Achievement and outcomes

Creating Learning Objectives that Fit Your Course

When creating learning objectives for a course, instructors have a lot of options to consider. In response to a recent survey by Cengage Learning, instructors revealed that they tend to track multiple learning outcomes. The following graph shows eleven themes instructors use in the process of creating learning objectives specifically suited for their courses.

Instructors' primary learning outcome themes

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Why Instructors Adopt Learning Outcomes

Instructors may experience varying levels of responsibility when it comes time to adopt learning outcomes. In some instances, school administrators, department heads, or other organizations may provide instructors with a list of established standard learning outcomes that relate to the courses they teach. In other instances, instructors must determine and define the learning outcomes for their courses.

In response to a recent survey by Cengage Learning, instructors were asked to select all of the influences on learning objective creation at their institution.

Instructors' top determinants of learning objectives

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Who’s Using Learning Objectives? And How?

Are you using learning objectives to measure student achievement and success in your course?

Chances are, you do: In response to a recent survey by Cengage Learning, 96% of instructors are using learning objectives to define and measure the knowledge and skills that students should have as a result of participating in and completing their courses. This indicates that most institutions, and many instructors, value these measures of student learning as indicators of student achievement. And indeed, many institutions require instructors to report on learning outcome mastery at the end of each course, making accurate analysis of the utmost importance. Read More…


Empirical Analysis of the Use of Accounting Workshops to Improve Outcomes in the Introductory Accounting Course

Introductory Accounting is one of the foundation courses in most business curricula. While some students do very well with the content, there are significant numbers who do not successfully complete the course or receive a minimal passing grade. In an effort to improve student success and increase retention, midterm and final study workshops were implemented. The implementation and assessment of the accounting workshops are discussed in this paper. Read More…


Will I Pass the CPA Exam? The Relationship Between Individuals’ Characteristics and Experiences, and Passing the CPA Exam

Newly-employed graduates in public accounting careers report that passing the CPA exam is essential to their overall career success (Fischer & Daugherty 2007), but in spite of this heightened importance, most CPA exam candidates fail to successfully complete all four exam sections in a single year. For 2012, the AICPA reported cumulative pass rates of approximately 47% for the Auditing section of the exam, 53% for the Business & Economic section, 48% for the Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR) section, and 48% for the Regulation section (which includes tax and business law).

Understanding the characteristics and experiences that may influence an individual’s likelihood of timely, successful completion of the CPA exam may be helpful to students in beginning accounting classes who have yet to declare a major, and to accounting majors as they determine their areas of concentration (tax or audit) and the direction of their careers. Read More…


Entrepreneurs Need Accounting Too: The Case for Including Financial and Managerial Accounting in an Entrepreneurship Curriculum

It used to be a standing joke among many business students: “Why should I learn accounting; I can always hire someone to handle that for me!” Currently, higher education, inside and outside the realms of business schools, is in the throes of a love affair with entrepreneurship, and we are again hearing that old saw from the students. However, if it was a faulty argument years ago for marketing and finance students, it is doubly-wrong for entrepreneurship students. Entrepreneurs need accounting knowledge and understanding more than any other non-accounting major. Read More…


Presentations with Maximum Impact: Helping Students Succeed

The twenty-first century accounting professional desperately needs strong communication skills. The AICPA lists communication as one of the required personal competencies in its Core Competency Framework. College recruiters cite communication skills as one of the most desirable qualities of new hires. Communication encompasses a wide range of interactions from face-to-face and phone conversations, electronic messages, written documents, and formal presentations. This article addresses formal presentations. Accounting faculty members have long recognized that preparing students for the profession included emphasis on giving effective presentations. Students in most accounting programs present multiple times before graduation, both individually and in teams. This Read More…


Homework Policy: Computerized Versus Computerized and Hand-Written Homework in Introductory Financial Accounting

Textbook publishers offer computerized homework packages for most introductory accounting textbooks. Using only the computer for graded homework has led to some instructors asking whether students gain the same level of understanding of introductory accounting using only the computer versus using the computer and working some accounting problems with pencil and paper. This study compares student performance for two treatment groups, students whose graded homework was all computerized assignments and students whose graded homework was a combination of computerized and hand-written assignments. Significant differences were found between the two groups.
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Tips for Students: Five Reasons Why You Should Not Miss Another In-Class Activity

Guest Contributor: Bridgett McGowen-Hawkins, Senior Professional Educator, TeamUP Cengage Learning Peer-to-Peer Faculty Development. Not again! Your professor has decided it’s time to “hear from you” and make class more active, and you automatically think “Why can’t I just sit and listen to the lecture?!”   They’re not trying to make you uncomfortable or fill class time because they have nothing to say. There’s a definite method to the madness.   Educators engage in activities such as attending conferences, reading articles, and chatting with colleagues about what works in the classroom, and as such, they have specific, research-based reasons for wanting to move Read More…


Activity: Practicing Test-Taking Strategies

When students take the time to study for their examinations, they’re working to increase the likelihood of performing successfully on the test. However, if they’re using effective study skills, they’ll also reinforce what they’ve learned and perhaps develop a deeper level of understanding of the course material. In addition, they’ll also reduce their test anxiety as they become more confident in their knowledge and skills. As with any endeavor, practice is one effective means of increasing one’s proficiency and knowledge at test time. You may already provide students with practice questions, but if you don’t, you can encourage Read More…