The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has identified interaction and communication as important personal competencies in its Core Competency Framework for Entry into the Accounting Profession. The Accounting Education Change Commission in Position Statement Number 1 (September 1990) also emphasized the importance of Interpersonal skills, which include the ability to work effectively in groups and to provide leadership when appropriate. Hence, learning to work together in groups has thus become an essential part of the introductory accounting class experience. The question becomes “What is the best way for an instructor to form or facilitate the formation of these groups?” Students can be placed in groups randomly by the instructor. Alternatively, students can self-select their own groups. However, in the introductory accounting course, students usually do not know each other and typically choose students who happen to be sitting next to them in class. This often does not lead to the optimum group outcome. It is more helpful for students to strive for balanced competencies to achieve their common goal.

After a YouTube segment on speed dating came to my attention, it seemed to be a fun and possibly ideal solution to forming groups of diverse students in my introductory classroom. I decided to try it!

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.

Ann Galligan Kelley, Providence College

Read Forming Groups in the Age of YouTube.