 2002 message from Roxio [
Roxio's homepage is at 

Roxio's VideoWave® 5 Power Edition is the complete video editing and DVD authoring solution for demanding users. Now, for a limited time, you can purchase Videowave 5 Power Edition for only $59.95. That's $40 off the suggested retail price!

Easy Capture: Easily transfer digital or analog** video from your camera to your PC. Powerful Editing: Use professional tools with drag & drop ease. Expert Effects: Create high-end image effects and transitions. DVD Authoring: Burn DVDs to share with friends.

Take advantage of the $10 instant discount and $30 mail-in rebate!

Screen Capturing

Initial Message from Ross Stevenson [ross.stevenson@AUT.AC.NZ

Hi aecmers I would appreciate info on the software you (experts) use to screen dump from an accounting program (such as Mind Your Own Business - MYOB) to a Word document. I'm told there is stuff out there that is much better than 'PrntScrn' Thanks in advance for any responses

Ross Stevenson 
Auckland University of Technology NZ

Reply from James Borden [james.borden@VILLANOVA.EDU

I have always thought that Paint Shop Pro ( ) did an excellent job with screen captures (among other things). To me it is one of the all-time great shareware programs!

Jim Borden 
Villanova University

Reply from Bob Jensen [

I also use Paint Shop Pro for a picture grab of the screen.  

For conversion of pictures of text into computer text that can be pasted into MS Word, I use OmniPage Pro --- 

Many scanners now come with text conversion software.

Bob Jensen
Trinity University

Reply from Del DeVries [ddevrie1@UTK.EDU

When is a screen dump not really just a screen print? When you are trying to capture a page which is either larger than a single viewable screen or scrolls (such as web pages).

I have used Capture EZ Pro,  (shareware), primarily for web page captures (multiple output file format capabilities) where I needed a snapshot of the entire web page - not just a single screen full. The same could apply to accounting systems.

One additional slick feature is sequential file numbering for capturing multiple web pages (or any screen capture) without taking time to specificially name each file. You specify the leading characters of the file name - the program adds sequential numbering to each successive capture.

Del DeVries

Reply from Bob Jensen []

Del's message is extremely helpful when you want to capture complete images that are larger than the screen.

However, a better way to capture entire Webpages is to simply use Internet Exlplorer's "File Save as" option for downloading entire Webpages.  Of course, you will get separate files for each picture since the only way a Webpage can show a picture is to link to that picture's file (i.e., pictures are not "pasted" into HTML files like they are pasted into MS Word files.

If all you want is a picture from a Webpage, it is generally possible to simply right click and save the single picture file.  If you want all the pictures and other items appearing on the page, then you go to File, Save as and choose the entire Webpage option.   It is possible that the Webpage is in Java such that this is not possible, but most web pages are in HTML where this is possible.

PDF files are more problematic.  Generally the authors let you select text and pictures for copying, but it is possible for the authors to turn off selection permission.  In that case you must resort to EZ Pro, Paint Shop Pro, or one of the other software options for screen capturing.

Since I stopped using Netscape years ago, I don't know if you can do the same type of Webpage and picture file download using Netscape.

Bob Jensen

Reply from Ronald R. Tidd [Ron@RRTIDD.COM

To expand on Bob's comment about using the "File Save As..." option in Internet Explorer to save entire web pages:

Under Save as File Type, select Web Archive Single file (*.mht) and you will not get separate files for each picture.

Also take a look at Hyperionics, 

Ron Tidd

Reply from Jim McKinney [jim@MCKINNEYCPA.COM]

For web site capture I usually use Adobe Acrobat. You can download whole sections of a website automatically with the pages date-stamped and source-links printed at the top of the page.

Jim McKinney
Howard University

Reply from Andrew Lymer [a.lymer@BHAM.AC.UK

You could also check out Fullshot from ( ) - I switched to this from SnagIt a while back and prefer it for most things involving quick screen grabs (although agree for post snag manipulation, PSP is better)

Andy Lymer 
University of Birmingham, UK

Reply from Roger Debreceny [rogerd@NETBOX.COM

I like SnagIt from TechSmith ( ), a company that also produces CamTasia and DubIt each of which are also useful producs.


Video Capturing

Flesh in PowerPoint, Excel, or other presentations with audio normally delivered in lectures.  Camtasia works great for both capturing the presentations and adding audio.  Your video files may take up more space that you are allowed on your Web server.  However, you can save them to CD-R or CD-RW disks that can be sold to students for around $1.00 per disk. You can learn more about Camtasia from .  You can make CDs by simply dragging files to a blank CD using Windows Explorer if you first install Easy CD ( ).  For video illustrations, see 

Audio Capturing

Audio recording depends upon your hardware and your version of Windows at hand (I assume you are running Windows on a PC). Microsoft has an audio recorder on most versions of Windows, but for versions other than Windows ME, the dumb sound recorder is limited to 60 seconds of recording. There are ways of tricking it to record longer files (e.g., by recording over a longer WAV file), but these are all a genuine pain in the tail. I suspect the 60-second limit was a proud effort by Microsoft in the past to show that Bill Gates is not always trying to kill off competitors. In the case of audio recording the leading competitors are SoundBlaster (from Creative Labs) and Turtle Beach.

To find your sound recorder, click on My Computer, Control Panel, Multimedia. You should find the Windows Sound Recorder. Of course you will first have to find that little jack in the back of your computer where you must plug in a microphone. If you have a sound card such as SoundBlaster, by all means use this great hardware having its own plugs and software. If you don't have a sound card added to your computer, I suggest that you contact your tech support folks and ask them what they recommend. SoundBlaster is probably the best option. See 

In the meantime you can try the hardware and software that came with your computer (other than the microphone that is not usually packaged with the computer).

Most Windows audio recorders record WAV files. These take up useless space, and it is a good idea these days to convert the WAV file that you recorded into an MP3 file.

My amateur tips on MP3 compression of WAV files can be found below.

For MP3 information, I recommend going to  (You have to hit the Next button quite often). I am afraid that I am rather inefficient about this. I record audio as WAV files using my Turtle Beach software. Then I edit (clip, change volume, enhance) the wav files before compressing (converting) into MP3 files. The software I use for compression is called Blade. The link to Blade download options can be found at 

Easy CD Creator 5 Platinum --- 

Easy CD Creator 5 Platinum for Windows 95/98/NT/2000/Me goes way beyond the software that came with your CD recorder. Now you can burn and share anything on CD - your music just the way you like it, your photos, your videos - even backup your critical data - faster and easier than ever.

A utility called Spin Doctor in the above package allows you to record audio directly into MP3 formats on a hard drive.  There are other utilities for editing and burning the files to a CD-R or a CD-RW disk

There are other alternatives.  For professional work that you are planning, I recommend that you look at more sophisticated software and hardware. For example, you might exercise the free trial offer at   Another very good option is WinRip.  WinRip from InterVideo is an MP3 player and encoder that includes the ability to embed and present in an MP3 file additional information such as lyrics, links and promotions. 

Options for recording and composing music are summarized at 

AudioBase's free MP3 streaming applet, AB3, lets developers put audio into a Web site without needing to use plug-ins. 

RealAudio downloads are another matter.


I paid $30 for RealDownload. See,international 

I'm not an expert, but I cannot find where downloads of this type are "files" in the usual sense of a separate file for each download. Instead I get an index to downloaded files that are mysteriously stored in places that I cannot access in any way other than using the player index.

You might consider doing a RealDownload word search on Google.

Hope this helps.



I frequently link students to NPR's audio archives on my course web sites. I have found it unwieldy to use these archives in class unless I have an electronic classroom. I have tried making audio cassettes from the archives, but the quality is very poor. Is there any way to download Real Audio files onto my own computer for future playback/manipulations? I haven't figured out how to do this on my own. Thanks for any advice you have on this count.


How to copy all or parts of most any CD
CD-DA Extractor --- 

Easy CD-DA Extractor includes three programs:

Features include:

Subject Index to Literature on Electronic Sources of Information 

 Electronic Sources of Information: A Bibliography 

A Great Summary of Web Instruction Resources 
Sharon Gray, Instructional Technologist --- 
Augustana College, 2001 Summit Ave., Sioux Falls, SD  57197, 605-274-4907 

For GREAT comprehensive listing of of Sharon's Web Instruction Resources, go to

Related Sites of Possible Interest

See the history of course authoring technologies at 

Advice to New Faculty and Bob Jensen's Resource Summary can be found at 

Bob Jensen's Helpers for Educators at 

Bob Jensen's Educator Helpeer Bookmarks at 

"Education System Aims to Improve Services for Special Needs Students," T.H.E. Journal, November 21, 2001, p. 38 --- 

Help4Life recently launched PortEP, a new collaborative education system that seeks to improve the way schools provide services to students with special needs. PortEP enables educators to help students with behavioral health and learning needs achieve improved results by reducing administrative and logistical barriers so educators can identify, assess and provide interventions more efficiently and with lower costs. The system offers three performance modules for general education intervention,online team evaluations and special education tracking. The general education component delivers a databased problem-solving process that helps teachers identify and quickly help children before major problems develop.

PortEP also enables educators to coordinate student evaluations online, including input from parents, teachers, psychologists and physicians. The evaluation module makes collecting, organizing and acting on information more efficient, leaving more time for educators to work directly with students and families. The tracking module makes monitoring progress and making corrections less time-consuming, and allows administrators to manage resources more effectively. Help4Life, Nashville, TN, (866) 476-7863, .

Wow Helper Site
Vidya Ananthanarayanan called my attention to this site from Illinois Online Network --- 

ION Articles
An Online Course in a Nutshell
Learning Styles and the Online Environment
Instructional Strategies for Different Learning Styles
Elements of Instruction
Alternatives to the Online Lecture
Developing Course Objectives
Discussion Questions
Example Courses

Related Resources

Using Instructional Design Principles to Amplify Learning on the World Wide Web
By Donn C. Ritchies and Bob Hoffman

Instructional Elements of an Online Course
NC State University

Models of Distance Education
A paper from the University of Maryland that gives strategies for incorporating Labs into online science courses.

Instructional Design Online Workshop
By Robin Eanes, St. Edwards University

Instructional Design for the New Media
From Learn Onterio

Resources for Instructors Creating Online Courses
Compiled by ION

What Works and What Doesn't
Faculty and Student Experiences

Education Resource Organizations Directory (EROD) from the U.S. Department of Education at 

Apple Learning Exchange (included Quicktime video) 
Classified by subject areas and aimed at K-12 teachers.

TeacherNet (from the U.K.) --- 

EDUCAUSE Effective Practices and Solutions --- 

EDUCAUSE has developed this Effective Practices and Solutions (EPS) service to

This service is entirely member-driven; its success depends on your willingness to share your successes with your colleagues to help them save time and resources. The more practices contributed to the service, the more valuable it will become. Please note that practices in the EPS database have been identified as effective and replicable by their contributors; their value has not been judged by EDUCAUSE. 

