The University of Iowa | Iowa City, IA


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Students Attend Managerial Accounting Class Well-Prepared with Connect.

When Instructor Lisa Dutchik began teaching her new 2200 Managerial Accounting class, she decided to employ a flipped classroom style of teaching. She expects her students to do a reasonable amount of preparation work learning the core chapter concepts before they come to class in order to be prepared for robust class discussion and concept application. In order to fulfill her objectives, Dutchik needed a digital tool that would provide students a way to read and study content outside of class for discussion prep.

Connect provides not only robust tools for managing student homework, but also unique capabilities with SmartBook and Interactive Presentations to learn and study outside of class. By requiring students to complete the Interactive Presentation and SmartBook chapter assignments ahead of class, students are accountable for spending time immersed in the course concepts in the Interactive Presentation and reading and studying the content by answering the SmartBook questions.

Both Dutchik and her students can track their learning and performance through SmartBook reports that provide views into assignment completion and understanding by learning objectives in real time. “Employing a flipped classroom style of teaching, has allowed me to use this class wide data to inform my lecture time focusing more time on core concepts students are struggling with and less time on content they have mastered,” says Dutchik.

Since students have read the chapter and demonstrated mastery prior to class, class time is spent on higher level concept discussion and application. Post-class, students complete skill building homework assignments.

An added benefit of Connect is the automatic transfer of the Connect assignment results into the Canvas LMS grading system. Now students have immediate view into how they are doing in the class overall, and Dutchik saves time not having to transfer grades manually. Students also benefit by being able to access their Connect assignments directly from their Canvas course homepage. Instead of searching for the assignment on Connect, a direct link is provided to the assignment on Canvas. Grades are automatically pulled over to Canvas.

Implementation

Course grade is determined by the following:
25% – Connect Homework (SmartBook, Interactive Presentations, Homework)
55% – Exams
10% – Quizzes
10% – Attendance

Connect enables the use of flipped-style classes for Managerial Accounting by providing students three weekly assignment types with which students can further explore and test their knowledge of each week’s material. Students attending Dutchik’s Managerial Accounting course come to each class prepared to apply the material they have learned that week. Connect prepares students by providing pre-class homework activities as well as Interactive Presentations and homework exercises. This, says Dutchik, provides her with assurance that students have done the important prep work before the class starts, understanding where they need more work based on homework.

Dutchik grouped modular assignments in Connect, each module consisting of three different assignment types for pre- and post-class touchpoints, as shown below:

Due Sunday, prior to class: The first touchpoint, Prep Work, is due on Sunday evenings each week. In Prep Work, students start with an Interactive Presentation consisting of a video presentation of the learning objective followed by an interactive exercise. “Students really liked the Interactive Presentations, particular the ones who had difficulty reading the textbook,” says Dutchik. Students then read and interact with the chapter content in SmartBook and complete the assignment by answering questions to show their mastery of the content. Lastly, students complete a set of prep exercises which consists of a few easy homework exercises to apply what they’ve learned so far.

Due mid-week: The second touchpoint, Skill Building Homework, follows at midweek. This assignment contains homework questions that are easy- to-medium in difficultly and requires about one to two hours of student’s time. With the use of Connect homework assignments, students spend their time working to improve their response accuracy, rather than just completing it once and moving on. Students are allowed to check their work three times per exercise and each exercise includes a link to the related content in the eBook. “Students benefit from the instant feedback on whether they are doing a problem correctly. It gives them reassurance and confidence to continue,” Dutchik says. “On the other hand, if they aren’t grasping an important point, they can identify that, and get additional help before the assignment is due”, she adds. Dutchik points our the “ask your instructor” feature is a big time saver as instructors don’t have to go searching for the problem the student is asking about.

Due end of week: The last touchpoint, End of Week Homework, happens after the class has met for the entire week and contains more difficult homework problems which require about two to three hours of time. The algorithmic capability within Connect Accounting provides her with the ability to assign unique exercises for each student and attempt, providing an infinite number of assignments with solutions. Consequently, students can work the same problem structure with different number sets until they master the task. The immediate scoring and feedback options in Connect Accounting help guide and optimize student learning.

The reporting capabilities in Connect allow her to have a real-time view in her students’ engagement in the course material and content mastery, helping her adjust her teaching for each class and individual guidance to students during office hours. The Connect reports she uses most are the Insight dashboard, Student performance and Item analysis.

  • Connect Insight dashboard—uses to identify trends between time spent on material and performance.
  • Student performance report—uses to help individual students when they visit her office as it shows the student performance by assignment. She says, “We review areas they are having difficulty with and how their level of confidence correlates to their actual mastery of the material.”
  • Item analysis—uses this data to identify areas where the students, as a group, are struggling. In that way, Dutchik can adjust class time to address these issues.

Conclusion

Connect enables Dutchik to spend less time developing a lecture than she did for other classes. She’s then able to use her additional free time to develop class activities where students are applying their new knowledge. “Connect allows me to spend more of my time developing activities or working directly with students,” Dutchik reports. Since she uses a flipped classroom approach, she says, she lectures very little in class. “With the flipped classroom, we can work together on the application of the material which is the area where students struggle the most.” In addition to consuming less time preparing for lectures, Dutchik is also saving time otherwise spent grading. Connect homework is automatically graded for the accuracy and proper completion of each exercise. Dutchik says she would recommend Connect to other faculty members.

Connect provides students the practice they need to learn the concepts.
Lisa Dutchik

Digital Product in Use: Connect® Accounting
LMS Integration: Canvas
Course Name: Acct 2200 Managerial Accounting
Course Type: Face to Face
Credit Hours: Three
Program in Use: Managerial Accounting for Managers, 4th Ed., Noreen Brewer and Garrison
Instructor Name: Lisa Dutchik
Enrollment: 5 sections; 25 students/section, 600 students/year (college total)
Implementation Study Term: Fall 2016


Instructor’s implementation goals:

  • Enable a flipped classroom style.
  • Encourage students to prepare in advance to allow for activities based class rather than lectures.
  • Reduce time required for class lecture preparation.

Benefits to instructor after using Connect:

  • Students are coming to class with an understanding of the material so that they can launch into activities.
  • Students can view their performance and identify key concepts they need help with.
  • Lisa Dutchik requires less time preparing for class and helping students with concepts that they are already gaining through their Connect homework.

Course Description:

Managerial accounting focuses on business decision making, and in this course students learn the language used to describe business measurement and business problems, and examine the concepts and techniques used to address those problems. The skills developed in the class are applicable not only to business, but to any setting in which it is important to make good decisions.

Institution Profile:

The University of Iowa, in Iowa City, is a public research university, founded in 1847. The 1,700-acre campus is located on the bank of the Iowa River. The University of Iowa is the oldest university in the state and consists of 11 colleges altogether offering more than 200 areas of study, 5,000 classes, and seven professional degrees. It is also home of the renowned Iowa Writers’ Workshop.