بکارگیری یک کلاهبرداری در دنیای واقعی برای اهداف چندگانه آموزش: ملاحظات و نمونه ای از دوره سیستم
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|17757||2012||30 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 325–354
Well-designed and delivered teaching cases are of significant educational value. Additionally, a real-world situation described as an entertaining story holds student interest and increases attention. But turning such a story into an effective instructional case can be a daunting task for many instructors. This paper reports on an actual real-world fraud involving theft of almost half a million dollars from a familiar type of small business. The details of the situation provide a rich supply of content adaptable to not one, but numerous, major topics found in many accounting courses in systems, internal control, and even perhaps auditing. This supply of “raw material” can be utilized by instructors to create numerous educational cases tailored to the individual needs of their students and courses. The extensive literature on educational case usage contains sources providing suggestions to assist instructors in effective case development. Examples are also provided of how one instructor applied the fraud’s “story” to several learning objectives in an undergraduate AIS course to create a set of instructional cases, providing significant economies of scale for both instructor and student.
Educational cases present a rich learning environment, and prepare students for the type of problems they will encounter in the real world much more thoroughly than, say, short examples or contrived fictional exercises (Anthony, 1974, Hmelo et al., 2000, Weil et al., 2004 and Williams et al., 2001). Case content describing real world events also holds student interest and attention more than many other course exercises (McGuire, 2012, Pennell and Miles, 2009 and Sheets, 2011). Cases are widely accepted as effective educational tools, especially in business and the professions. Merseth (1991) outlines the history and evolution of case-based instruction, and gives an impressive list of studies over many decades confirming the application and effectiveness of the technique for higher levels of learning. Studies in numerous fields have shown various benefits of case-based education (Costin, 1972, Henson, 1995 and Sankar and Raju, 2002). Pridmore, Bradley, and Mehta (2010, p. 289) concluded that a combination of lecture with case studies is a most effective pedagogical strategy. Accounting educators widely recognize the additional motivation, interest, and deeper learning potential of case-based pedagogy. In the middle of the last century, the Accounting Review ( Hassler, 1950) introduced the merits of using cases in accounting education. Since then, a lengthy trail of articles reflects the continuing interest in, and utilization of, this pedagogical technique in accounting, including Pointer and Ljungdahl, 1973, Joy, 1987, Campbell and Lewis, 1991, McHugh, 1998 and English et al., 2004, and many others. Rebele et al., 1998a and Rebele et al., 1998b noted the usefulness of cases in various roles in diverse areas in the accounting curriculum, gives an extensive literature review and compiles a list of educational cases appearing in major accounting education journals in the last decade of the 20th century. The study by Hassell and Milne (2004, p. 135) found evidence that “accounting academics indicate that the analysis of case studies … was the preferred pedagogical approach to promote synthesis and evaluation … to develop professional skills.” Judging by the large number of submissions to the AAA’s IS Section C3 Case Compendium, and the large proportion of case-oriented material appearing in the AIS Educator Journal and the former Education Section of the Journal of Information Systems, the case approach is an especially popular teaching tool among accounting systems educators. But preparing a complete case that is elegant, efficient, and pedagogically sound is difficult and takes significant time and effort on the part of the instructor. This may be why publication outlets facilitating the sharing of case materials are so popular, and sessions reporting on case usage continue to appear on the program of educational conferences year after year. Using a case also takes more time and effort on the part of the student. The student is required to absorb the peripheral context, environment, settings, and details, in addition to comprehending the pedagogical content, knowledge, and concepts of the fundamental learning objective. Notwithstanding the richness and benefit of case learning, students inevitably expend much more time executing a case assignment than they do on a short, stand-alone, limited exercise (Ballantine, Duff, & Larres, 2008). It would logically follow, therefore, that a set of case material (providing the background, context, environment, and setting) which can be re-used for multiple learning modules will hold special value for AIS educators and students alike. The background, setting, environment, context, and situation is prepared and distributed once by the instructor, and then used for multiple learning modules. The background, setting, environment, context, and situation is studied and absorbed once by students, and then utilized to achieve multiple learning objectives. A single, elegant narrative that can be re-used for several different modules of a course offers significant economies of scale for both instructor and student (Jackling, 2005). Appendix A to this paper describes a real world event which lends itself to application to numerous topics found in systems, auditing, and related accounting courses. While initially appearing lengthy and detailed, students find the real-world aspect of an actual fraud in a familiar setting to be fascinating. The continuity of the story motivates student interest and enjoyment. The building of the discoveries in the case instills suspense and excitement, making the narrative more like an entertaining novel or docudrama. That the facts of the situation are true, and that almost every student in the class has actually patronized this kind of business environment in the past year or so, further maintains student interest, increasing attention, stimulating motivation, and thus enhancing learning potential. Various instructors across institutions, campuses, courses, and even sections will have different learning objectives, different perspectives, different areas of emphasis, different levels of student abilities, and different teaching styles. Instructors can select those aspects and details from the fraud which directly relate to their specific learning