February 2000


Last November, Arthur Andersen launched a new, interactive web-based training program that allows professionals to learn the latest SEC registration and reporting standards. The online courses, costing between $300 and $600 each, are cast in fictional settings in which a student acts as an "employee" of an intergalactic, alien-operated company on the verge of an IPO.

Elizabeth Prossnitz, the program's developer, says that a course takes the average person 37 hours to complete and replaces an outdated paper-based course. The new program uses the Internet but also wraps around Arthur Andersen's intranet, and is available at any time.

Raymond Fox, president of the Society for Applied Learning Technologies, a national organization for professionals working in the field of instructional technology, says that the advantage of Internet and intranet-based training, as opposed to CD-ROMs, is that content can be updated quickly and universally. The downside is a slower delivery of video graphics and possible connection interruptions. Prossnitz notes that although she has sometimes observed Arthur Andersen's program running slowly during peak times, she has never experienced a service interruption. Fox says that the advantages of online training, which also include the ability to monitor activity in real time and for users to download needed programs off the Internet or intranet, significantly outweigh the disadvantages. *

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