From Syllabus e-News on October 30, 2001

Wisconsin Picks Instant Messaging Platform

The University of Wisconsin has licensed the Jabber Communications Platform to provide instant messaging (IM) applications for its 80,000-plus students, faculty and staff. Jabber, an IM applications developer, will provide the real-time communications platform, which can also be extended to provide messaging between students and users of other messaging services like Yahoo or MSN. The IM services will be delivered via the Jabber Instant Messenger client for Windows, developed to ensure the performance of widesrpead deployment of IM. Roger Hanson, a technologist with the University of Wisconsin, said the platform would provide "everything we think our students and faculty will need for spontaneous IM communications."

For more information, visit: 

To read about Amy Dunbar's first experience using AOL's Instant Messaging while teaching an online tax course, go to 

From Syllabus e-News on October 30, 2001

Michigan Provides Dow Jones Service to B-School

Dow Jones Newswires said it would provide its flagship equities information service, Dow Jones News Service, to the trading room at the University of Michigan Business School. The school's Trading Room is designed to give students a realistic view of operations on an actual trading floor. Students are required to manage a real investment fund, combining skills acquired in traditional courses with the latest financial technology to develop strategies for portfolio management. Dow Jones news service offers quick, in-depth reports on everything that affects the stock markets. Richard Sloan, a Michigan professor of accounting and finance, said "students now have the opportunity to analyze how security prices react to the release of new information using the same information source as the Wall Street professionals responsible for setting prices."

For more information, visit: 

Campus Pipeline Unveils Content Management for Higher Ed

Campus Pipeline, Inc. introduced what it called the first enterprise content management solution designed for higher education. The Campus Pipeline Luminis Content Management Suite 2.0 is the product of a collaboration between the company, Drexel University, Pepperdine University, and Documentum, a provider of enterprise content management. The software is intended to automate and administer the management of tens of thousands of Web pages, documents, and other digital resources, from multiple contributors, both inside the campus and in the public domain. Drexel chief information officer John A. Bielec said the collaboration allowed the school to "customize the first content management suite for higher education and help many universities address similar needs."

Bob Jensen's threads on course authoring systems can be found at 

"Web Resources," by Sylvia Charp, T.H.E. Journal, August 2001. Page 10 --- 

At present, a great deal of information is free on the Web. But how long it remains free is in question. For example, a bill is now pending before the U.S. House of Representatives that could force the U.S. Department of Energy to end Pub Sciences, its Web database that allows scientists to search abstracts and citations from more than 1,000 scientific journals. Universities are now charging for the use of their resources. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is selling a program it developed to provide the school's faculty and senior students with Web-based access to financial data from such providers as Dow Jones and Co., Standard and Poor's and Thomson Financial Services. They claim 55 clients, including 21 of the top 25 ranked business schools.

Web Graphics and Animation Overview 
Looking to create your first Web graphic? Jason reveals all, from manipulating existing images to building from scratch, choosing a format to Web optimization, rollovers to animations --- 


[What's New] [Top Resources] [Research] [Teaching] [Professional Activities][Country Pages] [ISWorld List Digest] [About ISWorld]

We will provide information management scholars and practitioners with a single entry point to resources related to information systems technology and promote the development of an international information infrastructure that will dramatically improve the world's ability to use information systems for creating, disseminating, and applying knowledge. Our vision has been sharpened by several metaphors which are accessible. Below are our objectives and a overview of our target community.

Great AIS links are also provided by Alan Sangster at 

I have generated some video aids for my students using Camtasia.  Camtasia is fantastic for showing and explaining something technical such as the application of software or the explanation of homework problems and illustrations in accounting.  Camtasia will capture successions of screen changes and cursor movements on your computer screen.  Camtasia will also capture your voice explanations as you go along.  It will also make audio sounds when you click on the mouse or type on the keyboard.  You may highlight cursor movements for the video.  You can also dub audio, pictures, and video clips into a video that you captured at an earlier point in time.

Since the Camtasia reader and the compression codec files for playing Camtasia avi files were not installed on any of the Trinity University lab computers, I was worried that my students could not see and hear the video helpers that I created.  Then I discovered that the Camtasia Producer that accompanies the Camtasia recorder will convert the captured avi files into RealMedia (rm) files.  The benefits of converting the avi files to rm files include the following:

I have placed a Camtasia avi file and a RealMedia file at 
Unless you have installed the Camtasia reader, you probably will prefer to download the RealMedia version of this sample video capture of Exercise 03-07 of the Perry and Schneider book on Accounting Information Systems.

Be patient when downloading the above files.  The avi version is 29 Mb and the RealMedia version is 14.7 Mb.

Camtasia from TechSmith is described at 

Also see the following article praising the pedagogy of Camtasia:

      "A Hassle-free and Inexpensive Way to 'Videotape' Class Lectures," by Rene Leo E. Ordonez,   
      EDUCAUSE Review, September/October 2001, pp. 14-15 --- 

Color Contrast & Dimension in News Design --- 

Explains color theory and shows how to use it in design through examples and exercises.

An important finance  and economics resource site from Harvard University

Project Finance Portal 

Techlearn 2001 at features the following learning system demonstrations.

Technical Learning Demos Linked at 
Product demos
Building E-Business (Harvard Business School Publishing)
Element K (Element K)
KnowledgeNet EXPRESS (KnowledgeNet)
KnowledgeNet INTERACTIVE (KnowledgeNet)
KnowledgeNet LIVE (KnowledgeNet)
learningVista (TM) - a new learning management solution (GlobalLearningSystems)
Lectora Publisher (Trivantis Corporation)
Microsoft LRN Courses ( (
MoneyMaker - The Simulator for Sales Professionals (Intermezzon)
Oracle iLearning - Learning Community Management System (Oracle Corporation)
Prime eLearning System™ (™ )
SkillSoft NetUniversity, SkillPort and Web Based Courseware (SkillSoft )
VIS Custom e-Learning Services (VIS Corporation)

The Techlearn 2001 website also features a long listing of E-learning products and services at 

Assessment Tools
Audio Video Equipment
Auditing Tools
Books and Printed Materials
Collaboration Systems
Consulting Services
Development Services
Enterprise Learning Systems
Instructional Design Services
Learning Management Systems
Learning Service Providers
Performance Support Systems
Streaming Technology
Technology Delivered Learning
Virtual Classroom Systems

I really enjoy the Digital Duo on PBS.  This is a weekly show largely focused upon technology products you may need and those products you most likely do not need.  The show tends to be critical in a humorous way.  Walt Mossberg (WSJ Technology Editor) always has a module on this show.  The homepage is at 

Yesterday the Duo (a re-run over the holidays) focused heavily upon digital cameras and websites for developing/storing digital photographs.  The number one point is to avoid Kodak due to high cost relative to competitor alternatives for online developing and storing of photographs.  This show is Number 404 at 

Note especially the Duo's recommended reference to Imaging Resources at 

Digital Cameras: Reviews
Digital Cameras: Image Comparisons
Digital Cameras: Hints, Tips & FAQs
Scanner Reviews
Questions? Answers? Visit our Q&A Forum!

Bob Jensen likes Homestead at 

One use that many educators are making of digital cameras is in pasting student photographs on seating charts the first week of classes.

Reply from an OLD Pro accounting educator.

I've been doing this for about three years now using my Sony Mavica. It is very helpful to me since I have trouble remembering names. Each semester, on the first day of class, I tell them to make sure they have a "good hair day" for the next class because I will be taking their picture.

However, the primary use of the pictures is to project them on the classroom screen in random order to call on them to answer questions about the lecture, homework, etc. I first started using pictures of students to do this seven and a half years ago using a VHS camera and then capturing one frame for each student on my office PC. My colleague, George Wright and I thought we would be crucified for this approach. In fact, some students hate it but others love it. The bottom line is that it keeps them awake and participating in class because their picture can appear on the screen at any second. When it's up there, it is their turn to answer the question. There is never any doubt about who is being called on. The random aspect adds a lot to the tension. They can never relax.

Obviously it is much easier to pull this off today with the digital cameras. As far as the software goes, George originally wrote a program to randomly project the old captured .bmp files on the screen. Today we use CompuPic from Photodex to randomly project the .JPG pics. It can be purchased for $39.95 and downloaded at A free trial version can also be downloaded. It took me 2-4 hours to digitize the semester's pics in the old days. Today, it takes about five minutes to transfer the semester's pics to the campus network so they can be available to me in any classroom on campus.

Another technique I use to add a little interest is to use some old, digitized pics of me mixed in with theirs. When my pic comes up, they are off the hook and I have to answer the question. I use two or three different pics of myself during the semester. They seem to get a kick out of the one with my date at the Va. Tech Ring Dance when I was a junior there in 1962.

I have put a couple of pics on the Web at so you can see the approach I take. I have them hold up a piece of paper with their first name and Rice ID#. We make a big joke about how they looks like pics from a police lineup. I choose these two students because both of them had authorized their pictures being used on the AAA Technology CD-ROM which featured a section on my virtual lecture approach. I don't think they will mind having their pictures her for a month or so.

Regarding publishing students' pics on the Web, I don't feel a need to do so for my undergraduate classes. However, I have published graduate students' pics with their written permission on our Blackboard Web site for their use for the last two years. They are only available to students in the class.

I love this approach to keeping students engaged in the learning process and have never understood why I have never heard of anyone else using it. Have any of you done this? If you try it, please let us AECMers know how it worked out.

Happy New Year!

Barry Rice

Just for Educators from the AICPA --- 

Accounting Education: Charting the Course through a Perilous Future
Taylor Report on Student and Academic Research Study
AICPA Core Competency Framework for Entry into the Accounting Profession (The Framework)
150-Hour Education Requirement
Academic and Career Development
Best Academic Practices
CPA Examination Reformation and Computerization
CPA Vision Project
Curriculum Development Guidance
Education Programs and Services
Educational and Professional Updates

In general, if you need to find out "how something works," I suggest that you commence at 

How Stuff Works is the place for you! Click on the categories below to see hundreds of cool articles.
Computers & Internet Living & Entertainment
Engines & Automotive Around the House
Electronics & Communications Machines
Science & Technology Cool
Aviation & Transportation Buying Guides
Body & Health New HSW Search Engine!

Try the AskEric Toolbox at 

Internet Resources from The Chronicle of Higher Education --- 

From the Learning Edge
Tools4Teachers --- 
A directory of recommended educational Web sites for educators, parents and their students.

eCollege has a very helpful resource website at 

A great place to start in the general topic of education is the Education links page of Yahoo at 

Network Social Science Tools and Resources 

Electronic Commerce Resource Center (e-Commerce, e-Business) 

Research Haven is a student research helper site that may also be of help to faculty --- 

For MP3 compression of WAV files, I use an old (free) version of Blade described at

"Teachers' Tools for the 21st Century: A Report on Teachers' Use of Technology" is available online at 

I might give you some advice following my first try at using BladeEnc to covert WAV audio files into MP3 audio files.

I downloaded BladeEnc from ZDnet at (simply type BladeEnc into the search box).

Either turn off your screen saver or turn it temporarily up to a high enough number so that your screen saver does not kick in during the process of creating MP3 files. The screen saver does not stop the process, but you may get a blank screen that makes you think the program has crashed when it has not really crashed.

I found it easier to copy my WAV files into the same folder as the BladeEnc.exe program.

