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…

Using OutKast on Tour: An Instructional Mini-Case for Learning Accrual Accounting Concepts

“OutKast on Tour” is a classroom resource that enables students to understand the essence of accrual accounting. It covers concert revenue recognition for a band and the corresponding expense recognition for three purchasers of concert tickets.

This problem is designed for use early in the introductory accounting course: after the second chapter for most Accounting Principles textbooks. After completing two chapters, most students understand concepts relating to revenue and expense recognition regarding transactions for which cash transfers (receipts and payments) occur either simultaneous to or after revenue and expense transactions. Using OutKast on Tour enables students to grasp concepts relating to cash transfers that occur prior to revenue and expense recognition. This serves as a foundation for understanding prepaid expenses, unearned revenues, adjusting entries, and other accrual accounting issues (that are covered in the third chapter of most Accounting Principles textbooks). Students learn the following fundamental concept: under accrual accounting: the timing of revenues and expense recognition is not dependent on the receipt of cash (for revenues) or payment of cash (for expenses).

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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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A Study of Student Performance in an Online Introductory Financial Accounting Course Compared to a Traditional Classroom Setting

The use of online courses in higher education has become increasingly widespread in recent years. However, there has been ongoing debate regarding the achievement of certain learning objectives by students and the means of measurement applied by those facilitating various courses, particularly in the field of accounting. Recent opportunities at Louisiana State University in Shreveport have allowed for the study and comparison of student performance in an online course format compared with that of a traditional classroom setting for Introductory Financial Accounting course offerings for the fall semester 2010. The results provide preliminary evident as to the relative merits of the two approaches.

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Optimizing Course Management System Resources in the Introductory Accounting Course

Course Management Systems (CMS) such as Moodle, D2L, WebCT, and Blackboard are frequently used by faculty as auxiliary resources for introductory accounting courses. Instructors often develop creative CMS resources to make a positive pedagogical impact in achieving learning goals for their students. This study examines the effectiveness of CMS resources in the introductory accounting course. During three introductory financial accounting courses taught during the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 academic years, CMS videos, problem solutions, notes, slides, and other CMS resources were optional learning tools made available to students during the study. Analyses were performed to determine whether student CMS use correlated with student performance. Pre- and post- course exam were administered to assess how CMS use impacted student learning. In addition, a student survey was conducted to gather evidence to determine what resources were considered most useful by students, and to compare student perceptions of usefulness with actual use. Results of the study found that use of CMS resources do not appear to impact the course grade achieved by students in the introductory accounting course. The implication is that student entry-level skills are more influential in predicting course grade than other factors, including the degree of CMS use. In contrast, CMS use appears to impact students’ increased knowledge of the course material as shown by the comparison of post-exam to pre-exam scores. Of all the resources available, student use of videos showed the most significant relationship to improvement in the pre- to post-exam scores. By evaluating student CMS resource use and sharing best practices, faculty can continue to improve the learning experience for beginning accounting students.
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Accounting Instructors’ Report, Spring 2012: Table of Contents

Teaching Judgment in Beginning Accounting
Belverd E. Needles, Jr., Ph.D., CPA
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Simultaneous Presentation of Debit/Credit Entries and Plus/Minus Transaction Worksheet – An Aid to Student Understanding

For many students, the introductory financial accounting course can be a frustrating experience. Rather than focusing on the more important aspects of the course, students become overwhelmed just trying to memorize debit and credit journal entries. In an effort to help the students understand transactions and their effects on the financial statements, we use a worksheet that simultaneously presents debit and credit journal entries and a ‘plus/minus’ transaction worksheet approach.
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Using the Seiler Model for Standard Costs Variance Analysis

Accounting students often have great difficulty in comprehending standard cost overhead variance analysis. As a result, many students end up merely memorizing the formulas for calculating such variances and overlook an underlying unity. Accounting instructors also may feel frustration in teaching standard cost overhead variance analysis and may search for an easier approach to learning this important topic.
The Seiler Model presents a diagrammatic method of organizing the data needed for overhead variance calculation. Additionally, this simple diagram makes clear the underlying sources of overhead variances, thereby facilitating an understanding of their cause and meaning. There is no need for students to memorize the various calculation formulas. Even when encountering an extremely complex and detailed situation, calculation of overhead variances is straightforward. Read More…

Accounting Instructors’ Report, Spring 2013: Table of Contents

Our Changing Environment in First-Year Accounting
Belverd E. Needles, Editor
Taking Part In Accounting Competitions/Challenges/Cases—Benefits To Your Students and Your School
Stephen J. Bukowy, University of North Carolina
An Activity-Based Costing Application Using a Video of Olive Oil Production
Karen S. Cravens, The University of Tulsa
Elizabeth Goad Oliver, Washington & Lee University
Understanding Management Control in a Small Business: An Entrepreneurial Micro-Business Case (The Hot Dog Cart)
Delwyn D. Devries, Belmont University
Tanya Lee, Valdosta State University
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How to Develop an Inexpensive Online Course

In this article, the author explains how to develop a quality, online beginning accounting course without a generous budget, dedicated studios, or extensive technical support. He shows how to integrate learning management system with book-publisher provided online resources.

When he started to develop the online course material, he was a complete novice; he had used only the usual audio visual tools in my classes. In this article, he describes how he converted his course to an online course without sacrificing the rigor and demands of a class-taught accounting course.
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