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 appearance. ■ 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¬ gram.
Variety of applications. Students should have oppor¬ tunities to journalize and post from source documents or complete source-document forms from a list of transactions. ■ 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¬ dures; ■ 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 reinforced. 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¬ ance.