Recall how in may cases you can either run a program or drag files over a program (e.g., in Windows Explorer). For example, you can run Notepad.exe and then click on (File, Open) to load a txt file. Or you can use Windows Explorer and simply drag the txt file over Notepad.exe without opening Notepad.exe ahead of time.

With BladeEnc you cannot run BladeEnc.exe and then load your WAV file into the open window. Instead you simply drag the WAV file over the BladeEnc.exe file and it automatically commences to covert that file into an MP3 file. When it is finished, you have both the original WAV file and a new MP3 file.

In Windows Explorer you can hold down the Shift Key and multiple select files to drag over the BladeEnc.exe file. This will record the selected files automatically. However, I could not get this feature to work for a large selection of more than 12 files. Hence, I converted about 10-12 files at a crack.

I no longer use BladeEnc.  It is so much easier to record MP3 audio using  Roxio's SoundStream in Easy CD Creater --- 

September 4, 2002 message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU
Richard has remained a ToolBook loyalist while many of us former ToolBook enthusiasts gave up on Assymetrix/Click2Learn

This site may be bigger than Bob Jensen's. Has all sorts of links on multimedia. 

Richard Campbell

Márcio's Hyperlink - Welcome!

This site is a resource reference on authoring and development technology for Internet and Multimedia. There are over 2600 links with descriptions, organized into dozens of categories and frequently updated. The primary sections are summarized in the Index below.

The information here is devoted to professionals in development and infra-structure activities on Internet and Multimedia: developers, authors, programmers, designers and administrators of information systems and IT, as well as graphic artists, content producers, electronic media professionals, technicians and other people involved with or interested in these technologies.


Click2learn ToolBook
Primary Help Sources, References covering Deployment and Runtime, ToolBook Sites, Utilities and Samples. ToolBook Information: Tutorials, Courses, Articles, Books, Discussion Groups.

General, Authoring, Hardware, CD, Media, Text, Images, Video, Audio, ActiveX, Education, Interactivity.

Web Authoring, HTML, Web Design, Images, Multimtedia, Tools, Programming, Server-Side, Security, XML, Entities, Protocols, Topics.

Java, Perl, Delphi, Python, Tcl / Tk, Tools, Software Engineering.

SQL, Informação sobre banco de dados, Oracle, Outros SGBDs comerciais, SGBDs open source e freeware.

Unix & Linux
Unix, Linux, Variantes Unix, X Window System, Software.

Webmonkey's Dreamweaver 4 Overview --- 

There are new graphics editing features, a revamped user interface design, improved code handling support, and a heap of features specifically designed to help you get the most out of your Web development experience.

By increasing the developer-friendliness of Dreamweaver in this version, Macromedia -- also the proud parent of Flash, Fireworks, and Generator -- looks to be really making it's move to become the one-stop shop for all of the development tools you need, and there's a great deal of inbreeding and cross-referencing among the Macromedia products: Dreamweaver 4 is being released along side Dreamweaver UltraDev 4 and Fireworks 4, so as we evaluate Dreamweaver 4, we'll also be taking a look at some of the cross-product integration that has been added to the lastest versions of the software applications.

Webmonkey's summary of digital storage options --- 

Webmonkey's How To Library


Threaded Discussion of ColdFusion --- 

Carnegie Foundation for Advancement in Teaching --- 

Andrew Carnegie founded The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 1905, "to do all things necessary to encourage, uphold and dignify the profession of teaching." The Foundation is the only advanced study center for teachers in the world and the third oldest foundation in the nation. A small group of distinguished scholars conducts the Foundation's research activities.

New Publication --- 

Essays by eight Carnegie Scholars that:

Includes a CD-ROM with valuable resources and supplemental information.

Order from: Carnegie Publications
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
555 Middlefield Rd.
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Phone: 650/ 566-5128
Fax: 650/326-0278

Single copies are $15, with a 20 percent discount on orders of 20 or more

Read the Introduction and Conclusion at 

The cases that constitute this volume represent work in progress by faculty selected as Carnegie Scholars with the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL). Each of the eight authors tells the story of her or his efforts at "opening lines" of inquiry into significant issues in the teaching and learning of the field. In particular, their accounts focus on the doing of this kind of investigative work—that is, on methods and approaches for undertaking the scholarship of teaching and learning.

A key principle of this volume is that there is no single best method or approach for conducting the scholarship of teaching and learning. Indeed, the cases illustrate a need for approaches that are useful and doable in the varied contexts represented by their authors. Mills Kelly, for instance, explores questions about teaching and learning at a large public research university; Donna Duffy undertakes her investigation in the quite different setting of a community college. Both public and private institutions are represented; several are urban, one is Catholic, and another, Spelman, is an historically black college for women. The authors' fields are diverse as well, including humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, business, and an interdisciplinary program. Several of the eight are senior faculty, well along in their academic careers; one is not yet tenured. All of these differences play into the way the authors think about and undertake their scholarship of teaching and learning. The desire to illustrate a variety of approaches, and to preserve the contexts and particulars of their use, underlies our decision to build this volume around cases. Cases capture details and differences.

But readers will find common themes as well. The cases were developed through a process designed to reveal aspects of the scholarship of teaching and learning that crosscut contexts and fields. This process began with two-hour phone interviews, conducted by me with each of the authors. The interview was turned into a rough transcript, which the author then reworked around a set of common topics or questions that emerged as the interviews were undertaken, and which appear as more or less standard headings in the finished cases collected here. For instance, all of the authors describe the process of formulating their question or questions. Each also describes the investigative strategies he or she considered using, how choices were made among these, how the various approaches worked or didn't, and what was learned from doing the work. In a final section of each case, the author offers advice to faculty newly undertaking the scholarship of teaching and learning. Our hope is that by organizing the cases around a set of standard elements we have made it easier for readers to extract transferable lessons and themes they can apply in their own work.

As a further aid to this task, an accompanying CD-ROM provides additional information and resources. For instance, Dennis Jacobs talks, in his case, about a focus group protocol he adapted and used as part of his study of at-risk students in chemistry; that protocol appears in the "analytical tools" section of the CD-ROM, where it can be accessed, adapted, and used by readers. Additionally, the CD offers samples of student work, artifacts such as syllabi and exams, and links to electronic course portfolios as well as leads to further resources relevant to "how to" questions.

More at  

ADEC Resource Site --- 

Microsoft Office News and Updates (Windows, Word, Excel, etc.) --- 
Woody's Office Portal includes free tips on use of MS Office software and free newsletters
Example: the Placebar Customizer (for the Start bar in Windows) ---

The WOPR PlaceBar Customizer is a powerful tool that allows you to customize the Office 2000 common dialog's Places Bar.

The Placebar Customizer is only available as part of the WOPR 2000 add-in collection, which is included free with Woody Leonhard's new book titled Using Microsoft Office 2000, Special Edition.

The free Journal of Accountancy has a monthly column called Technology Q&A.
This is a great source for tips on how to use MS Office products, particularly tips on using Excel --- 

Bob Jensen's Threads summarize more resources at 
Helpers for Educators --- 
Bookmarks --- 

Research Links

* Book Store  
Looking for cheap books, CD's, software.  Chapters.Ca offers everything you need, and best of all, at Canadian prices, stretch your US dollar as far as possible..
* Get Your Free EMAIL account here. 
Partnering with, we are please to provide you with you very own e-mail address.  Forget about Hotmail and give us a try.
* Start Earning Money Today  
Looking at making a little profit on the internet?  Check out some of these amazing new business opportunities.  Within minutes you could be making money at no cost to you.
* Participate in Surveys and Focus Groups
Green Field Online offers you an opportunity to participate in live surveys and discussion groups.
* Building a Web Site
All the tools and sites you need to build or upgrade your web site.
* On-line Dictionaries Thesaurus and Famous Quotes.
Our on-line dictionaries and thesaurus as well as a list of famous quotes are perfect companion to any research paper.
* On-line Resources
Don't have time to run to the library. Check our extensive listing or on-line journals, magazines and newspapers for past and current issues.
* On-line Libraries
Trying to save yourself a trip to the library. Check these on line libraries which include most Universities and Government organizations in North America.
* Tutorials
Having trouble where to begin or are you just looking for some assistance in your research paper. Check these sites on steps to writing papers, formatting, and basic study tips and much more.
* Free Research Papers and Writing Services
Lost for a place to start. Check this extensive list of pre-written essays and research-writing services.
* Fun Places to Visit

For a listing of Yahoo's top distance education websites, go to 

One of Yahoo's winners is The Journal of Library Services for Distance Education at 

Another Yahoo pick is the University of Idaho's Engineering Outreach program at 
This is a very important website for links to resources and advice to faculty and students.  For more on resources, go go my Helpers for new faculty at 

Another one of the leading top Yahoo picks is UNext (see below).

Wow Aid for Student Writing and Research

McGraw-Hill Higher Education Launches Innovative Catalyst Writing and Research Tool Available in Handheld Format Companion to "A Writer's Resource" text also available Online and on CD-ROM --- 

McGraw-Hill Higher Education, a leading provider of electronic and print learning solutions, today unveiled Catalyst: A Tool for Writing and Research, a unique technology-based tool that enhances students' composition and research skills.

Catalyst is thoroughly integrated with "A Writer's Resource," the leading student-centered text designed as a resource for achieving excellence in writing and learning. This powerful teaching and learning solution includes resources in Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) downloadable format, online, and on CD-ROM, including tools for learning, research, writing, and editing.

"Catalyst utilizes today's technologies to access proven writing, research and composition resources," said Ed Stanford, president of McGraw-Hill Higher Education. "With Catalyst, students now have instant support at their fingertips for writing assignments in composition class and all other subjects."

Major features of Catalyst include:

Catalyst is available free of charge with every copy of "A Writer's Resource" for online and/or PDA use. It may also be purchased separately on CD-ROM, which includes access to all online material, including the download for PDAs.

To view the online brochure for Catalyst, visit Catalyst will also be featured in an ongoing demonstration at the McGraw-Hill Higher Education exhibit at the 54th Annual Conference on College Composition and Communication, held at the Hilton Hotel in New York on March 20-22.

McGraw-Hill Higher Education is a leading global provider of educational materials and professional information targeted at the higher education market. It is part of McGraw-Hill Education, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, a global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in financial services, education and business-to-business information through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's and BusinessWeek. Founded in 1888, the Corporation has more than 350 offices in 33 countries. Sales in 2002 were $4.8 billion. Additional information is available at

UNext is best known for its prestige partnerings with Stanford University, Columbia University, Carnegie-Mellon University, the University of Chicago, and the London School of Economics.  The first major product of UNext is Cardean University.

The UNext website is at 

The Cardean University website is at 

Pensare is another corporation partnering with such prestige universities as Duke, Harvard, Penn (Wharton), and USC.  See 

Penn's Wharton School of Business has partnered with IBM --- 

You can read more about these and other prestige partnerings at 

Replays from Daring Educators on the Leading Edge of Education Technologies

Free Audio and Presentation Files of Three Days of Workshops on Education Technologies ---

Bob Jensen's Recent CPE/CEP Technology Workshops at the American Accounting Association Annual Meetings

During the past decade, I have organized at least one all-day technology in education workshop at each of the American Accounting Association annual meetings.  In the early years, these were not videotaped.  The past three workshops were videotaped.  Both the presentation materials and the MP3 audio files of the various speakers can be downloaded from the following links:

San Antonio on August 13, 2002 
CPE/CEP Workshop Number 1 --- 

Free audio and presentation files of the following speakers: 

Atlanta on August 11, 2001
CPE/CEP Workshop Number 1 ---

Free audio and presentation files of the following speakers:

Philadelphia on August 12, 2000
 CPE/CEP Workshop Number 1 ---

Free audio and presentation files of the following speakers:

Drama Simulations --- 
(Including the use of Lego constructions in cost accounting classes.)

