If you were to imagine an accounting conference, you’d probably picture ledgers, auditing lectures, and QuickBooks tutorials. But you would be mistaken. Accountants, we discovered, are the storytellers of the business world, as these educators proved in a series of thoughtful and engaging sessions. Our Course Hero team was excited to be part of the action at the 5-day American Accounting Association Annual Meeting held in San Francisco in August, and here we’ll highlight some of our favorite moments.
For members of the Educator Team, what could be better than two full days of sessions focused on … teaching? We kicked off the weekend by attending the event’s mini conference on Teaching and Learning in Accounting, which brought together instructors from across the country who were eager to share lessons, best practices, and their favorite teaching materials. It was a great way for us non-accountants to ease into the general meeting and quickly get up to speed on the state of accounting education.
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Cook Prize winner and University of Richmond Associate Professor Joe Hoyle was in his element discussing best pedagogical approaches with his peers, who grappled with issues both specific to accounting and also ranging far beyond: How can accounting professors get students to see beyond the “bean counter” stereotype? What one piece of advice about teaching do you wish you had learned in grad school? What do you hope students say about your class as they are walking out the door on the last day of the semester? How do you want to be remembered as a teacher? Seeing award-winning educators pose tough questions and then collaboratively discuss possible answers was a great reminder that even the best instructors are always learning.
The poster sessions also provided an excellent forum for dozens of educators to share tips and tactics with one another. Whether you were looking to include Instagram in an Intro to Accounting course or transform your local bookstore inventory list into an auditing game, there were plenty of fresh ideas available, ready to be incorporated into next semester’s courses.
With literally thousands of educators to meet and hundreds of sessions we could attend, our team also uncovered some common themes threaded throughout the event. As we think about how Course Hero can best support accounting instructors, and the role we can play in next year’s conference, we will continue to reflect on these takeaways:
- The best accounting educators aren’t necessarily focusing on the traditional (and dreaded) “debits and credits” approach to teaching. What they care about is inspiring and engaging their students, so that the next generation develops a passion for the subject.
- Technology is changing what it means to be an accountant—hello, blockchain!—and accounting professors are preparing students not only for today’s business world but also for what the field will require them to know in the years and decades to come.
- Educators are actively looking for new ways to provide students with experiential learning opportunities. There is a real need for case studies, simulations, and service learning projects that can help students develop the skills necessary to succeed after graduation.
Last but not least, we are excited to report that the Course Hero Happy Hour was a great success! More than 100 educators RSVP’d for the event, which featured food, drinks, and a complimentary professional headshot for any educator in attendance. Equally important, the happy hour offered a relaxed forum where accounting educators had an opportunity to connect with one another in person and learn more about our growing community of accounting educators.
Are you an accounting professor looking for new tips, tactics, and resources? Join our Accounting Educator Community today to connect with experienced and award-winning instructors in your field.