Instructor: Prof. E. Barry Rice, MBA, CPA
Office: Sellinger Hall, Room 325
Office Phone: (410)617-2478
Home Phone: (410)486-1920
available 24 X 7.
I first created this approach for my Fall 1998 AC101 classes. More than 700 hours were spent developing the lectures for AC101 and 102. The approach has been extremely successful both in terms of general student satisfaction and in terms of how well students learn. It was the first of seven projects selected for inclusion on the American Accounting Association's forthcoming Technology Toolkit CD-ROM. The toolkit was distributed to 15,000 accounting educators around the world.
The objective of the approach is to enable students to learn more accounting than they currently do in a physical classroom. After thirty years of teaching accounting, I have come to believe that the physical classroom lecture approach has a flaw - all students in a class are force-fed the material at the same rate. Students sitting in a classroom are typically quite heterogeneous. Their aptitude for accounting ranges from poor to outstanding, their interest in accounting ranges from none to great and their backgrounds for the course range from inadequate to excellent. Because of these differences, professors are forced to deliver the material at a pace somewhere between that which is optimal for "under prepared" and "over prepared" students. The result is that some students are over challenged and others are bored. The virtual classroom approach allows all students to master the lecture material at their own pace.
Having used interactive multimedia for all my accounting courses since the Fall 1992 semester, I was in an ideal position to upgrade all the computerized materials I developed during the six-year period and move them to a virtual environment. The interactive keypads which I used so successfully to provide feedback and motivate students to learn are now on the screen instead of in their hands. The multimedia which has enhanced student learning so well is now on the computer screen instead of on the classroom screen. The timing of the delivery of the material is entirely under the control of each student. My voice, which for three years came over the classroom speakers, now comes over the computer speakers. And, the video clips which I used in the classroom are available via the computer work station.
DETAILS OF APPROACH
All lectures are presented in a virtual classroom with problem sessions being presented in a physical classroom. This means that classes normally meet in a physical classroom once each week. These weekly problem sessions not only give students a chance to check their solutions, but to also ask questions about them and to get a clarification about anything they did not understand in the virtual lecture.
Students are able to "attend" the virtual lecture by using their own computer or by going to a computer lab. Commuter students need to go to one of our many computer labs to view the infrequent video clips. Students who use their own computer are required to use the Windows 95 (or higher) operating system. All other required software can be downloaded free on the Internet. The Microsoft Internet Explorer browser must be used to obtain delivery of the interactive multimedia lecture materials which include text, audio and animations as well as video clips. Both audio and video are streamed using Real Player. The interactive materials are provided using a combination of PowerPoint and HTML format for Web delivery. Click here to go to the sample lecture page.
(This approach pre-dates the Course Info/Blackboard/LCBoard software being used in other Loyola courses. It has more pizazz, is easier to use and is more sophisticated especially in its use of streaming audio and streaming video.)
All tests and the final exam will be given in the physical classroom. The final exam is given during the time provided in the schedule of classes.
The courses are, in fact, quite different from correspondence courses where students do not interact with fellow students or their professor in the same room. As mentioned, students meet with classmates about once each week in a physical classroom and they are also able to interact with each other via a Listserv mailing list/forum. In addition to the weekly classroom meetings, students are able to interact with me via telephone and email. They are also able to meet with me during office hours which I hold for at least six hours each week.
1. Students registering for these courses must be highly motivated learners who are comfortable with computer technology, especially the Internet.
2. These courses are, by their very nature, time-consuming and rigorous because the topic is accounting. The fact that the lectures are virtual does not make them easy.