Applying Technology in a Classroom Setting, where Procedural Learning is the Focus

Applying Technology in a Classroom Setting, where Procedural Learning is the Focus

Elliott Currie (University of Guelph, Canada)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3661-3.ch006

Abstract

This chapter explores the use of Lecture Capture Technology in accounting courses that are taught using a five-stage learning model based on aviation training. The implementation of the technology in large classes exceeding 250 students is complicated by lack of attendance; this is addressed through technology by implementing an electronic Classroom Response System. Both systems have been further improved to effectively and efficiently provide readily accessible lecture videos and increase the rigour of the graded response system. Additional research is warranted to substantiate the anecdotal findings and research conducted in other arenas of education.
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Background

Accounting, whether it is financial or managerial, is based on procedures and rules, many of which are internationally mandated and based on centuries old established practices. Taxation is even more rule based and the adherence to such rules is critical to success in the field of financial management. Compounding the subject matter are the various rules and theories that can grant differing perspectives and potential application of said rules to the recording and hence communication of financial position, transactions and future impacts. Taxation is even more complex as these rules and interpretations are complicated by political endeavours and encouragement, economic environments and legal interpretations. When this author was tasked with instructing accounting, he reached back into his past career as a flying instructor on which to base his instructional method and theory.

This method of aviation instruction is made of five phases:

  • 1.

    Explaining the theory.

  • 2.

    Demonstrating the exercise.

  • 3.

    Permitting the students to attempt the procedure.

  • 4.

    Correcting errors and confirming success.

  • 5.

    The student repeating the exercise correctly.

Aviation is a precise practice with little room for error; the belief in transferring this strategy to teaching is that the strategy should carry over to a less risky environment such as accounting and an even less risky environment, the classroom. The benefit of the approach is the feedback to learning and the opportunity for students to attempt the task in a ‘safe’ environment with an opportunity to make errors and receive guidance.

Adopting the above method is an easy process with 45 students in a class where interaction is readily possible, but virtually impossible in class sizes of 400 to 600 students. All the issues of clarification of terminology and procedure are compounded by the ever increasing number of students that are using their second language (English) to learn and apply the material taught in accounting. Of the 11 million people in Ontario, over 29% are foreign born, with expected immigration equaling 0.9% of the population each year for the next two to three decades. In the same courses there are 5% international students primarily from East Asia and the Middle East plus a handful of exchange students usually from continental Europe. Another complication is that the introductory course is a required course in the Business Program but only a career choice for approximately 30 to 40 per cent of the students attending the class.

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