Introducing team-based learning (TBL) into introductory accounting courses

Jacqueline Christensen, Janice Hollindale

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review


There is considerable evidence, both anecdotal and from a large body of research, suggesting a significant proportion of students have a negative perception of introductory financial accounting subjects (Warren & Young, 2012). This study examines the perceptions and expectations of students in introductory accounting courses, and in particular, their perceptions of team-based learning (TBL) as a key pedagogical component of their learning activities. Students are organised into permanent strategic teams for the whole semester to work on multiple group activities. The aim is to create a cooperative learning environment to improve learning via development of self-managed learning teams (Johnson & Johnson, 1999; Michaelsen, Bauman Knight, & Fink, 2002; Opdecam & Everaert, 2012). Cooperative learning is based on the concept of small groups working together to achieve a common goal, mastery of a concept, solve a problem or accomplish an academic task such as a report or assignment. TBL requires instructors to adopt a new pedagogical approach and create an environment which places more emphasis on teaching the skills and strategies to better engage and equip students for professional life. Whilst the core knowledge areas of the introductory accounting programs are determined by the professional bodies and thus the learning outcomes must be aligned with these, significant modifications can be made to the delivery and assessment of the program. TBL facilitates ‘flipping’ the classroom where there is the requirement for students to prepare themselves for class by studying the assigned readings from designated sources. The instructor is then able to focus on delivering the content at a higher level and facilitating team activities. This shifts the instructor’s role from one of primarily dispensing information to facilitating student learning. The students’ role changes from one of passive recipients of information to one of accepting responsibility for their learning by being prepared for inclass activities (Michaelsen, 2008). This paper discusses the essential key elements for successful implementation of TBL and use of web based technologies for feedback, assessment and evaluation to enhance TBL outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event27th Asian-Pacific Conference on International Accounting Issues: Global Perspectives of Accounting Information in the 21st Century - Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 1 Nov 20154 Nov 2015
Conference number: 22nd


Conference27th Asian-Pacific Conference on International Accounting Issues
CityGold Coast
Internet address


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