Pacific Northwest Tax School Launches New Online Learning Management System

Compiled by Ryan Garner
January 31, 2013

As tax season dawns and millions anticipate the procrastination of another year, Pacific Northwest Tax School has released a new online learning management system. Designed and developed over the last four years, OpenCampus will help educate those tax professionals who find themselves inundated as the clock ticks toward April 15.

OpenCampus is designed to provide tax professionals with online educational courses and continuing education programs. Students are taught to think critically, applying course concepts through practical application on sample tax returns. In 2012, more than 3,100 CPAs, enrolled agents and other tax professionals were enrolled in the school, and participated in over 21,000 hours of continuing education programs.

The system allows each course to be presented in multiple formats, letting students choose the delivery method that works best for them. Students can participate in live webcasts, or complete coursework at their own pace through full-length lecture videos, question-and-answer forums and online assignments. A non-video self-study option is also available, and courses are updated annually to incorporate changing tax laws and forms.

“In 2008 we began developing a vision that would bring a classroom-like experience to students over the internet,” said Pacific Northwest Tax Service CEO April Gutierrez. “That meant creating a system that would deliver instructor lectures, course materials, tests, and interactive feedback to students online.”

Thousands of students completed courses during an OpenCampus beta release in 2012, and reviews for the new system were generally very favorable. The school plans to introduce enhancements and improvements to the program throughout 2013.

“Graduates of our first online basic tax course achieved a 97 percent pass rate at the Oregon LTP exam … and showed that our online self-study students could achieve even greater success than students in our classroom,” said Gutierrez. “OpenCampus greatly facilitates our ability to deliver quality content to our students in a flexible and user-friendly way.”

Current course offerings include more than 100 hours of instruction regarding individual and business tax law. The school’s basic tax course catalog features test-preparation courses for tax professionals who are preparing for licensing exams.

“Our courses incorporate real-life situations we have seen in our tax offices," said Gutierrez. "Our goal is to provide education that enhances critical thinking and tax preparation skills while reinforcing knowledge of tax law."


Sources:

“Pacific Northwest Tax School Launches OpenCampus, a New Online Learning Management System, which Enhances Delivery of Tax Education Programs to CPAs, EAs and RTRPs,” prweb.com, January 31, 2013