Description: The Federal Government reimburses the campus for the significant amount of its equitable share of Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs associated with conducting organized research. Space costs represent more than 50% of the reimbursement; therefore, completing a reasonable space survey is expected by the University and the Federal Government.
Campus space inventory and survey process is completed using a web-based application, WebSpace. This process requires close coordination among numerous departments including but not limited to Facilities Management, the Planning Office, the Finance Office, and schools and colleges on the Anschutz and Denver campuses. This training is conducted on annual basis and it is mandatory for fiscal managers, administrators, employees that were delegated to inventory and or survey spaces. In the past six years with WebSpace, we have been training 140+ participants every year with two to four full days of trainings. Training sessions were offered at both campuses. For novice users, each training session took three hours because of materials we need to cover in the class. For experienced users, the session took one and half hours and majority of the training materials were largely a refresher.
Based on the materials we cover during these training sessions, it was clear that we needed to change our training methods to more efficiently and effectively deliver these trainings. The video tutorial was a perfect method for it. So, we created two sets of training videos using the Camtasia Studio 8.3 software:
1. The first set is for the annual training for experienced users. There are seven videos with a total run time of 25 minutes 10 seconds. Before playing the videos, each tutorial will ask for the user’s name and email address. This feature allows the tracking of who took the annual trainings, since our cognizant federal agency requires us to conduct space training and provide evidence of completion. Also, the videos include a quiz for the users to take to demonstrate their understanding of the material.
2. The second set is for step-by-step tutorials. In the WebSpace, there are many steps to complete. Covering these detailed processes was cumbersome during in-person training sessions. Also, many participants did not always use the application correctly after the training; remembering every detailed step seemed difficult. This set of material consisted of ten video tutorials covering the most commonly used steps. Each video runs approximately 60 to 90 seconds. It has both pause and replay features, which give users a huge advantage.
The videos are located within the WebSpace software under the Training Doc menu and can be easily accessed by individuals with WebSpace access.
Other team members are Brett Yamashita, Accountant I, and Diane Roche, Accountant II.
How does this impact the University? By creating these videos and changing the method of delivering the trainings, the impact is positive and significant to the University.
Federal auditors physically audit spaces and results during the F&A cost rate negotiation process that occurs every four years. Thus, having good quality training materials and well-trained personnel, we can substantiate functionalized (Instruction, Organized Research, Other Sponsored Activities, etc.) campus space and subsequently the F&A rate submission.
No more in-person training is needed for experienced users but our training still meets the federal agency requirement. The video method provides flexibility and takes less time to take the training that is convenient to the user.
No more paper copies or training materials are needed, and we don’t have to hassle with coordinating and scheduling classes.
Novice users are still required to attend in-person training. However, the training time is cut down to one and half hours from three hours. Also, we are now using a hybrid training method that includes both presenting the topics and using the video tutorials.
Implementation status: We implemented this project in April of 2014. We conducted two sessions of the training using the videos for novice users and have already received excellent feedback, such as:
“I do not think you could improve – very organized and personalized Q&A. Thanks!”
“Much, much better…new tools are good. Organization of material and amount of it was appropriate for this type of course.”
“Excellent job to all of you! I thought videos were great, easy to follow. It did not take long - not more than a half hour and I did have to take a call in the middle…”
For the purpose of this submission, we have loaded couple examples of videos in the Camtasia software developer’s website:
Example of Video Tutorials
Inventory-Editing a Room’s Department, Room Type, and Principal Investigator – http://www.screencast.com/t/Ll1rBA5Gkm
Submitted by Narantuya Shagdar, Senior Director of Plant Fund Accounting and F&A Cost Analysis, ADM-AVCFA Administration, University of Colorado Denver