Top Challenges of Teaching Beginning Accounting Students

Debby Bloom, CMA, CFM, CSCA
Creator and Co-Founder Ledger Mania Board Game and Online Game

Are your beginning accounting students struggling?

Don’t worry, you are not alone! I have been teaching accounting for over 25 years to community college and university students, plus training high school and college instructors about engagement techniques for accounting students. Beginning accounting students seem to struggle with the same concepts and learning challenges. Likewise, teachers are consistently looking for new ways to effectively teach beginning accounting. This blog was written to provide beginning-level accounting educators, instructors, and teachers some tips and tools to make beginning accounting easy and fun to learn for students of all ages.

1. Accounting Students Get Bored, Frustrated and Give Up

Traditional accounting problem solving is designed to make students passive. These learning techniques are boring, non-interactive and repetitive. This formula results in many students tuning out and not participating until and unless they are required to.

Instructors demonstrate (and students solve) the same types of problems in the classroom and for homework. Some homework problems are algorithmic, but the transactions are still the same. Students quickly learn that if they say “I don’t know” enough times, the instructor, the software, or other students will give them the answer.

One of the best ways to solve the non-participation problem is turning it into a game. By using gamification teaching techniques, students are motivated to win or do better than their classmates.

Ledger Mania, an interactive board game and the online game, solves the motivational challenges beginning accounting students often encounter. Students have a visible and immediate reward system by seeing their name on the leaderboard. In addition, transactions are randomized so each student gets a unique transaction set, and therefore cannot ask their colleagues “What did you get for number 3?”

Competition is a great learning motivator for beginning accounting students to keep trying.

Beginning Accounting Teachers: Can you relate to frustrated and confused accounting students?

Hopefully, this first blog article was helpful to understand why so many beginning accounting students struggle. My objective is to provide beginning accounting instructors ideas and resources to help accounting students overcome the most common learning challenges.

Please download our full article outlining the Beginning Accounting Student’s Top Six Challenges. We believe it is a valuable asset to increase student interest and provide effective teaching strategies that will debit your students’ stores of knowledge and credit their appreciation for your teaching skills!


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