Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tutorials For The BA2+ Calculator

In any class, there are some sections that take up a disproportionate amount of class time but are only needed by some of the class. For example, in my case course, some of the students have a very good grasp of how to use their business calculators, while others somehow made it out of the introductory class without learning something as basis as how to calculate simple present and future values using the built in financial functions of their calculator.

So, how do I make sure that all my students have the basic background knowledge needed to survive the class? My solution this semester is to use screen recording software to create a few tutorials for the Texas Instruments BA2+ calculator (the model we encourage our students to use in the intro class).

I made a short 5-6 minute video that goes over how to change the settings on the calculator (i.e. the number of decimals displayed, number of periods per year, etc), and another to demonstrate how to solve problems involving present and future values of lump sums (and how to solve for interest rate and number of periods, too). I'll make a third video to cover annuity problems, a fourth to cover NPV and IRR problems, and a fifth to work some problems in depth.

I've posted a link to one of the videos below. In case you're interested, I created the guides using Techsmith's Camtasia software, Texas Instrument's calculator software emulator, and hosted it on Techsmith's Screencast platform. It's not professionally done by any stretch of the imagination, but I think it gets the basics across (and there aren't enough "ummm's" and "Ah's" to be too distracting).

Updated 8/22: I put all the tutorials in one spot for easier access. Updated 8/20: They're in MP4 format, which should be playable on the latest versions of Windows Media Player and most other video players. If you want to download them, feel free, but realize that the largest is about 20 meg. So it might take a while (depending on your connection speed).

Introduction To The BA2+ Calculator

Solving Present and Future Value Lump Sum Problems On The BA2+ Calculator.

Solving Annuity Problems on the BA2+ Calculator

Using the Cash Flow Register on the BA2+ Calculator

Any feedback is appreciated.