January 21, 2003 reply from Paul Williams [williamsp@COMFS1.COM.NCSU.EDU

Jagdish, et al,

Wonderfully said. The Daily Chronicle of Higher Education has a very relevant article today by Peter Monaghan ( ) about the plight of economics ("Taking on 'Rational Man': dissident economists fight for a niche in the discipline") that begins with the sentence "How do you start a fire under a huge wet blanket?" The same can be said for accounting, which has been suckered into understanding itself as a purely imaginary activity through the language of neo-classical (now new-classical) economics. Jagdish observations are spot on. The Post-Autistic Economic Review referred to in the article may be found at . Subscriptions are free.


On 18 Jan 03, at 17:00, J. S. Gangolly wrote:

I do not believe any one professor will teach accounting without the   concepts. the use of computers will in fact enhance the chance and   give more time for students to understand the concepts rather than   spend long hours on figuring out where is the difference between   the debit and credit totals on the financial statements came from,   or post repeated journal entries that follow the same theory and   commit mistakes as students do that.... (I know that you can commit   mistakes when using the computer, but these mistakes will be found   quicker, or worst to happen we could blame the computer if we are   disparate) I guess we need to remember always that accounting was   the first business function to be computerized with the basic   accounting machine. So now we have the opportunity to graduate   students who were taught and trained to be accountants.  

I have been reading the postings on concepts, procedures,... Let me as  usual play the devil's advocate once again.   Accounting, like law, is a language. An in depth understanding of any  language requires knowledge of all its aspects: lexicon, syntax,  lexical semantics, semantics, as well as pragmatics (spoken languages,  in addition, require knowledge of phonetics). Like law, accounting is  rich in its lexicon. However, in many ways, unlike law, accounting is  rather simple in its syntax, and rather poor in terms of semantics.  Accounting is also quite primitive compared with the law in the  importance attached to reasoning. That we should define most concepts  by citing examples or clear explication with a laundry list of  exceptions rather than clear explication of lexical semantics attests  to this argument.  

What is lacking in accounting, as I have stated in much of my work,  is the utter lack of a hermeneutic tradition that clarifies the  semantics of concepts, procedures, principles, and in general  reasoning about all of these entities. In the legal discipline, such a  hermeneutic tradition in the nature of exegesis of text forms the  bedrock on which the discipline itself is built and the legal  education is practiced. We, on the other hand are pretending to be  numbers people, ignoring that numbers take on meaning only in the  context of the surrounding text and the standards.   This lacuna makes accounting that much less interesting from the point  of the students as well as teachers. When I taught intro courses, I  found that the best students did not find accounting interesting  enough because of lack of analytical thinking (except in a trivial  double-entry sense) and hermeneutics in the above sense. Now I find  that most of my better students exit the profession for the same  reason: not because of its hard-ness or their failure to advance, but  simply because they simply do not find it intellectually challenging.   Many years ago, when I took an accounting course (it used to be called  Book-keeping & Commercial Arithmetic), it was taught the way law is  taught in a law school, and I found it fascinating, even though then I  was an outsider, an actuarial student.   I do hope we find a way to harness the richness of our language in all  its aspects and glory rather than concentrate just on the lexicon and  the syntax, both of which are rather quite uninteresting in the  absence of the rest of the aspects.  

Jagdish S. Gangolly,
Associate Professor (
Accounting & Law and Management Science & Information Systems
State  University of New York at Albany,
Albany, NY 12222.


Should I give students what they want or what they need?

Generally, good students will master the material under most any pedagogy as long as they are clear about what they have to learn. They may, however, not learn at the same rates under different pedagogies. Technologies generally increase the rate of learning, but they do not necessarily improve long-term recall of what has been learned.

Pedagogy may have more dramatic impacts on long-term memory than on short term performance across a given semester. These issues are taken up in Working Paper 265 at of the real problems is that what students want versus what they need differs dramatically.  Students want us to make complex material fun, easy, and crystal clear. They want us to teach as if we can pour knowledge into their brains like a stop at a full-service gas pump! But for their own good, they are better off struggling on their own with lots of sweat, stress, ambiguity, competition, and even fear. It's a pity that our brains tend to work better when things learned were not learned easily! Thus we have a conflict between what students want and what they really need. There are no easy shortcuts with or without technology.  One problem with technology is the urge to make learning unambiguous and crystal clear in hypertext and hypermedia routings.  But preparing students for ambiguities they will encounter  in their careers should entail learning to cope with ambiguities that do not have routing lights.  Students think learning should be on a lighted path, when, in fact, the best learning entails groping in the dark.  Unfortunately students do not usually appreciate this until they graduate and discover that most roads in life are not lighted.

Formal studies of technology versus traditional courses are almost useless. One problem is that technologies keep changing, and therefore anything discovered a year ago may not apply under new software, new learning materials, new uses of chat rooms, etc. Another problem is the Hawthorne effect problem that tends to bias outcomes in favor of technology applications. Still another problem is that both instructors who use technology and instructors who do not use technology tend to revise, adapt, add to, and otherwise change courses every time the course is taught. Comparing performance over time is very risky even when comparing two or more semesters of traditional courses.  In addition, each class tends to take on a life of its own.  For example, a case that worked wonderfully in one course may fall flat in another course.

There is little doubt that technology probably improves both the effectiveness and efficiency of training (military experiments repeatedly bear this out). This may carry over into education, but with education there are many more variables and much more complex goals in learning and motivation. Results are less clear cut in the education arena. Hence, any published study comparing educational outcomes should always be viewed with skepticism.  

Other advantages and disadvantages are dealt with much more extensively in Chapter 2 entitled "Why? The Paradigm Shift in Computer-Aided Teaching/Instruction and Network Learning" at 


How can I author my web materials?

Other advantages and disadvantages are dealt with much more extensively in Chapter 2 at And it is too costly and troublesome to maintain your own server, invest in backup servers, and have around-the-clock technician service for a Webserver in your office. If your students are depending on a web server, you just do not want to have the server be unreliable. In fact, some universities have such unreliable servers that faculty have chosen to install courses on some of the "External System Web Authoring Shell Alternatives That Do Provide External Servers" -see  .

Alternative web authoring and delivery systems are critically analyzed at 

Alternatives for creating MP3 audio files are given at 

Should I Publish My Research and Teaching Materials on the Web?

This is a complex issue for which there is no easy answer.  The spirit of education and research is to freely share your intellectual property.  I tend to do this more than many professors, and the messages of gratitude from literally all parts of the world sometimes bring tears to my eyes.  But for younger faculty, such a spirit of sharing must be constrained by individual circumstances.  Universities have an interest in both your course materials and your research.  You must be aware of what restraints are imposed by your employer.  

In the 21st Century, the rights of professors versus the rights of universities are being pitted against one another.  These issues, including the lawsuit of Harvard University against one of its own professors, is reviewed at  

There is no crime in putting a price on your intellectual property.  The Harvard Business School charges $10,000 just to have breakfast with selected faculty members.  If there were no monetary rewards for development of both hard copy and hypermedia learning materials, the world will be deprived of great works that would just not be developed without rewards for effort and risk taking.

For tenure, promotion, performance rewards, self respect, and reputation, professors must conduct research and publish research findings in refereed outlets (usually hard copy and/or online research journals).  When an article is published isn such outlets, it is common for the author to lose control over distribution rights.  The journal that accepts your paper may not allow you to make that paper available for free at a website.  In some ways that is unfortunate because this freezes your paper in time.  I prefer to publish "living documents" that sometimes change almost daily.  For example, the document you are reading now will be frozen in the American Accounting Association's New Faculty Handbook.  However, I am assuming that the AAA will also let me keep this document posted at  I will probably update and modify the online living document from time to time.  That is what makes web publishing so great.  It does, however, create refereeing problems if the author can freely change the content of a document that was refereed and an earlier point in time.

The following appears under "Promotions, Tenure, & Risk-Taking by Daring Educators" at

From: [Name Deleted]
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 1998 12:40 PM
Subject: Web projects

Dear Bob,

Thanks for sending along your web assignment and its rationale. I’m interested in doing a book-length project that has web links to my own set of materials and exercises. Or even doing the whole book in this way.

Question is, does one receive academic credit for producing work on the internet? Have you ever discussed this with the Administration?


[Name of the Trinity University Faculty Member Deleted]


Reply from Bob Jensen

Hi ______

One problem with web publishing is that if you submit your stuff to a top journal, the editor wants you to hide your research from the world until the journal gets around to publishing your work (which in a recent case took five years "in press" for an accepted Jensen and Sandlin article to finally get published). I recently had another paper accepted for publication. Then I had a long ‘fight" with the editor over whether I can keep a "live" and ever-changing version of the essence of that paper at my web site.

I have discussed web publishing with administrators in many universities. They have not and cannot take much of an official position without action by the faculty. Matters of promotion and tenure are pretty well decided all along the way (departmental faculty, Chair, Dean, and P&T comittee) with rare administrative reversals of recommendations. Faculty bring individual biases into peer evaluation, and ,at the moment, web publishing is a new thing to most of them. Until the peer evaluation culture is changed, web publishing will not count heavily toward promotion, tenure, or take home pay.

The main issue is that web publishing is not refereed with the same rigor as refereeing in leading journals, or, in most cases, is not refereed at all. This is a concern because it is pretty easy to disguise garbage as treasure at a web site. Leading journals will one day offer refereeing services for web publishing and may, in fact, do away with their hard copy editions. Until then what do we do? Most certainly we do not put up a web counter and brag about the number of hits --- Playboy probably gets more hits per day than all professors combined.

Somewhat of a substitute for hard core refereeing is a record of correspondence that is received from scholars and students who use your web documents. This lacks the anonymity of the refereeing process. Also, there are opportunities to cheat (I’ll lavishly praise your work if you will adore mine in a succession of email messages), but most scholars have more integrity than to organize that sort of conspiracy. If you have a file of correspondence from people that your peers know and respect, chances are that your peers will take notice. You can include copies of this correspondence in your performance reports, but this process is more anecdotal than the genuine blind refereeing process.

Until a rigorous web refereeing process is established, those who must evaluate a web publisher must do more work. They must study your web materials and make their own judgments regarding quality and relevance. It is much easier to simply tick off the refereed hits (for when the binary scorer comes to write against your name, he writes only ones or zeros; to him the unread articles are all the same). It is easy to become too cynical about the refereeing process. We have all had frustrations with what we considered to be bad referees, including acceptances of our weaker output and rejections of our best work. At my web site, I have a section for my "big ones that got away" (see   Refereeing is a little like democracy --- it ain’t perfect, but until a better system comes along it beats the alternatives over the long haul.

