Further reflection on development of online modules for ACC396 and ACG514

Activity: Engagement and professional developmentContent creation/deliveryAcademic


Between June 2021 and February 2022, I was responsible for the development of two new ‘accounting theory’ subjects for the revitalised accounting degrees (undergraduate and post graduate) – ACC396 and ACG514. A key aspect of this development was the creation of new online modules. A key driver of the content within the learning modules was the learning outcomes of the respective subjects, but another driver was an attempt to foster greater peer to peer interaction and engagement amongst students. A perceived lack of peer-to-peer engagement amongst students has been reflected within student evaluations for some time in the previous iterations of these subjects (ACC341 and ACC518). In these earlier versions of the subjects, the discussion board had been used as means to foster peer to peer interaction, but the opportunities for engagement between students provided on the discussion boards were apparently not reflected in students perceptions of the opportunities available to them.
This led to some reflection on ways that the online modules could be developed using tools which facilitate peer to peer interaction. Having attended a few professional development workshops, I knew Padlet had been available at Charles Sturt for a few years as shown through the below videos of PD sessions. Padlet is essentially a way of creating ‘walls’ where students can post their responses to questions, and have other students also post their views on the same wall. This allows for the collection of different opinions on an issue to be seen in the same space, ideally leading to the presentation of a range of contrasting of views, the synthesis of views and the creation of original thought.
The scholarly literature also provides some justification for the use of Padlet as a means of improving student engagement via enhanced peer to peer interaction. Garnham and Betts (2018) for example, outline the role of Padlet as a means of enhancing peer to peer engagement. Peer to peer engagement is said to overcome student alienation through the fostering of learning relationships with other students, with this ultimately lead to improved competence (and grades). Peer to peer engagement is particularly important to subjects such as ACC396 and ACG514, as simple transmission of knowledge doesn’t necessarily lead to the development of skills around critical thinking.
Through consultation with an ED, Padlet walls were integrated into each learning module of both subjects. The Padlet walls each contain around five separate reflection activities. None of these activities have set ‘answers’ as such – they are open ended in nature and require students to provide their own views on particular issues outlined in the module – usually geared around the learning outcomes for the topic.
In relation to future directions, student evaluations for session 2 will be reviewed to see if there has been any positive indicator that students appreciate and are aware of the opportunity to engage in peer to peer learning. It should be noted that student numbers are quite low in both subjects (less than 10) and that this inevitably limits the amount of interaction which can occur, but each Padlet wall has in 202260 has received interest in the form of posts, so this is an initial/anecdotal positive indicator. If student feedback doesn’t indicate an appreciation of the opportunity provided, then the next step will be to promote the Padlet walls more obviously through student announcements. These announcements which inform students of the presence of the Padlet activities and perhaps provide an introduction to some of the issues being addressed.
Period14 Jan 202214 Dec 2022