objectives, and then construct an instructional case tailored to their specific educational needs. For this reason, this paper does not present a fully-prepared, drop-in case to be inserted into an instructor’s course; specific learning objectives, teaching notes, student handouts, and solutions are deliberately not provided, because they are specific to each course, instructor, institution, and module, and the fraud is broad enough to apply to dozens of such individual educational cases. Rather, the story is presented for instructors to use as raw material in carefully crafting their own educational case tailored to their students, their curriculum objectives, and their course. The same story can thus be applied not only to a variety of learning topics, but also to a wide variety of institutions and courses. In this way, instructors and students go over the background, content, environment, setting, context, and details of the fraud once, and then use that effort in several tailored educational activities. The story describes a true experience of a fraud1 perpetrated upon a dental practice by its office manager, in the absence of internal controls and oversight by the owner (the dentist). The fraud was discovered by accident when a computer consultant, unbeknownst to the office manager but at the request of the business owner, was investigating a reported (but non-existent) problem with the computerized accounting software. Both the consultant and dentist are close friends of the author. They were amenable to cooperating in the creation of classroom materials if it might someday help prevent another business owner from falling victim to a similar crime. Minor changes in some details of the event, including the modification/elimination of all names, locations, and other identifying information has been made to conceal the identity of individuals who might be embarrassed or suffer professional harm from disclosure. With those modifications, permission has been obtained from the parties in this fraud to use the situation for educational purposes. By providing students with selected details of this experience early in the course, instructors can set the stage for the introduction, presentation, expansion, and application of numerous areas of fundamental material typically found in or among accounting systems, audit, pre-audit, and internal control courses. Instructors can, in the words of one student, “make the topics come alive” by placing the conceptual learning material in the context of an actual real-world crime. More importantly, by using the fraud to illustrate numerous topics, instructors are demonstrating how seemingly disparate course concepts come together to form the “big picture,” and how the concepts apply to actual business. To assist instructors in crafting their own case materials from this fraud, Part II of this paper provides a brief summary of some literature-based issues inherent in case-based pedagogy, providing food for thought intended to help in designing individual cases from this fraud. Part III provides examples of how the author has applied certain aspects of the story to selected topics in the undergraduate AIS course to create six instructional cases. Part IV provides some evidence of effectiveness, based on student feedback and performance assessments, and offers concluding comments. The story itself is provided as an Appendix A. Appendix B provides notes resulting from author’s application of this story in the six cases.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This fraud has been used successfully by the author for seven semesters. Student reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Covering details of actual crimes seems to appeal very broadly to the current generation of traditional students. The instructor has on occasion invited the consultant to serve as guest speaker, lending credence and credibility to the details. Students enthusiastically embrace the case assignments, and participation and contribution is surprisingly higher than previous semesters when contrived, textbook, or a variety of simpler cases were used. Students actually enjoy coming to class and participating in the discussions. As one measure, class attendance prior to the introduction of this fraud was averaging about 80% in previous semesters, and over the seven semesters using this fraud, attendance has averaged 94%. Student comments on the end-of-course evaluations express satisfaction with the concept of using one situation as the basis for several learning cases. Students become comfortable with the fraud, and feel they are familiar with the situation after going over it several times. The internal control units are reinforced by repetition during the flowcharting and flowchart evaluation parts of the course, and repeated again when discussing the identification of control loci. Hence, average scores on examinations has risen almost eight full percentage points in the semesters since the introduction of the fraud. On the final exam, the instructor often uses a completely different case (often based on one of several used before the introduction of the dentist fraud) to test creativity in internal control system design. Student performance on this rubric is now almost 14% higher than it was before introduction of the fraud. This indicates that students are absorbing the material more thoroughly and operating at a higher level of learning than before. It also indicates that using one single case for several learning objectives does not interfere with or limit the ability of students to apply the principles to new and different scenarios. Finally, the Surprise Ending (the revelation that the perpetrator of the crime is still “on the loose” and may strike again, greatly contributes to the noteworthiness of the story. The discussions addressing the importance of ethics in upper-levels of the organization, the tone at the top, and the ramifications as illustrated in this crime, make a lasting impression on students, greatly enhancing the motivation, interest, and positive perception of the material in students’ minds. All in all, this fraud has been an extremely rich, interesting, and even entertaining source of course content and instructional cases. The application of the situation to so many of the AIS course’s learning objectives make this situation adaptable to many different accounting systems, audit, and control educational environments, as demonstrated in Section 3 and graphically illustrated in Fig. 2. The author is pleased to share it with other educators in the hope that they may find it useful in sparking student interest and activity, thereby motivating a higher level of learning.