My trouble, and I suspect that others have the same problem, is that web publishing is addictive. The responses that you get from around the world set "your tail wagging." I have published many papers and several books (a sign of my advanced age), but I have never had the "action" following hard copy publication that I get from web publication. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that more people than you can imagine stumble upon your web documents while using a search engine on the web. Not all of them send you nice messages, but a typical message received by me is reproduced be low:


Dr. Jensen,
Wanted to say thanks for maintaining your Technological Glossary page. I
am currently studying for my Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer exams. Your page has been a god-send.

Pacificare,Network Associate II
Al Janetsky
Microsoft Certified Professional


Messages like that shown above "keep my tail wagging." I even like the messages that signal items to be corrected --- at least those users found my stuff worth correcting. If you have audio on your computer, you can listen to Mike Kearl (a Trinity Psychology professor) discuss what makes his "tail wag." Mike also discusses the issue that you raised in your message to me. The web address for Mike’s audio on this is at . That particular article is entitled "Daring Professors" and contains audio and email messages from other faculty members who were willing to take some chances with their careers.

I can offer you a wagging tail and small pay raises if you rely entirely on web publishing as evidence of scholarship. Old hounds like me can opt for more tail wagging, but young pups need more nourishment shoved into the other end. (Actually I still publish hard copy to maintain respectability, but I personally am far more proud of my "living" web research documents than of my annual refereed "dead" hits over the past few years).

Until the evaluation culture is changed in peers who hold you on a leash, try to do web publishing alongside your refereed journal publishing. But don’t let the tail wag the dog or you will wind up in the dog house. If your book or journal editor objects to having your working documents published at your web site, remember who your master is at all times. His title is Editor in Chief!

An interesting paper by William H. Geoghegan at IBM Academic Consulting is entitled "WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY?".  It discusses some of the issues as to why the faculty are not yet adapting to education technologies. Estimates are that as much as 95% of higher education faculty are not using these technologies. Geoghegan analyses social and diffusion barriers in particular. His paper is at

Bob Jensen
Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134


How much help should I give my colleagues?

After reading my essay, Tom Omer added the following advice for new faculty.

Hi Bob,
For those with some tech skills learn how to politely say "No" or "I don't know" when asked by older non-tech faculty or non-tech faculty in general the following question(s).   Insert the following words as needed:

Dial-up Networking

Will you help me with__________

My ________ won't________(failure supplied by questioner), do you know why?

For new faculty with low tech skills (probably few relative to older faculty).

Learn to ask

Insert words listed above as needed

What University office provides instruction and support for___________.

While this may sound rather harsh and anti-older faculty (maybe nontech faculty), new faculty need to devote their time to things that will have the best chance of getting them tenure. Being polite keeps you from making people mad, learning to say no keeps you from being the support person at the expense of your own career and learning where the University support office is keeps you from spending time learning something inefficiently by the seat of your pants along with your colleagues. Not something I would put in your essay but a hard learned lesson that that might make a difference to a few.


Professor Thomas Omer []  
Accounting Department 
College of Business Administration University of Illinois at Chicago 
Voice 312-996-4438 FAX 312-996-4520

A March 17, 2000 Letter to The Wall Street Journal

A free university that intends to be "Top Class" ---,1367,34988,00.html 

Billionaire to Fund Free Net U Reuters 12:20 p.m. 15.Mar.2000 PST WASHINGTON -- 
Internet software billionaire Michael Saylor plans to donate $100 million to launch a free online university that could reach hundreds of millions of people worldwide, his company said on Wednesday.

MicroStrategy spokesman Michael Quint said Saylor would announce his cyber university plans at a philanthropy conference in Washington on Thursday. America Online chairman and chief executive officer Steve Case will also be at the meeting.

"The idea is to create a higher learning center online for hundreds of millions of people throughout the world, which will be classified as top class," Quint said. "It's fairly hazy at the moment as to how this will work and the university is in its infancy stage."

In an interview with The Washington Post published on Wednesday, Saylor said he anticipated online courses that would include lectures from the world's "geniuses and leaders." The interviews would be videotaped at a studio to be built in the Washington area in the coming months.

Jim Borden led me to the March 16 editorial in The Wall Street Journal written by Mr. Saylor himself.  A portion of his sincere editorial reads as follows (note the reference to "knowledge base"):

It's time to create a universal knowledge database on video -- a cyber-library made available to everybody. It could feature not just calculus courses taught by leading mathematicians, but Warren Buffett on investing, Scott Turow on writing, Steven Spielberg on how to direct, John Williams on how to compose, Issac Stern on how to play the violin, and Michael Jordan on how to play basketball. All Nobel laureates on the subject that won them recognition; all Pulitzer Prize winners on their books.

This online library could be a resource not only for those living in the U.S. but in Calcutta and Beijing. For some it might replace a traditional university; for others, it would be a supplement, allowing them to take a course or two in a subject that interests them. There would still be plenty of reason to attend traditional colleges, but this would fill nooks and crannies not served by existing institutions.

A letter from Bob Jensen to The Wall Street Journal

Robert L. Bartley,  Editor
The Wall Street Journal
200 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10281

Dear Bob: 

I don’t know if you recall me or not, but in 1957 and 1958 I was one of your fraternity brothers at Iowa State University.  In any case, would you please forward this as a Letter to the Editor.  Thanks!

In academe, we are always grateful to our benefactors.  I would like to point out that, for Mr. Saylor's lofty goals, not even a $100 billion gift could make a very big dent given such very big dreams.  I hope that his gift will help to seed a knowledge base that will serve academe in carrying out his vision.

In a recent essay (  ), I asked the following question:
What is the most frustrating aspect of modern technology? 

My Answer:  The pace of change in scholarship that we should be teaching.  In the past, scholarly publications came out at discrete points in time such as every three months.  If we put learning materials on library reserve at the beginning of the semester, the materials probably were relevant for the entire semester.  Now thousands upon thousands of scholarly publications are put on the web every day.  There are search engines to help us and electronic media to signal what appears where, but each morning we awaken to a whirling blizzard of new happenings in our discipline.  All academic documents should be subject to change at any time.  What was posted yesterday to the web may be changed if and when you assign it for your students to read.  Unless we accept being stamped "blissfully out of date," we will perpetually live at a pace that ruins our fingernails, harms our families, impairs our diets with fast foods, reduces friendships to email messages, creates encounters as fleeting as passing trains, and bewilders our students because what we taught last week is out of date this week.  For example, this semester I spent a goodly part of the summer preparing web documents on FAS 133 (hedge accounting) only to awaken in mid-semester to the  Financial Accounting Standards Board  Exposure Draft of proposed FAS 133 amendments.  The standard is "possibly" being amended prior to when FAS 133 is slated to go into effect.  On top of that there are almost daily happenings that affect FAS 133, notably the pronouncements of the FASB's Derivatives Implementation Group.  And FAS 133 is but a grain of sand in the world of knowledge.

Mr. Saylor mentions that his vision of a knowledge base is video-centric.  In the present world of technology, this is the wrong place to begin when constructing a knowledge base.  The most important ingredients in a knowledge base are text and links to text files on other servers.  Text is cheap to store, is efficient to transmit across the Internet, is somewhat easily translated into other languages, can be searched very efficiently, and can be sliced, diced, quoted, and reassembled for a particular contextual purpose.  The second most important ingredient is a file of graphics to accompany text.  Graphics allow students to efficiently visualize some aspects of knowledge that are ineffectively demonstrated in text.  Graphics can also be animated for greater understanding.  The third most important ingredient is audio.  Audio is a learning tool when hands and eyes are occupied as, say, in driving a vehicle.  Audio can aid memory and attracts attention more than text.  The fourth and least important ingredient to date on the Internet is video.  Video streaming in at about 30 images per second along with accompanying audio is extremely expensive to store and transmit across clogged network lines.  Both audio and video are extremely inefficient to search electronically and are difficult to slice, dice, and reassemble for teaching in a particular class on a particular day.  The main drawback, however, is the cost and difficulty of editing and updating old audio and video files in a knowledge world that keeps changing in real time.  

And even if Mr. Saylor's generous gift serves to unite other institutions to cooperate in building a multimedia knowledge base for educational purposes, that knowledge base is only a small part of the educational process.  Think of our primary duties in academe other than to create knowledge bases.  Some of these other duties are as follows:

To accomplish the above duties on the global scale envisioned by Mr. Saylor requires trillions of dollars.  This can only be accomplished in the combined efforts of government and industry with educational foundations and educational institutions the comprise what we refer to as academe or the higher education "academy."  With the help of Mr. Saylor and the other major players in this effort, the academy can and will adapt to newer technologies to deliver quality education to all parts of the earth.

In closing, I once again want to stress that the generous gift of Mr. Saylor can help the academy do its job if the money is spent at a more basic level of knowledge base.  Shooting thousands of hours of video of experts frozen in time is not the place to begin.  Instead, Mr. Saylor's gift would better serve us at a grass roots level of knowledge where we will soon be attempting to build knowledge bases of text and graphics in a multiple language Resource Descriptor Format (RDF).  This is not the place to delve into RDF, but RDF will be to knowledge what HTML was to the world wide web.  Readers can learn more about RDF and the efforts underway to create a world RDF standard at  Readers interested in academe and the efforts of academe to adapt to changing technologies are encouraged to explore some of the links at .  My homepage devoted to helping academe is at

In any case, let me once again thank Mr. Saylor for his lofty goals for education and his generous gift.

Bob Jensen

Acknowledgement:  I want to thank my colleague Petrea Sandlin for making some editorial revisions and suggestions for this document.

Onsite versus Online Universities in the 21st Century

Is the University of Phoenix really better positioned for the 21st Century than "many non-elite, especially private, traditional academic institutions?"

"Remaking the Academy", by Jorge Klor de Alva, Educause Review, March/April 2000, pp. 21-40.  

As education moves toward the certification of competence with a focus on demonstrated skills and knowledge— that is, on “what you know” rather than on “what you have taken” in school—more associations and organizations that can prove themselves worthy to the U.S. Education Department will likely be able to gain accreditation. This increased competition worldwide—from, for instance, corporate universities, training companies, course content aggregators, and publisher media conglomerates—will put a premium on the ability of institutions not only to provide quality education but to do so on a continuous and highly distributed basis and with convenient access for those seeking information, testing, and certification. In short, as education becomes a continuous process of certification—that is, a lifelong process of earning certificates attesting to the accumulation of new skills and competencies—institutional success for any higher education enterprise will depend more on successful marketing, solid quality assurance and control systems, and effective use of the new media than on production and communication of knowledge. This is a shift that I believe University of Phoenix is well positioned to undertake, but I am less confident that many non-elite, especially private, traditional academic institutions will manage to survive successfully.

