Staff profiles

Project lead
Nikki Schonfeldt
Lecturer Level B
Accounting & Finance
Business School
Team members
Dr Leo Langa, Peter Robinson, Prof Phil Hancock

Project outline

This project develops an innovative adaptive learning resource that strengthens student understanding and competency in the accounting cycle. This will be achieved by requiring students to process appropriate, skill-developing journal entries for a fictitious business. Through the use of adaptive learning technology, the performance of students will be tracked and a model of each student's knowledge will be generated. If students struggle with a particular concept and/or the processing of an accounting transaction, the online instructional session will be directly customised to meet the needs and abilities of each student.

The project aims to strengthen students' understanding in three key areas; in a wide variety of typical business transactions processed in a standard accounting cycle, of the accounting cycle and how the various journals and ledgers feed into a set of financial statements and finally of their underlying knowledge of key accounting terminology by incorporating a glossary of terms.

These goals will be met by developing an interactive online learning resource that uses adaptive learning technology to provide immediate feedback to each student allowing them to work through the various concepts at their own pace. Working at a self-governed pace will be particularly helpful for international students with English as their second language, assisting them to build an understanding, competence and confidence in the core accounting concepts and applications.

Project findings

The project was completed successfully, the adaptive learning resource was completed and launched ahead of Semester 2, 2016. The resource was first deployed to the undergraduate students enrolled in ACCT2201 and later made available to the post-graduate students. The resource integrated smoothly as a Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) package with the UWA Online Learning Management System (LMS) and the eLearning authoring software, Articulate Storyline, proving to be a cost-effective way to produce an adaptive tutoring resource in. 56 students attempted the adaptive learning resource, with 26 being awarded their Certificate of Completion. Two separate focus group sessions were held, the feedback to date from the students who successfully completed all three modules is very positive. Students noted that they felt more confident after having completed the resource and international students mentioned improved understanding of technical terms. Continued funding would give the opportunity to develop richer content, in the form of video explanations and other learning materials, to support the students in self-guided learning.

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