To Sum it Up: Digital Tools are a Must in this Accounting Classroom

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Engaging students in the classroom is something that professors always work towards. And the last few years have made the task more difficult, with virtual instruction and teaching in-person during a worldwide pandemic. More and more professors are using technology to help students better retain what they are learning.

Peggy Tsirigotis, accounting instructor at the School of Business
Peggy Tsirigotis

In fall 2021, Peggy Tsirigotis, accounting instructor at the School of Business, created an interactive game for her accounting students. Her inspiration? Her students playing games on their phone before class began. “Digital tools are making learning more interactive and I believe more immediate. Today’s students are accustomed to discovering information quickly. Interactive digital games offer a learning experience with much needed repetition to strengthen the long-term memory of a student’s learning,” Tsirigotis said.

The game consists of five levels and asks students to answer 20 questions per level. If students answer 10 questions correctly they receive one star, if they answer 15 correctly they get two stars, three stars, which is a perfect score, can be achieved by answering all of the questions correctly. Every question is multiple choice, each level lasts two minutes, and bonus points can be obtained if answers are received within five seconds. Questions cover foundational accounting concepts such as the accounting equation, identify debits and credits using T-accounts, journal entries, accounting vocabulary, and accounting theory.

When creating the game, Tsirigotis, who began at the school as an adjunct in fall 2016, found evaluating the game to be the most challenging part of its creation. “Assessing how to program the timer...meaning how many minutes to give a student to get through a level. If I had an opportunity to recreate the game, I might have thought out the timer for each level more thoroughly,” Tsirigotis said.

Overall the students really enjoyed playing the game, particularly the asynchronous sections who liked the interactive SCORM (leader board) package, as it provided an opportunity for students to engage with each other through a friendly competition. “I received significant feedback from students that the game provides an opportunity to easily get in much needed repetition of the learning outcomes to be successful in this course and to help the students prepare for the next course in sequence,” Tsirigotis said.

Tsirigotis believes that more professors should integrate digital tools into their lesson plans. “Digital tools allow students to learn the course objectives in a quick and fun modality. Students are more engaged and interested in returning to a fun learning environment that will help them be successful, rather than feeling overwhelmed by hours of studying that may not provide the much-needed repetition that is required in foundational courses,” Tsirigotis said.

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