That glum conclusion leads me to a final observation: societies everywhere expect from higher education institutions the provision of an education that can permit them to flourish in the changing global economic landscape. Those institutions that can continually change, keeping up with the needs of the transforming economy they serve, will survive. Those that cannot or will not change will become irrelevant, will condemn misled masses to second class economic status or poverty, and will ultimately die, probably at the hands of those they chose to delude by serving up an education for a nonexistent world. Policy Issues for the New Millennium March 30–31, 2000 Washington, D.C., Renaissance Hotel Networking 2000 is the premier conference on federal policy affecting networking and information technology for higher education. The conference engages higher education and government policy leaders in constructive dialogue on the latest policy issues posed by information technology and network development. Detailed information and an online registration form for Networking 2000 are available at Deadline for early registration:

I don't think Jeoge Klor de Alva and I agree on the roles of what I called Type 2 (onsite) versus Type 1 (online) universities in the 21st Century.  I wrote the following in the April 4, 2000 edition of New Bookmarks at

Education Intangibles:  
Will accountants "rule the world" of the future of educational institutions?

I was challenged by the recent TigerTalk exchanges on the emerging dominance of economics and accounting in higher education.  Although I still have hundreds of unopened email messages, I did encounter messages from Dr. Spinks (English) and Dr. Meyer (Director of Trinity University's Library)

Unfortunately, I agree that accountants should never "rule the world."  Actually business firms and educational institutions have much more in common than non-accountants tend to realize.  The race of Ivy League institutions to capitalize on their logos by partnering with corporations like UNext and Pensare is only the tip of the iceberg in this age of technology.  But the value of their logos and other assets cannot be realistically accounted for due to the many intangibles that defy accounting. 

If you aggregate all the prices of all the shares of companies traded in the world markets, the tangible assets that accountants account for on balance sheets tally up to only 17% of business "value."  The other 83% is comprised of intangible assets (largely a business firm's human resources, intellectual capital, organizational synergy, name recognition, goodwill, leadership, and R&D) that we do a miserable job of accounting for in business firms. In not-for-profit organizations, and especially educational institutions, accountants perform  even worse, because the proportion of intangible assets is even higher in those institutions.  Anyone interested in problems of accounting for intangibles should take a look at 

The problem with curriculum design is that it tries to turn intangibles into tangibles.   For instance, the term "Western Culture" is intangible and ambiguous. Adding specific courses with specific content to the "Western Culture Curriculum" is in some sense an attempt to "account for" what qualifies as tangible learning of an intangible topic.  In spite of our efforts to declare these "tangible" curriculum requirements, intangibles in the curriculum and other areas of living and learning dominate as much or more as intangibles dominate in business firm valuation.  In this context, curriculum design is a form of accounting for intangibles that becomes more and more hopeless as we attempt to turn intangibles into tangibles.

I think we give Trinity University students the full measure of what they bargained for even if they don't realize all they bargained for when they first appear on campus. The curriculum is only a part, albeit vital part, of living and learning while they are here. It is generally the most stressful aspect of college life, because satisfying the curriculum is where students discover that there is so much to be learned, and so little time in which to learn, from faculty with integrity and standards for demonstrating that learning takes place at equal or higher levels relative to our own peer competitors. To do anything less would be the real "bait and switch," because if the curriculum becomes too easy or irrelevant in changing times, then respect for a Trinity degree plunges.

The point here is that if you base predictions on 17% or less of the "total" data, then you hardly stand on sound footing for making predictions. One of the main problems accountants have in dealing with intangibles is that, relative to tangible assets, intangible assets are very fragile. Today you have them, but tomorrow they may disappear without even being stolen in a legal sense. For example, I suspect that Bill Gates is far less concerned about the anti-trust lawsuit than he is about emerging signs of inability of Microsoft's "intangibles" to prosper in a networked world of e-Commerce, ubiquitous computing, and wireless technologies.  Virtually all universities have been shocked by the paradigm shift in distance learning and are now worried about whether their "intangibles" can prosper in the new "McLearn" paradigm.

Having said this, I think that there will be two types of higher education institutions in the future.  Type 1 will be run like a business whether it is a corporation or a traditional university with web training and education programs.  This is what I will call a McLearn online university.  Type 2 is a traditional onsite university brimming with more intangibles.

McLearn online universities (or traditional universities operating like businesses) will provide certificate and degree programs from anywhere in the world. They will be very efficient and reasonably effective for topical coverage. The world will flock to them just as the world flocks to fast food restaurants for convenience, price, efficiency, and sometimes a craving for the food itself (e.g. a taco salad or a milk shake) that just seems right for the time. They may also have nutritious items on the menu. See Maitre d'Igital's cafe at  In the same context, McLearn's online knowledge bases will proliferate and become spectacular due to the billions of dollars that will be available for building such knowledge bases.

Business is not an evil thing per se.  Outstanding research takes place in the private sector as well as the public sector. Outstanding performances (music, theatre, film, etc.) take place in the private sector as well as the public sector. Even though we view Hollywood as blatantly commercial, some of our finest works of art have appeared in commercial films. The power of films and television to impact upon culture is both magnificent and scary.  On the magnificent side, do you think there ever has been anything more powerful than Hollywood in fighting bigotry in the hearts and minds of succeeding generations following the Civil War?  The same will be said, ultimately, for global and life-long learning in McLearn online universities.  In fact, for certain types of learning there is little doubt that corporations can and are doing a better job than the public sector (e.g., the success of Motorola University in delivering technical engineering training and education to the Far East.  See

Be that as it may, McLearn online universities will have a difficult time putting together a cost-effective total education menu that competes with Type 2 onsite universities like Trinity University. This is largely due to intangibles that lie outside the grasp of McLearn online curriculum.  It happens that some of our best Type 2 onsite students are also varsity athletes, musicians, actors, etc. Athletic competition and artistic performances are part and parcel to living and learning for many students.  McLearn universities may have online debates and chess competitions, but these will never take the place of the roar of the fans, slapping your buddy on the butt with a wet towel, getting chewed out by a tempered coach, having your boyfriend or girlfriend in the audience even if you only have a bit part in a performance, etc.  McLearn online university will probably never find a way of making a bottom-line profit on building and running a chapel, having faculty that students consider friends as well as teachers, and having students learn about what real life is all about with loves gained and lost, living in rumor mills, enduring insults, helping someone who has lost the way, and learning to deal with greater diversities in life styles, and cultures.

Accountants will not rule the world at large. And curriculum designers will not rule the university at large. We are only bit players in immense productions in Type 2 onsite universities.  And we may need some of those cursed marketing metaphors that indicate how living and learning universities differ from learning universities.  Providing a student with a chapel, a theatre, a concert hall, a playing field, a dormitory, and a geology professor named Glenn Kroeger can all be described as a "service" in a broad sense.  Students are our "clients" in a very broad sense.  But neither our "service" nor our "clients" constitute very good business in an accounting sense, because more than 83% of the value of our service to clients is intangible and subject to circumstances outside our control.  Serendipity rules supreme in a Type 2 onsite education.   There's no accounting for serendipity.  What we do best is to create an environment where serendipity has more opportunity.  Perhaps this is one of the main distinctions between training and education.  In this context, curriculum design is necessary to a point but should never become too structured or too specific as a "tangible" asset in either the online or the onsite universities.

Bob (Robert E.) Jensen Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212 Voice: (210) 999-7347 Fax: (210) 999-8134 Email: 

-----Original Message----- From: c. w. spinks []  
Sent: Friday, March 31, 2000 12:44 PM 
To:; Subject: 
RE: Windmill #3: Blade 3 (marketing metaphors)

Nah, Rich, I'm not caught . If a University is an economic enterprise like a corporation, then it may be true, but that was my whole point, the university ain't that kinda beast.

Beside economic theorists don't really have a outstanding track record on predictions, definitions, or stipulations. What else would you expect of folk who have expropriated an energy quotient into economic theory? Efficiency (other than in a physical sense as an energy quotient) is still metaphoric and as hard to define as "service" and equally in need of clarification of its hidden assumptions.

If accountants rule the world, I am sure "bottom-line" is a primary value, and if these economic theorists (not all are efficiency readers), then I am sure efficiency is the primary value, but neither set of rules is privileged to the point of disallowing discussion of the consequences of the rules.

I surely will be caught in one of these verbal spins as my own gaminess collapses, but I don't think so yet.


-----Original Message----- 
From: owner-tigertalk@Trinity.Edu [mailto:owner-tigertalk@Trinity.Edu
On Behalf Of Richard Meyer 
Sent: Friday, March 31, 2000 12:03 PM 
To: tigertalk@TRINITY.EDU  Subject: RE: Windmill #3: Blade 3 (marketing metaphors)

-- snip--

Alas, Bill, you may be stuck. Economic theory predicts that institutions that emerge do so as the result of their provision of greater efficiency. The consumer metaphor may be the most efficient one to communicate the concept of a university. -- Rich


How to and how not to deliver distance education --- 
War stories from teachers in the first accredited online MBA program.

This site constitutes a report from the "frontliner" of e-learning, since the University of Baltimore was the first school to offer all-online accredited Web MBA. I taught the first course in this Web MBA program, which was Business Statistics: Revealing Facts from Figures. A second course in this same program was Applied Management Science: Making Good Strategic Decisions. The site covers how to begin, how to operate, and how to make e-learning successful and enjoyable. Its contents are developed over years, and is intended for my current students, and sharing my personal experiences and exchange of ideas with other educators.

Kindly e-mail me your comments, suggestions, and concerns. Thank you.

Professor Hossein Arsham

Especially note the questions worth asking at 

Hi Yvonne,

For what it is worth, my advice to new faculty is at 

One thing to remember is that the employers of our students (especially the public accounting firms) are very unhappy with our lecture/drill pedagogy at the introductory and intermediate levels. They believe that such pedagogy turns away top students, especially creative and conceptualizing students. Employers  believe that lecture/drill pedagogy attracts savant-like memorizers who can recite their lessons book and verse but have few creative talents and poor prospects for becoming leaders. The large accounting firms believed this so strongly that they donated several million dollars to the American Accounting Association for the purpose of motivating new pedagogy experimentation. This led to the Accounting Change Commission (AECC) and the mixed-outcome experiments that followed. See 

The easiest pedagogy for faculty is lecturing, and it is appealing to busy faculty who do not have time for students outside the classroom. When lecturing to large classes it is even easier because you don't have to get to know the students and have a great excuse for using multiple choice examinations and graduate student teaching assistants. I always remember an economics professor at Michigan State University who said that when teaching basic economics it did not matter whether he had a live class of 300 students or a televised class of 3,000 students. His full-time teaching load was three hours per week in front of a TV camera. He was a very good lecturer and truly loved his three-hour per week job!

Lecturing appeals to faculty because it often leads to the highest teaching evaluations.  Students love faculty who spoon feed and make learning seem easy.  It's much easier when mom or dad spoon the pudding out of the jar than when you have to hold your own spoon and/or find your own jar.

