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Teaching for the Future with Algorithms, Learning Modules, and Microcomputers: An Accounting Example.

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Document pages: 11 pages

Abstract: The illustrative method of teaching employed in most undergraduate accounting courses is becoming increasingly burdensome to professors and students due to the rapid proliferation of accounting and auditing professional standards and the increased complexity of the tax law. This teaching method may be near the breaking point in upper division courses in the accounting curriculum. Not only does this condition prevent professors and students from reaching teaching or learning goals, it also prevents many capable students from considering accounting as their major or minor curriculum choice. A shift in teaching approach away from examples and toward explicit algorithms would enable the current quantity of material to be maintained with less burden placed on all participants. The algorithmic teaching approach is readily adaptable to accounting courses, particularly when the latter have been broken into specific learning modules. Microcomputers may be used to simplify the teaching and learning process by allowing students to explore complex accounting and taxation algorithms even before the components of the algorithms are fully understood. Discovery learning techniques, in which students derive their own algorithms, are also facilitated by microcomputers. Some examples of an algorithm-based learning module approach in an undergraduate taxation course are provided as well as a list of 14 references. (Author MES)

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