یادگیری بر اساس حل مسأله: آیا آموزش حسابداری به آن نیاز دارد؟
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|10376||2012||23 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Accounting Education, Volume 30, Issues 3–4, September–December 2012, Pages 267–289
Problem-based learning (PBL) has been used successfully in disciplines such as medicine, nursing, law and engineering. However a review of the literature shows that there has been little use of this approach to learning in accounting. This paper extends the research in accounting education by reporting the findings of a case study of the development and implementation of PBL at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in a new Accountancy Capstone unit that began in 2006. The fundamentals of the PBL approach were adhered to. However, one of the essential elements of the approach adopted was to highlight the importance of questioning as a means of gathering the necessary information upon which decisions are made. This approach can be contrasted with the typical ‘give all the facts’ case studies that are commonly used. Another feature was that students worked together in the same group for an entire semester (similar to how teams in the workplace operate) so there was an intended focus on teamwork in solving unstructured, real-world accounting problems presented to students. Based on quantitative and qualitative data collected from student questionnaires over seven semesters, it was found that students perceived PBL to be generally effective, especially in terms of developing the skills of questioning, teamwork, and problem solving. The effectiveness of questioning is very important as this is a skill that is rarely the focus of development in accounting education. The successful implementation of PBL in accounting through ‘learning by doing’ could be the catalyst for change to bring about better learning outcomes for accounting graduates
In recent years, a number of authorities have called for the development of a broader range of required skills in accounting graduates. For example, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) released as one of its eight International Education Standards (IES) a standard called IES3 Professional Skills and General Education (International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB), 2009). This standard emphasizes the development of Professional Skills, which include not only intellectual, technical and functional skills but also personal skills, interpersonal and communication skills, and organizational and business management skills. Similar skills were emphasized by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in its Core Competency Framework ( American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 2010a and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 2010b); and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and CPA Australia in their document Professional Accreditation Guidelines for Higher Education (ICAA & CPA Australia, 2009) used to accredit Australian accounting programs. The Australian Learning and Teaching Council also released a paper entitled Accounting for the Future: More Than Numbers (Hancock et al., 2009), which investigated the changing skill set for professional accounting graduates and strategies to embed those skills into professional accounting programs. Finally, the Australian Business Deans Council released details of an investigation of existing resources, strengths, gaps and challenges to be addressed for sustainability in teaching and learning in Australian university business schools/faculties. A major project that was recommended was building and assessing the development of generic skills across the business curriculum (Freeman, Hancock, Simpson, & Sykes, 2008). The above views were echoed 10 years earlier by Albrecht and Sack (2000) in their monograph entitled Accounting Education: Charting the Course Through a Perilous Future. They stated that “Following the advice of the Accounting Education Change Commission (AECC), it is time that we, in accounting education, move away from our reliance on lecture and move toward teaching approaches that convey critical KSAs (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities)” (Albrecht & Sack, 2000, p. 64). Albrecht and Sack also cited many skills to concentrate on, including cases that deal with uncertainty and analytical skills, group work to teach leadership and working together, and for students to do research on the Web and use the wide variety of data services available. The AECC referred to by Albrecht and Sack (2000) was created in 1990 with the specific goal to generate action – the implementation of needed improvements in the education of accountants, not only in the United States where the commission was established, but throughout the world (Sundem & Williams, 1992). The AECC’s Position Statement Number One (AECC, 1990) on the objectives of education for accountants stated that students should be active participants in the learning process; learning by doing should be emphasized; working in groups should be encouraged; students should have the ability to locate, obtain and organize information, and develop the ability to identify and solve unstructured problems in unfamiliar settings; and to exercise judgement based on comprehension of an unfocused set of facts. The abovementioned references all call for accounting educators to diversify their content-based, knowledge-focused approach and to start emphasizing process and skills. One possible response to this call could be the development of problem-based learning (PBL). Indeed, Milne and McConnell (2001) placed on notice the need for PBL to be incorporated into accounting education. Johnstone and Biggs (1998, p. 424) held similar views stating that “While implementation will be complex and will differ from one institution to another, the medical literature provides an important resource for understanding some of the issues involved with implementing PBL in accounting curricula. As with any major curricular change, the implementation of PBL will entail a great deal of effort, time, and creativity.” The rise of PBL is generally attributed to medical education in Canada and US in the 1950s and 1960s1 (Barrows, 1996, Boud and Feletti, 1991, Gijselaers, 1995, Savin-Baden, 2000 and Spaulding, 1969). As well as medicine, PBL has been successfully adopted in a variety of disciplines including nursing, engineering, social work, law, management, science, business and economics (Boud and Feletti, 1991, Daly and Gijbels, 2009, Duch et al., 2001, Gijselaers et al., 1995 and Heagy and Lehmann, 2005). This is mainly due to the perceived benefits that the PBL approach brings to learning. Compared to conventional teaching methods, Barrows (1996) found that medical students had better clinical problem-solving skills and were stimulated and motivated using the PBL method. In analyzing the use of PBL principally in medicine but also in economics and computer science, Strobel and Van Barneveld (2009) found that PBL was beneficial in terms of long-term retention of knowledge, skills development in terms of clinical performance, and satisfaction of both students and teachers. Similarly, Hmelo-Silver (2004) outlined the goals of PBL as helping students develop flexible knowledge, effective problem-solving skills, self-directed learning skills, effective collaboration skills, and intrinsic motivation. However, in reviewing the accounting education literature, there has been scant use of PBL and this educational gap provides the motivation for this paper. The aim is to extend the research on PBL in