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Application of PBL in Acctg Edu

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  Application of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) in Accounting Araya Debessay, University of Delaware 1 The Search For Innoatie Pedagogical Approaches! The call for introducing new pedagogical approaches has been persistent, loud, and clear. The American Accounting Association (Bedford Committee eport ! #$%, the Big &ight accounting firms (The 'hite aper, ! # %, the Accounting &ducation Change Commission (A&CC% ! ), and the A*CA (Core Competency +ramewor for &ntry into the Accounting rofession, -!%, have all urged accounting educators to devise innovative educational reforms to e/uip accounting graduates with the sills and abilities necessary to meet the challenges of the ever growing and increasingly comple0  professional career. The Bedford eport (! #$, p. !#1% recommends2 3+aculties should design educational e0periences for students that re/uire them to be active, independent learners and problem solvers rather than passive recipients of information.4 There was also a similar call for reform in undergraduate education at the 5une ! ) 'ingspread Conference that was organi6ed to discuss the /uality of undergraduate education. The conference developed the following list of important characteristic of /uality performance of college and university graduates ('ingspread, ! )%2  7igh8level sills in communication, computation, technological literacy, and information retrieval to enable individuals to gain and apply new nowledge and sills as needed.  The ability to arrive at informed 9udgments : that is, to effectively define  problems, gather and evaluate information related to those problems, and develop solutions  Ability to address specific problems in comple0, real8world settings, in which the development of worable solutions is re/uired.'ith the A&CC;s role as a catalyst for change, several schools have introduced curriculum and pedagogical changes, but there are also many others who are still relying on the traditional methods of teaching. Albrecht and <ac have lamented, 3&0cept in a few schools, these warning signals : warnings about the future viability of accounting !   Araya Debessay, rofessor of Accounting, Department of Accounting and =*<, at the University of Delaware, is currently serving as the Chair of the edgagogy Committee of the Teaching and Curriculum (T>C% <ection of the AAA. rofessor Debessay is an Advanced +ellow of the *nstitute to Transform Undergraduate &ducation (*TU&% at the University of Delaware. The University of Delaware has promoted roblem8Based ?earning in several disciplines and has achieved an international recognition in the use of  problem8based and active8learning strategies in the classroom. rofessor Debessay has used @roup8base Active *nteractive and Collaborative ?earning Approach in his accounting classes. As an Advanced +ellow of *TU&, he is trained in the application of B? and has used B? in his *ntermediate Accounting course. 7e has also served as a reviewer of B? cases in Accounting for the University of Delaware based B? Clearinghouse.  education 88 have largely gone unheeded. *n too many respects, accounting education is  being delivered the same way today as it was - or  years ago4 (Albrecht and <ac, -, p. -%. This situation should not continue. *t is incumbent upon accounting educatorsto e0plore ways that will prepare students better for the challenges of the -! st  Century. Accounting educators who are still relying on the traditional, lecture8based way of teaching are being 3critici6ed for spending too much time on content mastery and too little time and effort to helping students to develop sills that will enrich their lives and mae them successful4 (Albrecht and <ac, p. %.   The concern with the traditional, lecture8based teaching is that students are primarily 3engaged in rote learning, which entails the ac/uisition of facts that have little staying power4 (Duch, et al  , -!, p. ! %.   The Carnegie +oundation;s report,  Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint  for America’s Research Universities  (! ##% stated that 3traditional lectures and note8taing were created for a time when boos were scarce and costly and lecturing to large numbers of students was an efficient means of transferring nowledge.4 Duch page The persistent call is for pedagogical approaches that will help professionals develop their problem solving sills, their analytical ability and their ability for collaborative wor as well the ability to continue to learn on their own. *n urging accounting educatorsto devise new pedagogical approaches, Albrecht and <ac argue2 3<tudents forget what they memori6e. Content nowledge becomes dated and is often not transferable across different types of 9obs. En the other hand, critical sills rarely become obsolete and are usually transferable across assignments and careers.4   (Albrecht and <ac, p. % *n order to address the concerns raised by Albrecht and <ac, accounting educators need to 3design educational e0periences for students that re/uire them to be active, independent learners and problem solvers rather than passive recipients of information.4 (Duch, et al  ., -!, p. )%The purpose of this writing is to urge accounting educators to seriously consider roblem8based ?earning (B?%, as a pedagogy that will better prepare accounting  professionals for the challenges of the -! st  Century. hat is Problem-based Learning (PBL)# B? is a group8based active interactive and collaborative learning approach. B? has its roots in the medical education. B?, at the present, has achieved wide popularity in a variety of disciplines in undergraduate education ! The -! A*CA Core Competency +ramewor for &ntry into the Accounting rofession has listed B? as one of the recommended 3strategies and classroom techni/ues4 for the development of re/uisite competencies for accounting professionals. The A*CA is urging Academics to embrace the 3paradigm shift from a content8driven to a sills8based curriculum,4 by adopting B?among other pedagogical approaches. ( http$%%&&&!aicpa!org%edu%boardof!htm % The uni/ue feature of B? is the fact that it is a problem driven, student8centered learning approach where the student assumes ma9or responsibility in the learning process and the role of the instructor is that of a facilitator and a discussion leader (<chwart6, et. '  al.  p. -%. 