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Teaching with Technology

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  • Richard E Lillie
    Dark Side of the Internet: Students can find almost...1
    blog entry posted December 15, 2015 by Richard E Lillie, tagged research, teaching, technology 

    For many years, I have taught accounting courses in face-to-face, blended, and fully online formats.  Of the three instructional methods, I thoroughly enjoy teaching courses in the fully online format.  My personal logo reflects the challenge of doing this.

    While undergraduate courses tend to be somewhat "nuts-n-bolts" focused, graduate courses (both MBA and Master's of Accountancy) are broader in scope, require a lot of writing and presentations, include case studies, team collaboration and online research.  For both undergraduate and graduate courses, the Internet is an important support resource for the teaching-learning process.  The Internet can be either a good resource or a not-so-good resource depending on intent with which it is used.

    During recent academic terms, I have noticed a significant increase in the use of what I call the "Dark Side of the Internet."  By this I mean the increasing student use of the Internet as a source for finding solutions to class assignments, solutions to exam questions, solutions for case studies, and engaging others who will write papers for students for a fee.  While unethical, this type of behavior does not seem to cause even a "blink of an eye" for students who gravitate toward "Dark Side" activity.  This trend includes students completing courses in all three course delivery formats (i.e., face-to-face, blended, and fully online).

    I am amazed when a student turns in an assignment prepared by someone else and considers the assignment to be his(her) own work.  The fact that the submitted assignment is NOT his(her) own work does not seem to be a matter of concern.  After all, the student paid a fee for a service.

    I am updating an online graduate course that I am teaching during upcoming Spring 2016.  I plan to include a few short case studies to be used for team projects.  Course topics are interesting, challenging, and intense.  The projects are well-suited for the team and case study formats.  The cases are good examples of the old adage "more heads may be better than one."  Team discussion and research are integral parts of preparing a case solution.

    I have been searching for appropriate case studies for the course.  Each time I find an interesting case study, the first thing I do is perform an online search for the case study title. This is where things get interesting very quickly.

    Over and over again, the title of the case study pops up on the screen with a URL that links to a website that promises a "high quality" solution for the case study with the claim that an "A" grade is only a click away!  How could a student whether undergraduate or graduate resist this kind of temptation.

    Below are statements posted on the home page of a "case writing service" offering "personalized case solutions for you."  Of course, "personalized case solutions" cost money.

    • "We offer personalized solutions to any business case, individually written by.....graduates from top North American universities."
    • "We guarantee your cases will be written individually which means there is no chance of plagiarism.  We provide answers....at a reasonable price!"
    • "We pride ourselves in quality work.  Having completed over 1,000...business cases, as well as 500+ case solutions from other organizations, you are guaranteed a quality solution."
    • "Please browse out site and do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.  We will gladly solve your case and please remember, an 'A' grade is only a click away!"

    Students find these "Internet resources" pretty easily.  A quick search using almost any search engine turns up links like the ones shown below.

    While I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of teaching in the online format, I am both challenged and frustrated by students who feel that cheating and unethical behavior are acceptable.  In a recent online class, I read short essay responses that were word-for-word from the author's suggested solution for a textbook end-of-chapter ethics question.  What are the odds of a student or team coming up with an exact word-for-word answer?  Astronomical?

    I recently came across an interesting blog post on a website called "Online Schools Center."  The focus of the post was "How Students Cheat Online."  I especially liked a comment in the post that addressed my concern about being both challenged and frustrated by students who feel that cheating and unethical behavior is acceptable.  Below is the comment.

    As I update course materials for my upcoming Spring 2016 course, I will write about ways that I build into my course design that I "hope" will motivate students not to engage in Dark Side activities.

    Some methods that I have built into my course designs have worked pretty well.  Unfortunately, others have failed.  I have always heard that "failure" is the first step toward success.  If this is true, then I'm certainly headed in the right direction.

    Tell me what you think about this posting.  I hope my comments will start a conversation on a topic that we all face one way or another.

    Best wishes,

     

     

     

     

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  • Richard E Lillie
    2015 Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology
    blog entry posted October 14, 2015 by Richard E Lillie, tagged research, teaching, technology 

    The Inside Higher Education Daily News Update (10/14/2015) includes a link to its 2015 Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology.  Below is IHE's description of the survey conducted by IHE and Gallup.

    Inside Higher Ed survey explores how faculty members and administrators feel about the quality of online education, the integrity of plagiarism-detection software, the expansion of MOOC-to-degree programs, the growth in the cost of course materials and more. In many cases, instructors are skeptical.

