Sharpen Your Teaching Skills Sessions

Presented on Friday and Saturday at the meeting, sessions in this track will feature presentations by educators from across the country sharing valuable teaching tips that you can put to use immediately in your classes.

May 8, 2020

10:45 am – 12:00 pm
Session 1.01: Make Excel Entertaining & Fun
Presenters: Christina M. Olear, Pennsylvania State University, Brandywine, Veronica Paz, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, James Pownall, Pennsylvania State University, Berks

We will demonstrate how we use data sets created from popular shows that can facilitate the student learning of valuable Excel skills that are essential for accounting students. In this session, the presenters will demonstrate how we incorporate this task into our classes. The students choose a data set from any of the following shows for their assignments – Game of Thrones, The Office, or Friends. Students learn how to sort, filter, and apply conditional formatting to data that is meaningful to them. This makes the assignment less intimidating and overwhelming. Pivot tables are included in the task, as are the essential functions and formulas of Excel. The homework concludes with the creation of a dashboard and a discussion of key performance indicators. This assignment is an excellent complement to the first few accounting courses in accounting programs, with the hope that they will learn skills they will use again in upper-level accounting courses. We will also show the main shortcuts included in Excel 2019/Office 365.

1:45 pm – 3:22 pm
Session 2.01: The Ten Basic Transactions of Financial Accounting:  A Practical Approach
Presenters: Jeffrey L. Hillard, Notre Dame of Maryland University, John Wiley, Baltimore City Community College

This session will introduce and discuss a unique pedagogical approach refined over more than 10 years of successful classroom and tutorial lab use. The Practical Approach fundamentally simplifies introductory financial accounting for enhanced understanding and less reliance on rote memorization. The accounting equation is rearranged to Uses of Funds (Assets + Dividends + Expenses) = Sources of Funds (Revenue + Contributed Capital + Liabilities). Adding to Uses of Funds is a debit and subtracting is a credit. The opposite is true of Sources of Funds. Common business processes create Basic Transactions which define the classification of account groups. There are only Ten Basic Transactions: Buy, Pay, Use, Make, Sell, Collect, Lend, Borrow, Sell Ownership and Reward Owners. These transactions can combine, for example, when Buy (Asset Add and Accounts Payable Add) and Pay (Cash Subtract and Accounts Payable Subtract) occur together the result is a cash purchase (Asset Add and Cash Subtract). Sometimes the ten basic transactions work in reverse, for example a reverse Buy is a purchase Return for credit. When students learn the 10 Basic Transactions including how they combine and reverse they can understand the classification of ANY financial accounting transaction, forming the foundation for further learning.

3:55 pm – 5:35 pm
Session 3.01: Integrating Managerial Accounting Concepts and Computations for Student Success

Presenters: Jeffrey L. Hillard, Notre Dame of Maryland University, John Wiley, Baltimore City Community College

Managerial Accounting courses can be challenging, presenting students with a wide variety of seemingly unrelated concepts and formulas to memorize. This session contributes to conceptual clarity by defining a unifying conceptual framework to help students visualize and connect the managerial accounting information flows. As these process frameworks are developed, a straightforward computational approach called “The Bridge” is presented, The Bridge allows students to efficiently move though the course leveraging on prior learning and efficiently utilizing one method, one formula and one graph for core concepts. Consistent business process flowcharts integrate with financial reporting, enabling a seamless transition from absorption costing with a past temporal perspective to variable costing for cost volume profit analysis, budgeting, standard costing and variance analysis. This workshop is designed to spur discussion about how conceptual and computational integration can bridge the gaps to enhance learning efficiency, fortify long-term retention of managerial accounting critical thinking decision skills and provide students with the practical knowledge that they need as they embark upon their careers."

May 9, 2020

9:05 am – 10:45 am
Session 4.01:  Preparing Accountants for the Future: AICPA Guidance for Critical Thinking in Your Classroom

Presenters: Joann David, AICPA, Susan K. Wolcott, Independent Scholar

The business world continues to evolve, with employers calling for greater critical thinking and analytic abilities. Furthermore, educational research finds that critical thinking and similar skills develop slowly, requiring considerable educational attention. Unfortunately, accounting faculty find it difficult to add these competencies to their existing courses because their courses are already too full of content. How, then, can accounting courses do a better job of helping students develop essential skills for the future?  This session will introduce practical strategies from developmental psychology for accounting faculty to enhance their courses with critical thinking, analytic reasoning, professional judgment, and similar skills. The session will introduce a new set of AICPA guidance materials, including exercises, discussion topics, short assignments, rubrics, and templates for accounting courses at all levels. Participants will leave the session with materials that can be used immediately in their courses.  This session will be interactive. Participants will: (1) define critical thinking, (2) reflect on their students’ critical thinking strengths and weaknesses, (3) practice assessing student critical thinking performance on a short assignment, and (4) design an exercise/assignment for their own course.  Accounting educators must meet the needs of the accounting profession by preparing accounting students with strong critical thinking skills.

11:15 am – 12:30 pm
Session 5.01: Crash Course: Sweeping Changes Expected in Accounting Education
Panelists: Yvonne L. Hinson, AICPA, Carl Mayes, AICPA

The accounting profession is facing and assertively confronting the effects of a multi-layered disruption to “classical commerce” from social, financial, governmental, educational and technological influences. The identification of these influencers and charting the “what’s next?” for the accounting profession requires the galvanization and actionability of all stakeholders which includes accounting academe. The implications to the profession and the stability and well-being of the financial system, supported by CPAs, is a prevailing consideration that requires pragmatic and rational solutions that  will have profound implications for the future.  The AACSB continues to evolve accreditation standards, the CPA Evolution initiative will lay the foundation for the next iteration of the CPA Exam and classify the competencies accounting professionals should be honing for success in the profession and the most recent Supply and Demand of Accounting Graduates provides insights on what to anticipate for future years.  This session will provide a basis for the convergence of these emerging issues; how NASBA, AICPA, and AACSB are uniformly working to upskill, evolve and future-proof the profession; and how it all impacts teaching and learning for future accounting professionals.