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Susan P. Convery

ACC308: Government and Nonprofit Accounting
Honorable Mention - Blended
“Case studies and collaborative real world examples in the REAL rooms”
- Susan P. Convery -

Taught in the Rooms for Engaged and Active Learning (REAL) classroom in McDonel Hall, this one-credit course is required for students taking certified public accountant (CPA) exams in Michigan. This is a flipped course, with much of the lecture-based work done outside of the classroom, while class time is saved for activities revolving around real world application of accounting skills.

The REAL experience

The REAL classrooms offer the opportunity for faculty to facilitate student group work, and active learning activities. Adding a twist to previously offered lecture-based offerings, ACC 308 meets face-to-face only once per week, when students work collaboratively on carefully designed, real-world government and nonprofit examples. At their own pace, but prior to the face-to-face class, students complete readings and watch mini-lecture videos so that they are ready to work in groups of up to six during the in-person meeting, then complete the course quizzes that prepare them for what they might expect from the CPA exam.

The goal of this flipped and blended course design was to add value to the time and money spent on the course by increasing attendance, engagement in student learning, appreciation of the complex public and nonprofit sector entities, competence in reading complex real-world financial statements, and overall ability to master complex material.

Previously, motivation to attend the course was low, as students considered the certification exam to be a future hurdle, and the material covered in lectures was often perceived to be complex and frustrating. However, with the creation of a learning environment in which students learn by doing, attendance has been in the 95% range, compared to 50% in past lecture courses. This allows for more meaningful student-instructor and student-student interaction.

Technologies included in this course: