Teaching and Assessment Strategies In Accounting

The teaching and assessment strategies included here are specific to this accounting course at the general level and are suggested in addition to the general strategies for teaching and for evaluating student achievement outlined in the introduction to this program and in the business studies policy document. Policy for Program Planning and Delivery.

Since all general-level accounting courses are primarily vocational, it follows that the primary objective of this first course in the general-level accounting curriculum is to give students a solid background for Accounting Applications (baa) and Accounting Procedures (bam) or for further study at colleges of applied arts and technology. For this reason specific teaching strategies will strongly emphasize the procedures and attitudes that are practiced in and expected by business and industry.  Students will be required to understand and apply accounting concepts. As each new unit is introduced, students must be aware of how it fits into the complete accounting cycle, have opportunities to practice transaction analysis, and develop sound debit and credit theory. Applications of accounting concepts should be varied and of manageable size.

The following are some specific teaching strategies for 

delivering this introductory accounting course: 

■ Accounting-cycle flow chart. This chart should he 
used so that students can relate each new topic to the 
accounting cycle. 

■ Basic accounting equation. All new accounts should 
be clearly classified by type. Transactions should be 
analysed in relation to their effect on the accounting 
equation. When new accounts or transactions are 
introduced, they should be based on examples from 
local businesses, the school environment, or students’ 
personal environment. Students should be required to 
reason through each transaction. 

■ Classroom environment. Teachers should create an 
office environment in which students are expected to 
demonstrate good manners and punctuality, to attend 
to instructions, and to meet deadlines. Directions 
should be clear and concise. The use of a flow chart to 
illustrate the order of the operations for a particular 
procedure may be helpful. 

■ Workbooks and notebooks. The main advantage to 
using a workbook is that students will have all of the 
forms for completing assignments in one place. Note¬ 
books or workbooks should be checked at frequent 
intervals for completeness, correctness, and 

■ Calculators. Students should be permitted to use 
calculators, but teachers should insist on accuracy. If 
possible, printer calculators should be available, espe¬ 
cially for the preparation of trial balances. A brief 
lesson on estimation skills and reasonableness should 
be given to reinforce the computational skills per¬ 
formed on a calculator. 

■ Careers in accounting. The Student Guidance Infor¬ 
mation Service (sc.is) facilities available in the school 
should be used to help students to identify careers in 
accounting. Students could be given a scrapbook 
assignment involving the collection of advertisements 
for accounting and accounting-related employment. 
For each advertisement students should identify the 
nature of the duties assigned, the training required, 
and the opportunities available for advancement. 
Students should be aware of other secondary school 
credits that might complement their accounting pro¬ 

Variety of applications. Students should have oppor¬ 
tunities to journalize and post from source documents 
or complete source-document forms from a list of 

■ Practice sets. These comprehensive problems can help 
students to see accounting as a whole or continuous 
cycle. In order to maximize the value of practice sets, 
teachers can: 

a) choose a practice set for a business that is familiar 
to students; 

b) carefully preview the business documents and 
forms with students; 

c) assist students to set up the ledger(s) and record 
the opening entries; 

d) preview unusual transactions; 

e) set daily objectives for the completion of work; 

f) evaluate students' progress on a regular basis; 

g) have students use a general-ledger computer pro¬ 
gram for one of the practice sets. 

■ Group work and discussions. Both of these strategies 
provide a change of pace and are suitable for the treat¬ 
ment of values and ethical issues, as well as for the 
analysis of simple case studies. 

■ Case studies. Students should have practice solving 
problems. They should realize that there may be more 
than one correct solution to any given problem and 
should be required to use a problem-solving model 
that involves (a) identifying the problem, (b) gathering 
all the facts pertaining to the problem, (c) listing sev¬ 
eral alternative solutions, and (d) choosing one solu¬ 
tion and justifying it. 

General suggestions for student assessment are contained 
in the business studies policy document, Policy for Pro¬ 
gram Planning and Delivery and in the Introduction to 
this part of the guideline. 

At the beginning of the course, students should be made 
aware of the evaluation process, the weighting of each of 
its components, and the cognitive and affective perform¬ 
ance objectives to be measured. The evaluation process 
should include the measurement of the full range of 
students’ cognitive abilities. However, because the gen¬ 
eral-level program is primarily based on accounting appli¬ 
cations, the major emphasis of cognitive-evaluation 
instruments should be on determining students’ knowl¬ 
edge, comprehension, and application of accounting 
content. Students should have opportunities to display: 

■ their knowledge of accounting terms, methods and 
procedures, and basic concepts and principles; 

■ their comprehension of accounting facts through 
activities that require them to interpret written mate¬ 
rial, predict future consequences, and detect similari¬ 
ties and differences in different accounting proce¬ 

■ their ability to apply previously learned knowledge 
and to demonstrate correct methodology when a 
minimum of one element in the accounting equation 
is new. 

The major emphasis in assessing students’ affective skills 
is on assessing their approach to work and interaction 
with peers and superiors. Although these can be 
observed, it is also advisable to use techniques such as 
anecdotal reports, checklists, rating scales, and self- 
evaluation instruments in their assessment. Students 
should be aware of acceptable standards of behaviour and 
of the weighting of work habits in the total evaluation 
process. Information resulting from such assessment 
should be communicated to students frequently in a 
formative manner, and student improvement should be 

The following are some specific suggestions for the evalu¬ 
ation of students in Accounting Introduction: 

■ Unit or subunit tests. Tests of this type should be short 
and should be used frequently. Each test should 
include the three types of questions: recall, applica¬ 
tion, and evaluation. 

■ Class assignments. These are a good way to test com¬ 
plicated applications. 

■ Workbooks or notebooks. These should be evaluated 
frequently for completeness, accuracy, and appear¬ 


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