Archive for July 31st, 2012

One of the courses I teach is Cost Accounting.  As some of you remember, it is a course for undergraduate accounting majors and is taken during the junior or senior year.  Although some schools teach it in a two course sequence (as does Bowling Green State University where I was once an associate professor), at many schools it is a stand alone course.

At my new school (University of South Carolina Upstate), Cost Accounting is taken by both accounting and general business majors.  As a result, the course is a mix of (1) costing for the accounting students, and (2) showing how to use accounting information for making decisions by the nonaccounting students.

You might be interested in reading my syllabus.  You’ll see what a collegiate syllabus has evolved into.

In days past, a syllabus included the professor’s name and phone number, a grading scale (for three tests and attendance/homework), and a schedule for the semester with homework assignments.  Such a syllabus could be printed on one page (or two pages at most).

My syllabus is substantially different.  I spend several pages trying to motivate students as to why they should (1) take the course, and (2) care enough about it to become involved as an active learner.  For accounting students, getting buy-in is essential to earning their commitment to work hard on a daily basis.  Nonaccounting students, on the other hand, would rather do almost anything else than take this course.  Preferable alternatives include a root canal, hard labor, being bossed around by parents.  If they are not adequately motivated, they probably won’t learn anything at all.

You’ll also notice the detailed learning outcomes.  Accreditation bodies are pressuring universities (and therefore the professors) to be able to prove that students are learning what they should be in their courses.  It is not enough to prove it by saying that certain grades were earned.

Also, you will notice a number of course policies.  The 21st century is a full-disclosure era.  Students must be made aware of how the course is to be managed.

I require students to write papers and work on realistic projects.  I also write my own homework problems.

To check out my syllabus, click on the following image.

Click on image to read ProfAlbrecht’s Cost Accounting syllabus.

Debit and credit –  – David Albrecht

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Hot, hot, hot.  In most of the USA, above average temperatures and below average rain have parched both the ground and the spirits of good citizens.  This is especially true for me.

Look at this, then tell me what you think.

For the past few weeks I’ve felt hot and tired.  My never ending condition of exhaustion comes from the fast pace of teaching summer classes at the U, and not yet being acclimated to the heat of South Carolina.  To compound matters, my old laptop died.  To my dismay, I discovered that my backups got messed up.  Consequently, I’m lost my archived e-mail from before June.

Look for a flood of blog posts in the near future.  I’ll clear out a backlog of partially written posts I’ve worked on during the past three weeks.  Then, I’ll turn to the Annual Meeting of the American Accounting Association to be held in Washington DC, starting this coming weekend.  I expect I’ll have quite a bit to say about IFRS adoption, government regulation of financial reporting, and the fatally flawed audit model used in North America and Europe.  Then, I’ll be turning to social media usage.  Just for kicks, I’ll write a bit about some developments in higher education.

I’m glad to be back.

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

Want more of The Summa? Sign up to receive email notification of posts. And please follow me on Twitter (@profalbrecht).

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