Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Where was this when I was taking statistics?

During one broiling Arizona summer (is there any other kind?) I spent three days a week and two hours each of those days taking a course in graduate statistics during a brief matriculation at the University of Arizona. 

In between immersion in such concepts as binomial distributions and interquartile ranges, I wondered how I was going to slog through six hours of this on a weekly basis when all I really wanted to do was lounge by the school’s Olympic-sized pool and watch the women’s synchronized swimming team practice.

For those keeping score at home, I miraculously managed to secure a B+, by far the best I’ve ever achieved in any course (high school or college) that had to do with numbers. 

Fast forward several decades, where the roles are reversed and folks in the profession who want CPE are often forced to listen to me and my colleagues for several hours at a clip. And the venues I currently teach at rarely offer the distraction of synchronized swimming.

I mention this only because last week I read where the Ohio and Maryland State Societies are expected to launch online CPE in 10-minute increments pending regulatory approvals. Technically, the proposals, if given the okay, will work something like this:  CPE requirements will still require the completion of a 50-minute class but CPAs will be able to take self-study CPE in blocks as short as 10 minutes and accrue it toward the 80 or 120-hour CPE requirement over two or three years, respectively.

The advantages, say proponents are that the “micro-learning” format can focus on CPE topics on more of a real-time basis – for example if a newly minted CPA is about to conduct a cash count at a bank and needs to brush up on the subject, the 10-minute blocks, can be more effective than for example, an all-day format on the same subject taken months earlier.

Boy, I could have really used this back in the day.

Of course if my math is correct, I would have had to determine how to wedge 1,550 minutes of classroom instruction into 10-minute increments  and by that measure I would have gotten my grade somewhere about the time I turned 30.

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