An opposite but very effective pedagogy is the AECC (University of Virginia) BAM Pedagogy that entails live classrooms with no lectures. BAM instructors think it is more important for students to learn on their own instead of sitting through spoon-fed learning lectures. I think it takes a special kind of teacher to pull off the astoundingly successful BAM pedagogy. Interestingly, it is often some of our best lecturers who decided to stop lecturing because they experimented with the BAM and found it to be far more effective for long-term memory. The top BAM enthusiasts are Tony Catanach at Villanova University and David Croll at the University of Virginia. Note, however, that most BAM applications have been at the intermediate accounting level. I have my doubts (and I think BAM instructors will agree) that BAM will probably fail at the introductory level. You can read about the BAM pedagogy at 

At the introductory level we have what I like to call the Pincus (User Approach) Pedagogy. Karen Pincus is now at the University of Arkansas, but at the time that her first learning experiments were conducted, she taught basic accounting at the University of Southern California. The Pincus Pedagogy is a little like both the BAM and the case method pedagogies. However, instead of having prepared learning cases, the Pincus Pedagogy sends students to on-site field visitations where they observe on-site operations and are then assigned tasks to creatively suggest ways of improving existing accounting, internal control, and information systems. Like the BAM, the Pincus Pedagogy avoids lecturing and classroom drill. Therein lies the controversy. Students and faculty in subsequent courses often complain that the Pincus Pedagogy students do not know the fundamental prerequisites of basic accounting needed for intermediate and advanced-level accounting courses.  Two possible links of interest on the controversial Pincus Pedagogy are as follows:  

Where the Pincus Pedagogy and the BAM Pedagogy differ lies in subject matter itself and stress on creativity. The BAM focuses on traditional subject matter that is found in such textbooks as intermediate accounting textbooks. The BAM Pedagogy simply requires that students learn any way they want to learn on their own since students remember best what they learned by themselves. The Pincus Pedagogy does not focus on much of the debit and credit "rules" found in most traditional textbooks. Students are required to be more creative at the expense of memorizing the "rules."

The Pincus Pedagogy is motivated by the belief that traditional lecturing/drill pedagogy at the basic accounting and tax levels discourages the best and more-creative students to pursue careers in the accountancy profession. The BAM pedagogy is motivated more by the belief that lecturing is a poor pedagogy for long-term memory of technical details. What is interesting is that the leading proponents of getting away from the lecture/drill pedagogy (i.e., Karen Pincus and Anthony Catenach) were previously two of the very best lecturers in accountancy. If you have ever heard either of them lecture, I think you would agree that you wish all your lecturers had been only half as good. I am certain that both of these exceptional teachers would agree that lecturing is easier than any other alternatives. However, they do not feel that lecturing is the best alternative for top students.

Between lecturing and the BAM Pedagogy, we have case method teaching. Case method teaching is a little like lecturing and a little like the BAM with some instructors providing answers in case wrap ups versus some instructors forcing students to provide all the answers. Master case teachers at Harvard University seldom provide answers even in case wrap ups, and often the cases do not have any known answer-book-type solutions. The best Harvard cases have alternative solutions with success being based upon discovering and defending an alternative solution. Students sometimes interactively discover solutions that the case writers never envisioned. I generally find case teaching difficult at the undergraduate level if students do not yet have the tools and maturity to contribute to case discussions. Interestingly, it may be somewhat easier to use the BAM at the undergraduate level than Harvard-type cases. The reason is that BAM instructors are often dealing with more rule-based subject matter such as intermediate accounting or tax rather than conceptual subject matter such as strategic decision making, business valuation, and financial risk analysis.

The hardest pedagogy today is probably a Socratic pedagogy online with instant messaging communications where an instructor who's on call about 60 hours per week from his or her home. The online instructor monitors the chats and team communications between students in the course at most any time of day or night. Amy Dunbar can tell you about this tedious pedagogy since she's using it for tax courses and will be providing a workshop that tells about how to do it and how not to do it. The next scheduled workshop precedes the AAA Annual Meetings on August 1, 2003 in Hawaii. You can also hear Dr. Dunbar and view her PowerPoint show from a previous workshop at 

In conclusion, always remember that there is no optimal pedagogy in all circumstances. All learning is circumstantial based upon such key ingredients as student maturity, student motivation, instructor talent, instructor dedication, instructor time, library resources, technology resources, and many other factors that come to bear at each moment in time. And do keep in mind that how you teach may determine what students you keep as majors and what you turn away. 

I tend to agree with the accountancy firms that contend that traditional lecturing probably turns away many of the top students who might otherwise major in accountancy. 

At the same time, I tend to agree with students who contend that they took accounting courses to learn accounting rather than economics, computer engineering, and behavioral science.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Lou&Bonnie [mailto:gyp1@EARTHLINK.NET]  
Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2003 5:03 PM

I am a beginning accounting instructor (part-time) at a local community college. I am applying for a full-time faculty position, but am having trouble with a question. Methodology in accounting--what works best for a diversified group of individuals. Some students work with accounting, but on a computer and have no understanding of what the information they are entering really means to some individuals who have no accounting experience whatsoever. What is the best methodology to use, lecture, overhead, classroom participation? I am not sure and I would like your feedback. Thank you in advance for your help. 


January 20, 2003 reply from Thomas C. Omer [omer@UIC.EDU

Don’t forget about Project Discovery going on at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana

Thomas C. Omer Associate Professor 
Department of Accounting University of Illinois At Chicago 
The Art of Discovery: Finding the forest in spite of the trees.

Thanks for reminding me Tom. A good link for Project Discovery is at 

January 17, 2003 reply from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

I'll add an endorsement to Bob's advice to new teachers. His page should be required reading for Ph.D.s.

And I'll add one more tidbit.

Most educators overlook the distinction between "lectures" and "demonstrations".

There is probably no need for any true "lecture" in the field of accounting at the college level, even though it is still the dominant paradigm at most institutions.

However, there is still a great need for "live demonstrations", **especially** at the introductory level.

Accounting is a complex process. Introductory students in ANY field learn more about complex processes from demonstrations than probably any other method.

Then, they move on and learn more from "practicing" the process, once they've learned the steps and concepts of the process. And for intermediate and advanced students, practice is the best place to "discover" the nuances and details.

While "Discovery" is probably the best learning method of all, it is frequently very difficult to "discover" a complex process correctly from its beginning, on your own. Thus, a quick demonstration can often be of immense value at the introductory level. It's an efficient way of communicating sequences, relationships, and dynamics, all of which are present in accounting processes.

Bottom line: You can (and should) probably eliminate "lectures" from your classes. You should not entirely eliminate "demonstrations" from your classes.

Unfortunately, most education-improvement reform literature does not draw the distinction: anytime the teacher is doing the talking in front of a class, using blackboard and chalk or PowerPoint, they label it "lecture" and suggest you don't do it! This is, in my view, oversimplification, and very bad advice.

Your teaching will change a whole lot (for the better!) once you realize that students only need demonstrations of processes. You will eliminate a lot of material you used to "lecture" on. This will make room for all kinds of other things that will improve your teaching over the old "lecture" method: discussions, Socratic dialogs, cases and dilemmas, even some entertainment here and there.

Plus, the "lectures" you retain will change character. Take your cue from Mr. Wizard or Bill Nye the Science Guy, who appear to "lecture" (it's about the only thing you can do in front of a camera!), but whose entire program is pretty much devoted to demonstration. Good demonstrations do more than just demonstrate, they also motivate! Most lectures don't!

Another two pennies from the verbose one...

David R. Fordham 
PBGH Faculty Fellow 
James Madison University

January 16, 2003 message from Peter French [pjfrench@CELESTIAL.COM.AU

I found this source  and also Duncan Williamson has some very good basic material on his sites  ;  ;

Don't forget the world lecture hall at  ;

This reminds me of how I learned ... the 'real learning' in the workplace...

I remember my first true life consolidation - 130 companies in 1967. We filled a wall with butchers paper and had 'callers', 'writers' and 'adders' who called out the information to others who wrote out the entries and others who did the adding. I was 25 and quite scared. The Finance Director knew this and told me [1] to stick with 'T' accounts to be sure I was making the right entry - just stick the ones you are sure in and don't even think about the other entry - it must 'balance' it out; [2] just because we are dealing with 130 companies and several hundreds of millions of dollars don't lose sight of the fact that really it is no different from the corner store. I have never forgotten the simplistic approach. He said - if the numbers scare you, decimalise them to 100,000's in your mind - it helps ... and it did. He often used to say the Dr/Cr entries out aloud

I entered teaching aged 48 after having been in industry and practice for nearly 30 years. Whether i am teaching introductory accounting, partnership formation/dissolution, consolidations, asset revaluation, tax affect accounting, I simply write up the same basic entries on the white board each session - I never use an overhead for this, I always write it up and say it out aloud, and most copy/follow me - and then recap and get on with the lesson. I always take time out to 'flow chart' what we are doing so that they never loose sight of the real picture ... this simple system works, and have never let my students down.

There have been several movements away form rote learning in all levels of education - often with disastrous consequences. It has its place and I am very proud to rely on it. This works and when it isn't broken, I am not about to try to fix it.

Good luck - it is the greatest responsibility in the world, and gives the greatest job satisfaction. It is worth every hour and every grey hair. To realise that you have enabled someone to change their lives, made a dream come true, eclipses every successful takeover battle or tax fight that I won i have ever had.

Good luck - may it be to you what is has been to me.

Peter French

January 17, 2003 reply from Michael O'Neil, CPA Adjunct Prof. Weber [Marine8105@AOL.COM

I am currently teaching high school students, some of whom will hopefully go on to college. Parents expect you to teach the children, which really amounts to lecturing, or going over the text material. When you do this they do not read the textbook, nor do they know how to use the textbook to answer homework questions. If you don't lecture then the parents will blame you for "not" teaching their children the material.

I agree that discovery is the best type of learning, and the most fun. I teach geometry and accounting/consumer finance. Geometry leans itself to discovery, but to do so you need certain materials. At our level (high school) we are also dealing several other issues you don't have at the college level. In my accounting classes I teach the debit/credit, etc. and then have them do a lot of work using two different accounting programs. When they make errors I have them discover the error and correct it. They probably know very little about posting, and the formatting of financial statements although we covered it. Before we used the programs we did a lot of pencil work.

Even when I taught accounting at the college and junior college level I found students were reluctant to, and not well prepared to, use their textbooks. Nor were they inclined to DO their homework.

I am sure that many of you have noticed a drop off in quality of students in the last years. I wish I could tell you that I see that it will change, but I do not see any effort in that direction. Education reminds me of a hot air balloon being piloted by people who lease the balloon and have no idea how to land it. They are just flying around enjoying the view. If we think in terms of bankruptcy education is ready for Chapter 11.

Mike ONeil

January 17, 2003 reply from Chuck Pier [texcap@HOTMAIL.COM

While not in accounting, I would like to share some information on my wife's experience with online education. She has a background (10 years) as a public school teacher and decided to get her graduate degree in library science. Since I was about to finish my doctoral studies and we knew we would be moving she wanted to find a program that would allow her to move away and not lose too many hours in the transfer process. What she found was the online program at the University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton. Through this program she will be able to complete a 36 hour American Library Association accredited Master's degree in Library Science and only spend a total of 9 days on campus. The 9 days are split into a one day session and 2 four day sessions, which can be combined into 1 five and 1 four day session. Other than these 9 days the entire course is conducted over the internet. The vast majority is asynchronous, but there are some parts conducted in a synchronous manner.

She has completed about 3/4 of the program and is currently in Denton for her last on campus session. While I often worry about the quality of online programs, after seeing how much work and time she is required to put in, I don't think I should worry as much. I can honestly say that I feel she is getting a better, more thorough education than most traditional programs. I know at a minimum she has covered a lot more material.

