In this simulation, you will take on the role of Judy Hood in order to learn how to claim the Lifetime Learning Credit using Form 8863. This simulation is #10B of 20 available from the IRS.
Type of Material:
In class, homework, individual, team, lecture.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
To learn how to claim the education credits for lifetime learning on IRS Froms 8863 and 1040, line 49.
Target Student Population:
General public high school age or older interested in learning about claiming the lifetime learning credit.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
For parts of the module, no prerequisite knowledge is needed. For other parts, some background tax knowledge is needed.
The user assumes the roll of Judy Hood who is returning to college to become recertified to teach in the public schools. Based on her profile, as users navigate the 14 slides, they are prompted to enter the required amounts in various locations of IRS form 8863. Useful information is provided in a clear and concise manner. Content is basically accurate, current, and relevant for anyone concerned about qualifying and claiming the lifetime learning credit on his or her tax return.
Only one scenario is demonstrated. The simulation also only illustrates the first time money is spent on education. A math error exists on slide 11, line 15. The amount calculated should be $34,000, not $33,000. However, this error does not impact completing the rest of the tax form. Finally, as of this review completed Spring of 2016, the form dated 2013 is illustrated.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Filling out IRS Form 8863 is easy to comprehend. The user is prompted and shown how to complete IRS form 8863. The slide tutorial is efficient in that users will learn a lot in a short time.
Users will not know the income limits that impact qualifying for the lifetime learning credit unless they have some prior information about it. IRS Form 8863, does indicate the amount, but the users do not learn this information until they reach slide 5 and read the form which is after they are asked whether Ms. Hood qualifies on slide 3. Content is not summarized at the end of the presentation.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
In 14 slides, users can learn how to complete IRS Form 8863 and place the required amount on IRS Form 1040, line 40. It takes about 15 minutes to complete the online presentation. An element of interactivity has been added by asking users to provide the information required for each line of the tax form. The slides are designed satisfactorily to teach the required concepts.
The slide are not audio enhanced.
Data doesn't fill into the form upon receiving correct feedback. It only appears once navigation moves to the next slide. As a result, line 19 on slide 13, never actually has data entered into the form.
Feedback for incorrect responses does not provide any useful explanations. It just prompts the user to "try again." Users can also move from slide to slide without responding to the prompts for data entry.
Users may become confused on slide 11, when the correct response is judged incorrect in error.
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