Curriculum and Programs

Using Analogies to Help Students Learn Fundamental Accounting Concepts in the First Week of the First Accounting Course

Hanson and Phillips (2006) provide evidence that using analogies can be a powerful method for teaching accounting concepts. Prior research (Gentner 1989; Ross 1984) has shown that people often develop analogies that share superficial similarities between the source topic (what the student already knows) and the target topic (what the student is attempting to learn). When students first learn about business balance sheets, they often draw upon their pre-existing knowledge and form an analogy between the business balance sheet and personal net worth. This choice can be very helpful, but part of their pre-existing knowledge does not apply to the business balance sheet. Zook (1991) has demonstrated that students may focus on irrelevant features when analogies are used. Thus, it is important that students understand the parts of the analogy that can be helpful.
 
Paris and Glynn (2004) demonstrate that analogies are more effective when they are elaborate. Elaborate analogies fully elaborate on the structural features of a target
topic that are also present in a source topic. They show that elaborate analogies contribute to students’ more fully comprehending new concepts. This paper describes an
elaborate analogy that may be used during the first week of a first financial accounting course to help students understand fundamental accounting concepts. This analogy is used in the form of two related in-class exercises that may be used in a single day or used on separate days.

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Eight Things to Look for When Choosing Integrated Course Solutions

As publishers continue to move their titles from basic eTextbooks and online resources to highly-integrated whole-course solutions, the array of choices in their catalogs – including eTextbook formats and digital resources — can be overwhelming. A new white paper discusses the customer usage data that has inspired publishers to accelerate their delivery schedules for personalized, integrated course solutions. Here is a list of what to look for when evaluating the latest generation of digital resources: A streamlined, efficient reading experience and a cohesive, useful set of resources that is available to the student, on demand, in order to make the learning Read More…


Integrating Gift Cards into the Accounting Curriculum

Gift cards have become an increasingly popular way of conducting business. Tower Group estimated that $97 billion was spent on gift cards in 2007. Although this figure was expected to decline to about $88.5 in 2008 it still represents a sizeable portion of the retail industry. Since many students are familiar with these cards accounting instructors have a unique opportunity to enhance students’ comprehension of both business and accounting concepts. This paper will discuss the two types of gift cards, review gift cards in comparison to other ways of transacting business and explain the accounting for these cards. The paper concludes by offering suggestions for the effective use of these and for establishing a more consistent accounting for them.
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A Visual Representation of the Statement of Cash Flows

In this article, the authors present a visual representation of the statement of cash flows, which can be used as an illustrative demonstration of related concepts in accounting courses.

This article is from the Accounting Instructors’ Report, an electronic journal that provides teaching tips and insights to those who teach accounting and other business courses.

Contributors:
Dr. David O’Bryan, College of Business, Pittsburg State University
Dr. Jeffrey J. Quirin, School of Accountancy, Barton College of Business, Wichita State University

Read A Visual Representation of the Statement of Cash Flows.


And Now There Are Three: IFRS for SMEs

In May 2008, the AICPA Governing Council recognized the IASB as an accounting body for purposes of establishing high quality accounting standards and with an amendment to Appendix A of AICPA Rules 202 and 203 gives AICPA members the option to use IFRS as an alternative to US GAAP. Thus, private companies were given the option of using IFRS. (The SEC has not made this option available for public companies.) The IASB has now made a third option available for private companies in the U.S. by issuing IFRS for Small, and Medium-Sized Companies (SMEs). This latter development has the potential for significant change in accounting practice and accounting education.
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German Cost Accounting vs. Activity-Based Costing

Activity-Based Costing is often used in cost/managerial accounting as a cost measurement, yet accounting practices can differ widely between countries. To be able to recognize difference and similarities in seemingly identical practices between countries provides an opportunity for improvement and allows managers to draw managerial implications in light of the increasing internationalization of companies. This paper compares the USA Activity-based Costing (ABC) and the German (GPK) Activity-based costing. The paper establishes differences based on purpose, cost, concepts construction and cost allocation, and quantity and quality of cost information.

From this research it appears that many of the enterprises in the USA as well as those in other countries should take a look at the ways their international counterparts successfully measure and manage organization performance, in order to resolve limitations in North American practices and in referencing the German Cost Accounting system.

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Using End-of-Term Student Feedback for Classroom Growth

Gathering and utilizing student feedback is essential to ensuring that the courses you teach are facilitating learning and that your content and teaching styles are constantly evolving with the students. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, authors Marilla Svinicki and Wilbert J. McKeachie provide tips on how to gather student feedback and how to use it to improve your course content or teaching style. Tailor the questionnaire to your course – Institutions often provide a standard form that can be used in any class, regardless of discipline or size. Add additional Read More…


Moving Your Course Toward the Online Environment

Guest Contributors: Sande Johnson, Worth Hawes, and Deborah Hoffman, Academic Services Consultants, Custom Learning at Cengage Learning. Are you considering teaching a course online for the first time? In this post, contributors Sande Johnson, Worth Hawes, and Deborah Hoffman share some first steps to consider when moving toward the online teaching environment. Have questions about moving a course online, or tips to share from your own experience? Include them in the comments section below! So you’ve decided to give this online teaching thing your ole college best. It really doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think, but you do Read More…


The Secrets of Designing Great Software for Learners

An Interview with Rob Dumas, Executive Director of User Experience, Cengage Learning
Software that delivers a great user experience is not created by accident. It takes one or more experienced user experience (Ux) designers, a delicate balance of art and science, and a development team that shares the product vision. Products that are designed to increase student engagement and improve outcomes have to appeal to instructors and their students in order to deliver on those promises. I caught up with Cengage Learning’s Executive Director of User Experience, Robert Dumas, a couple of weeks ago to discuss the intricacies of Read More…


What Activities Work to Achieve Learning? Merrill’s First Principles

It’s likely that you encourage learners in your classroom to connect the material you’re covering to examples from their own lives. How do you then take it a step further and get them to think critically and apply what you’ve taught them to solve a problem? Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. Guest Contributor: Erin Doppke, Senior Instructional Designer, Cengage Learning Custom Solutions As you approach your courses for next semester, consider incorporating an instructional model on which many instructional designers rely: Merrill’s First Principles of Instruction (Merrill, 2002). Instructional designers think of Merrill’s First Read More…