All in all her experience has been positive and this program fit her needs. I think the MLS program at UNT has been very successful to date and appears to be growing quite rapidly. It may serve as a role model for programs in other areas.

Chuck Pier

Charles A. Pier 
Assistant Professor Department of Accounting 
Walker College of Business 
Appalachian State University 
Boone, NC 28608 email:  828-262-6189

I have heard some faculty argue that asynchronous Internet courses just do not mesh with Trinity's on-campus mission. The Scale Experiments at the University of Illinois indicate that many students learn better and prefer online courses even if they are full-time, resident students. The University of North Texas is finding out the same thing. There may be some interest in what our competition may be in the future even for full-time, on-campus students at private as well as public colleges and universities.
On January 17, 2003, Ed Scribner forwarded this article from The Dallas Morning News

Students Who Live on Campus Choosing Internet Courses Syndicated From: The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS - Jennifer Pressly could have walked to a nearby lecture hall for her U.S. history class and sat among 125 students a few mornings a week.

But the 19-year-old freshman at the University of North Texas preferred rolling out of bed and attending class in pajamas at her dorm-room desk. Sometimes she would wait until Saturday afternoon.

The teen from Rockwall, Texas, took her first college history class online this fall semester. She never met her professor and knew only one of her 125 classmates: her roommate.

"I take convenience over lectures," she said. "I think I would be bored to death if I took it in lecture."

She's part of a controversial trend that has surprised many university officials across the country. Given a choice, many traditional college students living on campus pick an online course. Most universities began offering courses via the Internet in the late 1990s to reach a different audience - older students who commute to campus and are juggling a job and family duties.

During the last year, UNT began offering an online option for six of its highest-enrollment courses that are typically taught in a lecture hall with 100 to 500 students. The online classes, partly offered as a way to free up classroom space in the growing school, filled up before pre-registration ended, UNT officials said. At UNT, 2,877 of the about 23,000 undergraduates are taking at least one course online.

Nationwide, colleges are reporting similar experiences, said Sally Johnstone, director of WCET, a Boulder, Colo., cooperative of state higher education boards and universities that researches distance education. Kansas State University, in a student survey last spring, discovered that 80 percent of its online students were full-time and 20 percent were part-time, the opposite of the college's expectations, Johnstone said.

"Why pretend these kids want to be in a class all the time? They don't, but kids don't come to campus to sit in their dorm rooms and do things online exclusively," she said. "We're in a transition, and it's a complex one."

The UT Telecampus, a part of the University of Texas System that serves 15 universities and research facilities, began offering online undergraduate classes in state-required courses two years ago. Its studies show that 80 percent of the 2,260 online students live on campus, and the rest commute.

Because they are restricted to 30 students each, the UT System's online classes are touted as a more intimate alternative to lecture classes, said Darcy Hardy, director of the UT Telecampus.

"The freshman-sophomore students are extremely Internet-savvy and understand more about online options and availability than we could have ever imagined," Hardy said.

Online education advocates say professors can reach students better online than in lecture classes because of the frequent use of e-mail and online discussion groups. Those who oppose the idea say they worry that undergraduates will miss out on the debate, depth and interaction of traditional classroom instruction.

UNT, like most colleges, is still trying to figure out the effect on its budget. The professorial salary costs are the same, but an online course takes more money to develop. The online students, however, free up classroom space and eliminate the need for so many new buildings in growing universities. The price to enroll is typically the same for students, whether they go to a classroom or sit at their computer.

Mike Campbell, a history professor at UNT for 36 years, does not want to teach an online class, nor does he approve of offering undergraduate history via the Internet.

"People shouldn't be sitting in the dorms doing this rather than walking over here," he said. "That is based on a misunderstanding of what matters in history."

In his class of 125, he asks students rhetorical questions they answer en masse to be sure they're paying attention, he said. He goes beyond the textbook, discussing such topics as the moral and legal issues surrounding slavery.

He said he compares the online classes to the correspondence courses he hated but had to teach when he came to UNT in 1966. Both methods are too impersonal, he said, recalling how he mailed assignments and tests to correspondence students.

UNT professors who teach online say the courses are interactive, unlike correspondence courses.

Matt Pearcy has lectured 125 students for three hours at a time.

"You'd try to be entertaining," he said. "You have students who get bored after 45 minutes, no matter what you're doing. They're filling out notes, doing their to-do list, reading their newspaper in front of you."

In his online U.S. history class at UNT, students get two weeks to finish each lesson. They read text, complete click-and-drag exercises, like one that matches terms with historical figures, and take quizzes. They participate in online discussions and group projects, using e-mail to communicate.

"Hands-down, I believe this is a more effective way to teach," said Pearcy, who is based in St. Paul, Minn. "In this setting, they go to the class when they're ready to learn. They're interacting, so they're paying attention."

Pressly said she liked the hands-on work in the online class. She could do crossword puzzles to reinforce her history lessons. Or she could click an icon and see what Galileo saw through his telescope in the 17th century.

"I took more interest in this class than the other ones," she said.

The class, though, required her to be more disciplined, she said, and that added stress. Two weeks in a row, she waited till 11:57 p.m. Sunday - three minutes before the deadline - to turn in her assignment.

Online courses aren't for everybody.

"The thing about sitting in my dorm, there's so much to distract me," said Trevor Shive, a 20-year-old freshman at UNT. "There's the Internet. There's TV. There's radio."

He said students on campus should take classes in the real, not virtual, world.

"They've got legs; they can walk to class," he said.

Continued in the article at 

January 17, 2003 response from John L. Rodi [jrodi@IX.NETCOM.COM

I would have added one additional element. Today I think too many of us tend to teach accounting the way you teach drivers education. Get in the car turn on the key and off you go. If something goes wrong with the car you a sunk since you nothing conceptually. Furthermore, it makes you a victim of those who do. Conceptual accounting education teaches you to respond to choices, that is not only how to drive but what to drive. Thanks for the wonderful analogy.

John Rodi 
El Camino College

January 21 reply from 

On the subject of technology and teaching accounting, I wonder how many of you are in the SAP University Alliance and using it for accounting classes. I just teach advanced financial accounting, and have not found a use for it there. However, I have often felt that there is a place for it in intro financial, in managerial and in AIS. On the latter, there is at least one good text book containing SAP exercises and problems.

Although there are over 400 universities in the world in the program, one of the areas where use is lowest is accounting courses. The limitation appears to be related to a combination of the learning curve for professors, together with an uncertainty as to how it can be used to effectively teach conceptual material or otherwise fit into curricula.

Gerald Trites, FCA 
Professor of Accounting and Information Systems 
St Francis Xavier University 
Antigonish, Nova Scotia 

The SAP University Alliance homepage is at 

In today's fast-paced, technically advanced society, universities must master the latest technologies, not only to achieve their own business objectives cost-effectively but also to prepare the next generation of business leaders. To meet the demands for quality teaching, advanced curriculum, and more technically sophisticated graduates, your university is constantly searching for innovative ways of acquiring the latest information technology while adhering to tight budgetary controls.

SAP can help. A world leader in the development of business software, SAP is making its market-leading, client/server-based enterprise software, the R/3® System, available to the higher education community. Through our SAP University Alliance Program, we are proud to offer you the world's most popular software of its kind for today's businesses. SAP also provides setup, follow-up consulting, and R/3 training for faculty - all at our expense. The SAP R/3 System gives you the most advanced software capabilities used by businesses of all sizes and in all industries around the world.

There are many ways a university can benefit from an educational alliance with SAP. By partnering with SAP and implementing the R/3 System, your university can:

Bob Jensen's threads on asynchronous versus synchronous learning are at 
Note in particular the research outcomes of The Scale Experiment at the University of Illinois --- 

Judge for yourself on the "sick" link forwarded by Ed Scribner --- teaching philosophy from

Once again, my advice to new faculty is at 

January 21, 2003 reply from Paul Williams [williamsp@COMFS1.COM.NCSU.EDU

Jagdish, et al,

Wonderfully said. The Daily Chronicle of Higher Education has a very relevant article today by Peter Monaghan ( ) about the plight of economics ("Taking on 'Rational Man': dissident economists fight for a niche in the discipline") that begins with the sentence "How do you start a fire under a huge wet blanket?" The same can be said for accounting, which has been suckered into understanding itself as a purely imaginary activity through the language of neo-classical (now new-classical) economics. Jagdish observations are spot on. The Post-Autistic Economic Review referred to in the article may be found at . Subscriptions are free.


On 18 Jan 03, at 17:00, J. S. Gangolly wrote:

I do not believe any one professor will teach accounting without the   concepts. the use of computers will in fact enhance the chance and   give more time for students to understand the concepts rather than   spend long hours on figuring out where is the difference between   the debit and credit totals on the financial statements came from,   or post repeated journal entries that follow the same theory and   commit mistakes as students do that.... (I know that you can commit   mistakes when using the computer, but these mistakes will be found   quicker, or worst to happen we could blame the computer if we are   disparate) I guess we need to remember always that accounting was   the first business function to be computerized with the basic   accounting machine. So now we have the opportunity to graduate   students who were taught and trained to be accountants.  

I have been reading the postings on concepts, procedures,... Let me as  usual play the devil's advocate once again.   Accounting, like law, is a language. An in depth understanding of any  language requires knowledge of all its aspects: lexicon, syntax,  lexical semantics, semantics, as well as pragmatics (spoken languages,  in addition, require knowledge of phonetics). Like law, accounting is  rich in its lexicon. However, in many ways, unlike law, accounting is  rather simple in its syntax, and rather poor in terms of semantics.  Accounting is also quite primitive compared with the law in the  importance attached to reasoning. That we should define most concepts  by citing examples or clear explication with a laundry list of  exceptions rather than clear explication of lexical semantics attests  to this argument.  

What is lacking in accounting, as I have stated in much of my work,  is the utter lack of a hermeneutic tradition that clarifies the  semantics of concepts, procedures, principles, and in general  reasoning about all of these entities. In the legal discipline, such a  hermeneutic tradition in the nature of exegesis of text forms the  bedrock on which the discipline itself is built and the legal  education is practiced. We, on the other hand are pretending to be  numbers people, ignoring that numbers take on meaning only in the  context of the surrounding text and the standards.   This lacuna makes accounting that much less interesting from the point  of the students as well as teachers. When I taught intro courses, I  found that the best students did not find accounting interesting  enough because of lack of analytical thinking (except in a trivial  double-entry sense) and hermeneutics in the above sense. Now I find  that most of my better students exit the profession for the same  reason: not because of its hard-ness or their failure to advance, but  simply because they simply do not find it intellectually challenging.   Many years ago, when I took an accounting course (it used to be called  Book-keeping & Commercial Arithmetic), it was taught the way law is  taught in a law school, and I found it fascinating, even though then I  was an outsider, an actuarial student.   I do hope we find a way to harness the richness of our language in all  its aspects and glory rather than concentrate just on the lexicon and  the syntax, both of which are rather quite uninteresting in the  absence of the rest of the aspects.  

Jagdish S. Gangolly,
Associate Professor (
Accounting & Law and Management Science & Information Systems
State  University of New York at Albany,
Albany, NY 12222.



Bob Jensen's updates on education technology can be found at