Two SMU School of Accountancy’s faculty members have come up with a fun way to help students learn accounting concepts through play. Not only have they tapped the use of mobile gaming to help university students learn a subject like accounting which requires technical skills, but they have also provided a supplementary tool for students to learn anywhere, anytime on their mobile devices. SMU’s free mobile app, The Accounting Challenge or ACE is available on both iOS and Android platforms. Students are able to consolidate what they have learnt through an interesting and fast-paced question-and-answer approach.
Designed by Associate Professor of Accounting & School of Accountancy Associate Dean (Teaching & Curriculum) Seow Poh Sun and Senior Lecturer of Accounting Wong Suay Peng, the mobile app won them the “Innovative Pedagogy” award in an international competition in September. The competition was organised by CEEMAN, an established international association that promotes the quality of education and innovations in teaching.
A total of 1,000 questions are available in the accounting app which was launched in March this year. In each attempt, students are given 100 seconds to complete a slew of questions and accumulate points. The level of difficulty of the questions increases as the game progresses. Through the app’s leaderboard, students are able to find out how they rank against others. This encourages them to aim for higher scores and increases their level of participation.
[Screenshots of ACE, the Accounting Challenge mobile game app. Users are given 100 seconds to complete a slew of questions in a fast-paced trivia-style quiz ]
Professor Seow said: “Compared to online learning tools that can only be used on campus, students can use mobile apps wherever and whenever they want. The apps that are available in the market are mostly instructional and lack interactivity. The aim of this app is to assist students in their revision, not to grade them.”
Response to the app has been mostly positive, even though SMU had not made it compulsory for them to use it. As of now, the mobile app has been downloaded more than 3600 times, mainly by users in Singapore, USA and China.
Recently, SMU had also received support from the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants to organise an accounting challenge competition in which students pitted their wits against each other using the quiz-based game app. Second-year accountancy student Wu Hong Wen, 22, said: “The app is convenient to use. Through playing the game, I am more aware of my level of accounting knowledge. The time limit and scores also make the quiz more exciting.”
Since 2011, SMU’s Centre for Teaching Excellence has been leading faculty members in designing learning tools with game elements to make learning livelier. Another example is a flash game that allows students to apply theories of statistics. The game is so popular that there are plans to launch a mobile version of it. Centre for Teaching Excellence Director Associate Professor Tan Swee Liang said that while some people might associate game-based learning with secondary school students or younger, such tools are also applicable in universities to enliven certain subjects. It also increases interactivity and motivates students to learn. Students can also gain a better understanding of the subject matter in the course of playing the game.
The SMU School of Law too, will launch a “snake and ladder” style game app, in which students are prompted to answer various legal questions to advance to the next stage. Professor Tan says that each faculty will continue to use technology to design learning tools based on the needs of students. She added that there is a possibility of developing cross-faculty content in the future.
This article was published in Lianhe Zaobao on Oct 23, 2013.
[Feature photo: SMU School of Accountancy Associate Dean (Teaching & Curriculum) and Associate Professor of Accounting (Education) Seow Poh Sun (seated, right) and Senior Lecturer of Accounting Wong Suay Peng (standing, left) received an international award for their mobile challenge app. The mobile game app was designed to help students with their accounting revision. To further enhance learning efficiency, SMU Centre for Teaching Excellence Director Practice Associate Professor Tan Swee Liang (standing, right) and Manager Bernie Grayson Koh Teck Chye (Seated, left) plan to launch more practical applications for students.] Source: Lianhe Zaobao © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission
Last updated on 31 Oct 2013 .