Innovation Grant Application
Type of Request:
Development of On-Line Manuals: ACCT 2301 and ACCT 2302 Lab Activities
Multiple Courses: ACCT 2301 Prin FinAcct, ACCT 2302 Prin Mgrl Acct
1. Instructional Need or Problem
| ACCT 2301 (Principles of Financial Accounting) and ACCT 2302 (Principles
of Managerial Accounting) are transferable courses. A computer lab was
added to ACCT 2301 about 5 years ago. A computer lab was added to ACCT
2302 last fall. There are no commercial products that can be used to
administer the labs. The Accounting Task Force has not required instructors
to administer the same lab activities. Thus, each instructor must develop
his or her own lab activities. This development has been time consuming
and some results have been less than successful. Some instructors allow
students to work at home, do not assign meaningful computer activities,
and do not properly grade the lab activities (resulting in grade inflation).
Some instructors do not want to invest the amount of time necessary to
fully develop lab activities. Additionally, the Accounting Department
has been hiring a large number of adjunct faculty for these two courses
(4 for spring 01 and at least 2 for summer 01). New hires must rely on
mentors and the program coordinator for assistance in development lab
activities. This has not been successful.
Some ACCT 2301 and ACCT 2302 students are not completing adequate lab activities, assessment is not uniform, some faculty are not holding labs (getting paid for a lab but allowing students to work out of class), many students are bored with the lab, some instructors fail to properly judge the length of lab activities which causes students to have to work on the lab outside of the allocated time, and some faculty members are working harder than others (the ones who are properly developing and assessing their labs).
There is no way to measure the amount of grade inflation. Because of the absence of structure, many of the lab points are simply based on attendance or mere effort. Currently of 26 syllabi for ACCT 2301 and ACCT 2302, only 11 have specific lab activities listed. Only 3 of the syllabi have grading criteria for students. There are few measurable plans in place.
The Accounting Task Force feels that the labs are important both for the students’ understanding of the accounting concepts and for the development of computer and communication skills (SCANS skills).
The Accounting Task Force has formed a committee to work on the development of lab activities for ACCT 2301 and ACCT 2302. The committee has designed the basic objectives of the labs, determined the appropriate SCANS skills, and determined appropriate categories of lab activities. (See attachments.) The next step is for all faculty to be encouraged to submit fully developed lab activities. These will then be made available via the web. Faculty can preview lab activities and select the ones that will best support their course.
2. Audience and Number Affected
|For fall 2000, there were 721 ACCT 2301 students and 300 ACCT 2302 students. For Spring 2001, there were 603 ACCT 2301 students and 324 ACCT 2302 students.|
3. Project Goal(s)
|Develop an on-line lab manual for instructors of ACCT 2301 and ACCT 2302. This manual will have properly developed lab activities. Faculty can select activities and integrate them into their syllabi.|
4. Objectives / Outcomes
| 1. Improvement of selection and delivery of lab activities -- Instructors
can select lab activities that have been developed and tested. This allows
instructors to focus on delivery and evaluation of the activities instead
of constantly having to create and 'class test' the activities.
2. Improvement in hiring and training new instructors -- New instructors will be more likely to accept teaching assignments and will spend less time developing the course because there will be a variety of activities from which they can choose.
3. Compliance with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board SCANS skills -- These lab activities will have clearly identified SCANS skills. This is evidence of the required integration of these important skills into our courses.
4. Alleviation of grade inflation -- These activities will have measurable objectives and suggested grading criteria. Students will know what is expected of them and instructors will have guidance with grading.
5. Improved syllabi -- It will be easier for instructors to develop lab activities. Thus, the syllabi will reflect the selected lab activities. Students, evaluators, accreditation agencies, and other schools will benefit from being able to identify the lab activities.
6. Increase percentage of syllabi that include lab activities (syllabi may include a brief overview of the lab activities to prevent students from completing these before the lab session and a more detailed listing of the lab activities may be submitted to the Accounting Department):
7. Increase percentage of syllabi with specific grading criteria for the lab activities:
| All activities must include:
The format for final submission must be on Word, PowerPoint, and/or Excel. Instructors can submit clearly labeled handwritten or cut and pasted work. The project manager can then arrange for computer input. Sufficient time should be allowed for this work to be completed.
Specific criteria for deciding which activities will be selected for the web site
1. Short Activities – Fit into one 50 minute lab
2. Long Activities – Fit into two 50 minute labs
3. Modules – Fit into 3 or more labs (continuation type activities)
Specific criteria for determining the amount of stipend an instructor will receive
(1) Short Activities – Fit into one 50 minute lab -- Stipends will range from $12.50 - $50.
(2) Long Activities – Fit into two 50 minute labs – Stipends will range from $25 - $100
(3) Modules – Fit into 3 or more labs (continuation type activities) – Stipends will range from $20 - $150
A committee consisting of at least 2 full-time faculty and 1 adjunct faculty will review the activities. The amount of the stipends depends on:
When the pool for stipends is depleted, there will be no money available to pay for activities. Instructors may submit activities and waive the related stipend. If an activity is rejected by the committee, the instructor may ask that it be included. It may be a good idea which does not warrant the grant of a stipend (i.e. very simple Internet research activities or very simple Excel activities).
Activities will be reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis. The review committee will meet approximately every three weeks and review all submissions. The committee may return activities for additional work and/or clarification.
The project manager will request payment of the stipends at the end of the semester – April, August, and November.
The duties of the program manager will include:
The duties of the lab tech will include:
|The estimated completion time for this project will be about 12 months. The estimated completion date is 5/31/01. Once established, the web sites will be easy to maintain (remove, add, and update activities). Updating the web sites will become a part of the expected duties of faculty and lab techs. The benefits will continue as long as the courses are offered at Austin Community College.|
7. Project Evaluation
| Faculty and students will be surveyed during the fall and spring semesters
to determine the benefits of having the on-line lab manuals. Their comments
will allow us to improve the manuals.
Syllabi will be reviewed each semester to determine the adequacy of lab assignments and grading criteria.
The Accounting Task Force will maintain the manuals.
Statement of Qualifications
Sheila Ammons, Accounting Program Coordinator, 15 years as ACC accounting instructor
Budget Items (Costs Omitted)
Year 1: 6/25/01 - 8/31/01Personnel:
Faculty serving on committee
Instructors (for submissions)
Software (Adobe Acrobat)
Year 2: 9/1/01 - 5/31/01
Faculty serving on committee
Instructors (for submissions)
Supplemental Material submitted with application:
- Grant Timeline
- Current student survey instrument
- Past student survey results
- Lab activity guidelines for current courses