accounting by providing a case study detailing how PBL was implemented in a final-year Accountancy Capstone unit at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia. An essential element of our approach was the importance of questioning as a method of gathering the required information to solve accounting-related problems. In typical educational cases in accounting, all information is given and students do not have to search for all the facts. This does not occur in accounting professional practice. Questioning is critical in the medical and legal education disciplines but accounting education seems to have overlooked this important skill. Another essential feature was to ensure that students worked in groups and participated responsibly in the learning process. Students worked together in the same group for an entire semester (similar to how teams in the workplace operate), thereby emphasizing the importance of teamwork in solving unstructured accounting problems similar to those likely to be confronted in professional practice. This study reports the nature of the students’ experiences and perceived learning outcomes from PBL, especially in relation to the skills of questioning, teamwork and problem solving. The paper will also evaluate how effective the program was and discuss possible implications for further reform of university accounting education. The rest of the paper proceeds as follows. The next section outlines the nature of PBL and reviews the literature on the use of PBL in accounting. A description of how PBL was implemented at QUT will be discussed in the third section followed by an outline of the evaluation strategy which asks students to rate the perceived effectiveness of their learning. The paper concludes by reporting key findings, implications and limitations of the study, and suggests areas for further research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper reports the findings of the development and implementation of PBL in a new Accountancy Capstone unit at the Queensland University of Technology. In designing the unit, the broad fundamental characteristics of PBL approaches (Tan, 2003) were adopted. Furthermore, the four implementation strategies recommended by Johnstone and Biggs (1998) for the successful implementation of PBL in an accountancy curriculum were adhered to with particular emphasis on a problem-solving model called FIRDE, which was created to give the necessary structure for approaching the real-world problems presented. Unlike the findings of Breton (1999) and Heagy and Lehmann (2005), which concentrated on the academic performance of students exposed to PBL, our paper sought to obtain student perceptions of their PBL experience. Both the quantitative and qualitative data collected from students over seven semesters indicate that the use of PBL in this accounting unit was very successful. The students “agree” that their understanding of concepts and principles in this field has improved, they can apply principles from this unit to new situations, the unit contained an appropriate breadth and depth of learning materials to challenge them, and as a result of this unit, they feel more comfortable dealing with unstructured problems and problems based on incomplete facts. In addition, the focus of the PBL approach centered on three main features: the importance of questioning by students who were initially presented with incomplete facts (as a professional advisor would experience when dealing with a client for the first time); solving unstructured problems; and students working together in groups sharing their research findings and solving problems for the entire semester. The results indicate that PBL was generally effective in all these areas. The most important result of the study relates to the use of questioning to obtain information. This is a vital skill in other disciplines but seems to have been overlooked in accounting education. The students surveyed indicated that the skill of questioning was very useful even though they sometimes found it difficult. Despite this, the student responses’ reveal that the PBL approach adopted was effective in developing this skill. This research indicates that PBL is an ideal vehicle to embed this vital skill in a real-life accounting context. Another important result of the study is the skill of teamwork. Teamwork is often difficult to manage in a tertiary environment with many students disliking teamwork as part of their studies. However, PBL has shown that the approach adopted was successful. A similar result was obtained for problem solving. The students generally agreed that they were now more comfortable dealing with unstructured problems. These three skills are vital in the accounting profession and if PBL offers an effective way to improve those skills at the university level, then a PBL approach to learning should be encouraged. These results also confirm Tan (2004) who asserted that PBL creates a learning environment where inquiry activities, self-directed learning, information mining, dialogue and collaborative problem-solving can be incorporated in the design to enrich the student learning experience. However there are some important factors to be considered if PBL is to be adopted. The most important relates to time. The implementation of PBL is a time-consuming process especially the development of the PBLs. Because this is new to accounting, all PBLs had to be specifically written, with the appropriate “hook” to engage the students. Secondly, the role of the teaching staff changes in a PBL environment. Teaching staff are not the “giver of content” as would normally occur in a lecture/tutorial. Staff control of the classroom is more relaxed with students constantly searching for data and information, discussing issues on their own, and coming to conclusions without the aid of the staff member. Some staff may not enjoy being in this less controlled and different atmosphere. Finally, no university should begin this path without the support of the School through the Head of School, school advisors, and faculty/school teaching and learning committees. Without appropriate support, implementation of a PBL approach may be very difficult. Based on the results of this research, the answer to the question “Does accounting education need PBL?” is a definite “Yes.” Overall, the results from seven semesters indicate that the use of PBL can be successfully implemented into an accounting curriculum, and despite the time, effort and creativity required to develop and implement PBL, significant rewards can be reaped in student learning outcomes especially in skills development. This should encourage others to consider using PBL and in the words of Milne and McConnell (2001,78) “seems too great an opportunity not to experiment with it.” In terms of limitations, the questionnaire was the only form of data collection. Another limitation is that the paper only reports the views of students enrolled in the unit. The views of graduates, practitioners or employers were not canvassed. In terms of future research, student interviews could be conducted to reveal richer student perceptions of the PBL experience. In addition, further research could be conducted on the university-to-work transition by canvassing the views of graduates, practitioners and employers to determine whether the skills developed by our students in this unit translated into the workforce. Our experience over multiple semesters indicates that PBL enhances the development of certain student skills. Future research could be undertaken in order to determine whether this occurs in the students’ first year as a graduate accountant.