Back to Table of Contents for the On Course I Workshop

1. Strategy: Silent Socratic Dialogue

Application: Principles of Accounting

Educator: Donna Self, Faculty, Accounting, Finance and Economics & Director, Freshman Foundations & Students in Transition, McNeese State University, LA

Implementation: The goal of this activity is to help students deepen their understanding of basic terms that help to form a solid foundation in accounting. Provide students with a list of basic accounting terms such as assets, liabilities, stockholders’ (owners’) equity, proprietorship, partnership, corporation, etc. Ask students to choose a term and write their present understanding of that term. Then place students in pairs and facilitate the Silent Socratic Dialogue. When students exchange books, they read what their partner has written about the chosen term; then they write a question to help the writer deepen his/her understanding of the term and its application. Have students write questions and answers a couple of times for each term. [Option: students may refer to their text and notes to respond to questions.] This activity can be repeated periodically, with students choosing a different term each time. As a wrap up for each exercise, inquire if there are terms about which students are confused and lead a discussion clarifying it.

2. Strategy: Jigsaw

Application: Accounting (Managerial)

Educator: Linda Hitt, Faculty, Accounting, Piedmont Virginia Community College, VA

Implementation: In home groups of three, have students choose to become the group’s expert in one of three relevant costing decision-making:

  1. Make or buy decisions
  2. Discontinuation of segment
  3. Special order

To complete Step A of the Jigsaw, tell students about their resources (e.g., course text book, instructor provided handouts, links to Internet information) and the time they have available to become their group’s expert (e.g., one week). In Step B, have the three expert groups meet in class to plan how to teach their topic to their home group members. Additionally, each group creates one related problem for class members to use for practice (a task which could be completed outside of class). In Step C, experts return to their home groups and teach their method. Use student-generated problems for a short practice quiz to assess how well students have learned the material before taking a test that counts towards their course grade.

3. Strategy: Eagles and Hawks

Application: Principles of Accounting

Educator: Anonymous

Implementation: The goal of this activity is to help students learn basic accounting terminology, perhaps preparing them for an upcoming test. Provide a list of terms and assign each student to become an expert on one term. Identify for students the resources available for them to become expert in that topic (text book, handouts, lecture notes, etc.). Do some sort of check to confirm that students have, indeed, learned their term accurately. For example, the check could be conducted via a written paragraph or a one-on-one conference. When students have learned their term, implement Eagles and Hawks. Have each student ask her/his partner to define/explain the term about which s/he has become an expert. The partner provides a definition/explanation and the expert provides correction or additional information when needed. As students exchange partners in the Eagles and Hawks, they have an opportunity to review a number of terms.

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