CPA Module Workshop – Tips On How To Maximize Value Of The Workshop On Your Own

As I have mentioned in my previous post, I set some goals for myself for the transition period between jobs. Today, I was scheduled to work on Assignment Set #4 IP for my extended Finance module. However, I ended up working on the Module Workshop when I was not able to make it pass Task #1 for the IP. I also realized Assignment Set #4 was meant to be completed after the workshop.

What Is The Latest PEP Module Workshop Format (Asynchronous Online Delivery)?

Updated: Sep 2020

Since I just started the CPA PEP program last year, I have done in-person weekend workshop twice (for Core 1) and online live weekend workshop once (for Core 2). For the extended Finance module, the module workshop’s format has changed to completely self-paced with a deadline for activities submission. What that means is you can watch the videos and work on the activities at any time you want over as many days as you want (as long as the activities are submitted by the deadline).

Why Do You Need Tips For This Online Version of Module Workshop?

I started working on the workshop without a plan and a schedule. Activity #2 ended up taking me two hours as I was distracted by everything slightly more interesting constantly. The worst part was, I wasn’t even sure if that was too long or too short. I ended up calling it a day when I was debriefing Activity #2 half way. At the same time, I realized it will be more efficient if I come up with a plan and time table before tackling the workshop. My expectation is that it will take around the same amount of time as the weekend workshop (~7 hours including a 1 hour lunch each day) but potentially less if you are able to stay focused and not have to wait for everyone else. It might also take longer if you tend to craft the perfect answers – be aware of time because you are going to want to make sure you leave time for debriefing.

RELATED – CPA PEP – How To Debrief Cases Effectively

Step-by-Step Guide On How To Maximize Value Of The Module Workshop

If you have participated in a module workshop in-person or live online before, this section is probably not applicable to you. However, if this is your first CPA Module Workshop, this step-by-step guide will help you maximum the value of the workshop.

  1. Create a time table by following the steps in the next section
  2. On CPAD2L, go to Module Workshop > Workshop Prework and read the instruction
  3. Scan through the PowerPoint Slides for the two-day workshop to get an idea of what to expect
  4. Watch the Introduction video
  5. Watch the video for Activity #2 (for Finance, there is no Activity #1) and follow the facilitator’s prompts for when to work on the activity
  6. Submit Activity #2 to Dropbox when prompted (remember, good enough is enough)
  7. Return to the same section where you downloaded Activity #2 as a Debrief Video and solutions should be ready now
  8. Debrief Activity #2 by following the Debrief Video
  9. Repeat Step #4 through #8 for the remaining activities (note, some activities do not have a debrief video and the facilitator will let you know)
  10. Don’t forget to review the materials from the Module Workshop when you are studying for the exam!

My Time Table For The Online Module Workshop

Note: this time table is for the Finance Module; if you are taking another module, please click here for a template

Time Table for Online CPA Module Workshop
Time Table for Online CPA Module Workshop

I came up with the time table by following the steps below:

  1. Find out the number of activities by looking at Dropbox on CPAD2L (alternatively, you can review the power point slides for Day 1 & 2 but I think that would have taken more time)
  2. Find out the length of the videos for each activity by going to Module Workshop > Activity
  3. For simplicity, I then assign 30 minutes to each activity for Day 1 as it is activity-heavy and another 30 minutes to debriefing; For Day 2, as Activity 9 is a case, I am able to conclude it will take 90 minutes for the case and another 60 minutes for debriefing; I then assign the remaining time to the only other activity for the day

Even though I created my timetable in a two-day format to mirror the in-person and live online format, you have the freedom to break it down into as many days as you want. However, if you are taking the regular pace, I would not recommend more than two days because your schedule will be jam-packed already. If you are taking the extended pace (20-week) like me, then you have the freedom to extend the schedule over multiple days (e.g., weeknights over one week).

~ More CPA Posts ~
CPA PEP Core 1 – How to Study for the Module and the Exam
CPA PERT – Ultimate Guide on How to Get Your First Experience Report via EVR Approved
CPA PERT – Enabling Competencies Examples
Densmore for CPA PEP – Are The PEP Essentials Packages Worth It?
CPA PEP Module – Regular Module or Extended Module?

What If You Need More Time For An Activity?

If you have taken the module workshop in-person or live online, you would know that the module would move forward whether you are done or not. That is not only because there are others at the workshop and that the facilitator has content that he/she must go over. That is also because the workshop is designed with enough time for a good enough attempt while leaving you time to debrief for the second part of learning.

So, before you run overtime for an activity, ask yourself if spending another 15 minutes will contribute to actual learning. If you will be spending 15 minutes scrolling through the eText by searching for keyword, my suggestion is to submit your good enough attempt and debrief properly using the solution.

Do I Prefer The In-Person Workshop, Online Live Workshop or Self-Paced Online Workshop?

I enjoyed the in-person workshops because I was able to meet other CPA candidates that I am still in contact with. As you might already know, networking is crucial to your CPA journey and your career.

However, I prefer the online live workshop the most because of the following reasons:

  • time-saving as there is no commute/travel
  • still get to interact live with the facilitator and CPA candidates
  • a chance to ask questions live (same as in-person) vs. on the discussion board for the self-paced version

I am not sure when we will be able to go back to in-person workshop (if ever) and when CPA will switch back to online live workshop again. I just know part of our CPA training is to learn to be able to adapt to changes. For me, this self-paced module workshop format is the most challenging as it requires the most self-discipline and time-management skill. However, one big advantage with the self-paced workshop is the ability to speed up, slow down and/or pause the videos as you wish. As I am writing this post, I am halfway done with Day 1 material and have already done all of the above.