AIR Fall 2007

Teaching Using Online Resources: Accessing or Creating the Needed Online Resources

Teaching effectively now makes use of online resources. Surveys show that teaching and learning is more effective with resources to support it, with students preferring online resources. Students prefer the ability to manipulate information, the 24/7 availability of materials and the innovation possible as compared to paper equivalents. The digital nature of the material means, from the academic side, that online resources have added value over paper based equivalents. As soon as the material is online, the ability to layer materials so that students can choose how they access and learn becomes available. For instance, not only are the lecture slides available online, they are interlinked with another layer of source material so that students can learn more deeply. Or the materials are rearranged and then interfaced with the teaching to allow better access and use. Indeed, the material can even be used to self-test and allow reflection as well as learning.

This paper looks at the methods used at University of Sydney and assesses the ease as well as the problems created by each method. It will look at the promise among the perils. This paper will outline each method used and follow this by a review of the effectiveness and problems inherent in that method. The paper will conclude with an overview of the issues involved in “getting things online.”


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Trends: Motivation and Technology

In several prior Trends columns, Belverd E. Needles, Jr., Ph.D., CPA addressed the challenges presented by today’s students in introductory accounting. In this edition’s column, he focuses on a few of the “principles” that he believes are particularly appropriate for addressing the issue of motivating students to study and do well in accounting.

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


Belverd E. Needles, Jr., Ph.D., CPA


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The Essence of Accounting

While some things are going through significant change, some things in accounting remain the same today as they were thirty or even five hundred years ago. Assets still equal liabilities plus owner’s equity; net income still equals revenues-expenses; and what you own still equals what you started with plus what you added less what you took out. The balance sheet, income statement, and statement of owner’s capital have changed very little through the years.

In this article,  the author discusses the “essence of accounting” and describes a teaching method that he believes helps students better understand accounting for pensions using the “account and amount” method of teaching accounting.

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Towards Constructive Alignment: Mapping the Territory

As part of a larger teaching and learning (T&L) project, a team based at The University of Sydney, within the Faculty of Economics and Business became aware of the significant challenge faced by academics in “constructively aligning” (Biggs, 1996) their teaching programs with the T&L objectives of the university, faculty and discipline concomitant with providing quality T&L outcomes for students. In this article, the authors describe the development of their model for constructive alignment. Read More…

Using Supplemental Instruction in Accounting Principles Courses

In teaching accounting principles courses, I have successfully utilized Supplemental Instruction in order to assist and empower my students in comprehending and learning the concepts and terminology covered in the course. Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a cooperative learning method in which students work in small groups (6-15 students) outside of the class, in order to improve course performance and retention. Typically, three one-hour sessions are held per week for a three-credit course. SI is proactive, not reactive. It assists students before they encounter academic difficulties in the class and not just after. Specifically, SI is designed to increase students’ knowledge and command of the course material by improving their learning, organization, and problem-solving strategies, and enhancing their critical-thinking, reasoning, and study skills. A trained SI leader facilitates the SI sessions.

In this article, the author describes how, in his experience, SI has proved to be a successful method in not only improving students’ academic performance in his accounting principle courses, but also in improving their attitude and motivation with respect to the course, and in providing them with tools, skills, and strategies necessary for their personal, academic, and professional development.


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The First Course in Accounting-Computerized Practice Set Evaluation

There is a growing pressure from the change commission, AACSB (American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business), etc. to have some type of computer application in principles. The reasons are that (1) this may be the only exposure some students have to a computer, particularly true to those leaving school after their sophomore year and (2) for accounting majors to be, this will be one of the general courses where they will, hopefully, be using the computer.

This paper presents the results of a review of computerized practice sets at an AACSB -accredited university. The author hopes that the insights gathered in this review will help others in computerizing the first course in accounting.

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