'hile there are different versions of what constitutes B?, it is not the same as  problem8solving activities that are typically found in accounting te0tboos. 3*n the  problem8based approach, comple0, real8world problems are used to motivate students to identify and research the concepts and principles they need to now to wor through those problems.4 (Boud > +eletti, p. -%   hilip Cottell has developed several accounting cases for application of B? in accounting. *n e0plaining the difference between B? cases and the problems in traditional accounting te0t8boos, Cottell states that unlie the traditional te0tboo accounting problems, a B? case is 3an unfolding problem ... in that the problem itself does not contain sufficient information for the student to solve it. *n the initial stage, the  problem has a vague and broad re/uirement. As students wrestle with the problem they first must determine what information they must obtain to fulfill the re/uirement. The  problem Funfolds; as students are given additional information that allows them to engagethe problem at an increasingly concrete level. As the students wor together on the several stages of the problem, they simultaneously learn both course8related concepts and problem solving sills. 3 (Cottell, --% The istor of PBL B? was first introduced at =c=aster =edical <chool in Canada in the late ! $s (<chwart6, et. al.  p. -%. <ince then, B? is being widely used in a variety of disciplines with some variations. Ene of the srcinators of B?, 7.<. Barrows, has said that B? 3does not refer to a specific educational method. *t can have many different meanings4 (Barrows, ! #$ /uoted in <chwart6, et. al  . p. -%. <ince the early ! ;s, The University of Delaware has promoted roblem8Based ?earning in several disciplines and has achieved an international recognition in the use of problem8based and active8learning strategies in the classroom. The University of Delaware has created a Clearinghouse, which is believed to be the first online B? 9ournal. <everal accounting cases that have  been specifically developed for use in B? environment are available to accounting educators through the University of Delaware B? Clearinghouse. (http2GGwww.udel.eduGpblc% The Benefits of PBL The motivation to adopt B? in the medical education was the desire to help medical  professionals to cope up with e0plosion of nowledge that proved the traditional rote learning seriously deficient. (&vensen > 7melo, !% @iven that Accounting professionals are facing similar problems, B?, which has proven effective in the medical profession, can also be successfully applied in educating accounting professionals. Ene of the compelling reasons why accounting educators should adopt B? is because it is  becoming increasingly clear that it is difficult to include all the nowledge that the accounting professionals will need to prepare them for their professional career. =oreover, it is a waste of valuable time to e0pect accounting students to learn material that in many instances proves obsolete before they graduate. 'hat is needed in educatingaccounting professionals is to help them ac/uire the sills that will enable them to 3learn /uicly, effectively and independently when they need it.4 (Boud and +eletti, p. )% *   roblem8based instruction is designed to help students develop the following abilities2  Thin critically and be able to analy6e and solve comple0, real8world problems  +ind, evaluate, and use appropriate learning resources  'or cooperatively in teams and small groups  Demonstrate versatile and effective communication sill, both verbal and written(Albanese > =itchell, ! , in Duch et. al  , -!%. To sum up, the benefit of B? is to help accounting students to develop the ability for self8directed learning in order to cope with ever changing and increasing body of nowledge they will need to succeed as professionals. (Boud and +eletti, p. !1%  +eferences$ Albrecht, '. <teve and <ac, obert 5, (-%  Accounting Education: Charting the Course through a Perilous Future, Accounting &ducation <eries, Holume Io. !$.American Accounting Association (AAA%, Bedford Committee, Committee on the +uture<tructure, Content, and <cope of Accounting &ducation (The Bedford Committee%. (! #$%. 3+uture Accounting &ducation2 reparing for the e0panding  profession.4  ssues in Accounting Education  (<pring%2 !$#8! .American *nstitute of Certified ublic Accountants. (-!% Core Competenc! Frame or#  for Entr! into the Accounting Profession ! (http$%%&&&!aicpa!org%edu%boardof!htm) Arthur Andersen, et. al  . (! #  $. Perspectives on Education: Capa%ilities for &uccess in the Accounting Profession.  ('hite aper%.Boud, D. and +eletti, @. (&ds% (! 1% 'he Challenge of Pro%lem(Based )earning. - nd  &d.Jogan age, ?ondon. UJ  Cottell, hilip (--% : Blanley Corporation Case. B? Clearinghouse, University of Delaware B? 'eb <ite ! (http$%%&&&!udel!edu%pblcl) Duch, B. 5., @roh, <. &., and Allen, D. &. (&ds.% (-!  $. 'he Po er of Pro%lem(Based ?earning. <terling, HA2 <tylus ublishing, <terling, HA.&vensen D. 7., 7melo C. &. (&ds% (-%  Pro%lem(Based )earning: A Research  Perspective on )earning nteractions. ?awrence &rlbaum Associates, I5.<avin8Baden, (-%  Pro%lem(%ased )earning in *igher Education: Untold &tories. Epen University ress, Bucingham, UJ <chwart6, ., =ennin <., 'ebb, @. (&ds.% (-!%  Pro%lem(Based )earning: Case &tudies, E+perience and Practice. Jogan age, ?ondon, UJ.'ilerson, ?., @i9selaers, '. 7. (&ds% (! $%  Bringing Pro%lem(Based )earning to *igher  Education: 'heor! and Practice . 5osey8Bass ublishers, <an +rancisco.'illiams, Doyle K. and @ary ?. <undem, (! !%3@rant Awarded for *mplementing *mprovements in Accounting &ducation,4  ssues in Accounting Education, Hol.. , Io. -, pp.-8-# ,
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