Seeking inspiration - counting money

I'm updating a course that developed 5 years ago by another instructional designer.   The course is for receptionists, showing them how to balance their cash drawers at the end of their shift and needs to simulate the process from start to finish. One of the tasks is to count out the money, then enter the specific denominations into the electronic screen and the system calculates if they are balanced. 

In the original course, the way counting the money was simulated was audio said "take out a piece of paper and count the money" while animated images of different bills fly onto the screen one at a time.  

Hoping someone has a creative way to simulate counting money.


3 Replies
Deb Steele

Depends on what exactly you're trying to simulate. Are there specific steps or best practices that need to be taken into consideration? What are your expectations? I'm trying to remember back to my days as a cashier or when I worked at a place that leased laundry equipment. The guys would go and collect hundreds of dollars out of washers and dryers and I had to sit there and count all that dang money. No one had to teach me to count it. But I think there were some forms or something I had to fill out. Also, me and the office manager had to double check each others counts. 

So thinking about that, just exactly are you trying to simulate. The actual counting, or the procedures or what?

Doreen Rambke-Hartz

The current WBT simulates counting the money in the cash drawer by having the bills fly into the screen one at a time and the learner is suppose to keep track of the number of 20's, 10's, 5's, and one's that fly onto the screen by writing it down on a piece of paper.  Next, they simulate entering the totals for each denominations to see if the drawer is balanced, over or short.

I need to simulate how they count money in their cash drawer. I'm thinking that I may have a closed cash drawer on the screen, then the learner clicks a key to simulate opening the drawer to reveal the cash register tray of $$.  Then when they click on the stack of $20's, it displays how many 20's are in the drawer.

The other option is to have a screen with the total # of each bill (ie 10 - twenty dollar bills, 3 - ten dollar bills) next to each, then the learner would write it down and simulate entering those totals to see if they are balanced, over or short.  It's not that interactive and doesn't give them a sense of what they have to do to separate the denominations and count them out.


Trina Rimmer

Hi Doreen. What an interesting challenge! Kudos to you for trying to come up with some clever ways to make this topic more practical and engaging for your learners. 

Have you given any thought to creating a series of interactive videos? Just spitballing here, but maybe learners see a still image that's an overhead shot of the cash drawer and then they're prompted to click on the first denomination to count? When they click on that area (the correct area), they see a video of hands slowly counting out the cash. If they click on the wrong denomination, they get a pop-up with a video demonstrating and explaining the correct process to follow. You could even use the number variable in Storyline to slowly count the number of bills for them off to the side and then prompt them to do the math at the end.

It might be hard to imagine this concept, but I think you might find some design inspiration for these approaches in the examples from this E-Learning Challenge on teaching Math and from this free interactive video download.

You could also tackle cash counting as a series of drag & drop interactions where learners sort bills into piles based on denomination. I created an activity on making change using this approach. You can see it in this free download.

I hope these are helpful and that others will chime in with their ideas and examples, too!