Programme development for first year accounting in South African higher education
Fouché, Jacobus Paulu
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There are various factors that accounting educators should consider when involved in accounting education. These include: A continuous changing business environment; A new generation of learners studying at universities; A lack of skills among learners; Accounting educators resisting changes in accounting education; and The requirements for continuing professional education. From the literature it seems that much research has been done in the field of accounting education, but that it did not find practical application in the classroom. It is therefore necessary to think creatively in order to find practical solutions for the challenges facing both lecturers and facilitators. In the study the following elements of the teaching-learning environment were identified: Learners; The lecturer/facilitator; The milieu; The subject content (including technical content and competencies); and the Teaching methodology. Each of these elements were investigated during the research in order to identify factors from literature that could be included in an improved teaching plan. As part of the plan (methodology) a board game "Commercium™" was developed to meet the requirements of the teaching-learning environment. The board game was evaluated by first year learners at the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University. The evaluation proved to be very positive. The learners indicated that technical skills, understanding of the roles of the accountant, soft skills as well as knowledge of the subject content improved as a result. What should especially be noted is their positive reaction due to the fact that the game simulated the business environment and linked theory to practice. They also enjoyed the social and group work aspects of the assignment. The learners further had a general positive attitude towards the game. The highest evaluated positive experiences were described as good, exciting and fresh. On the negative side words such as unhappy, uncomfortable and tensed were recorded. The learners were thus required to move outside their comfort zones. Learners were also required to summarise the project in one word. Two thirds of the remarks were positive, with the number one remark being the word "interesting". The largest negative comment was that the project was confusing at the start. This could, however, be addressed in future projects. In conclusion it can thus be said the Commercium™ game meets the requirements of an effective teaching-learning environment by providing an effective teaching methodology. Lecturers now have an empirically proven effective teaching tool for introductory accounting, based on research of the requirements of the teaching-learning environment.
- ETD@PUK