    Click here to download a free copy of the survey study.

    Have a great day,

     

  • Richard E Lillie
    The "Book Trilogy" Becomes a "Quartet"
    blog entry posted September 5, 2015 by Richard E Lillie, tagged research, teaching, technology 

    With the rapid change to both the U.S. and global economies, I searched for ways to make the change more understandable for my accounting students, whether they be undergraduate or graduate level.  The initial result was creation of what I called the "Book Trilogy."

    As depicted in the diagram below, the "Book Trilogy" included The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman, The Myth of the Rational Market by Justin Fox, and That Used to be Us by Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum.  I asked students to read the books in the indicated sequence.  We discussed the books both during and outside of classes.

    I selected each book for its focus, clarity of writing style, and the unique way the story is told.  I wanted resources that were readable and understandable.  I did not want resources designed to "blow the reader out the door."

    Of the three books, I was particularly impressed with the way Justin Fox, a former editorial director of Harvard Business Review and now a columnist for Bloomberg View, told the story of development of modern finance and how its impact came close to bringing the U.S. and other economies to their knees.  Rather than burying the reader with mathematics and Finance jargon, Fox chronicled the rise of rational market theory by helping the reader "look through the eyes" of the scholars who constructed what is now referred to as "Modern Finance."

    I placed Fox's book in the middle of the trilogy because it bridges the gap between theory and practice of globalization, economics, and "Modern Finance."  Each book in the trilogy takes an innovative approach to telling its story.

    Recently, I read Economix, How Our Economy Works (And Doesn't Work) in Words and Pictures, by Michael Goodwin with illustration by Dan E. Burr.  A comment in the Miami Herald described Economix as

    This witty and elegant volume takes on a number of complex issues--in this case, economics, history and finance--and makes them comprehensible for mere mortals.

     I was fascinated by the way Goodwin's content and commentary were presented in a cartoon-like format.  Goodwin and Burr wrote an easy to read, insightful, entertaining story about our current economy and current economic problems. 

    Timothy Guinnane,Yale University, commented that

    Economix is a lively, cheerfully opinionated romp through the historical and intellectual foundations of our current economy and our current economic problems.  Goodwin has a knack for distilling complex ideas and events in ways that invite the reader to follow the big picture without losing track of what actually happened.  Any reader wondering how our economy got to where it is today will find this a refreshing overview.

    I enjoy coming up with innovative ways to invigorate and challenge the teaching-learning experience of my students.  Student response to the "Book Triology" has been very positive.  I wonder what they will think of my expanding the "Book Trilogy" into a "Book Quartet" (i.e., a series of four books)?

    I love discussion.  I would appreciate your feedback comments about the above commentary.  Please let me hear from you soon.

     

  • Richard E Lillie
    If Content is King, It's Time to Overthrow the Monarchy!
    blog entry posted April 23, 2015 by Richard E Lillie, tagged research, teaching, technology 

    This post shares a blog posting by Will Thalheimer titled If Content is King, It's Time to Overthrow the Monarchy!  Click the article title to access Will's blog posting.

    Will's objective is to convince you that you're teaching too much information (i.e., you're cramming too much content into your courses).  With the every growing body of accounting knowledge, rules, regulations, methods, and techniques, I would find it difficult to believe that accounting educators are not doing this.  As the old saying goes, "It's the nature of the beast."  We have so much material to cover and so little time to get the job done.

    A driving force pushing us to cover more is content tested on the CPA Examination.  We want to make sure our students are prepared for the CPA Exam.

    I like Will's commentaries about instructional design.  They are practical and easily implemented.

    In this blog posting, Will briefly mentions the "Learning and Forgetting Curves."  This concept suggests that if you imagine your learners going up the learning curve and then down the forgetting curve, you'll notice that they end up where they started--that the learning has largely failed in producing benefits.  To learn more about "Learning and Foregetting Curves," click the URL link below to view a short YouTube presentation by Will Thalheimer.  Runtime is approximately 12 minutes.



    A great resource provided by the Association for Talent Development (ATD), formerly ASTD, is a blog titled Science of Learning Blog.  Click the blog title.  When the web page displays, bookmark for page for future access.

    What do you think of Will's discussion of Learning Curves/Forgetting Curves?  Post a reply to this blog posting.  Share your thoughts.

    Have a great day,

  • Richard E Lillie
    Teaching in a Digital Age by A.W. (Tony) Bates --...
    blog entry posted April 8, 2015 by Richard E Lillie, tagged research, teaching, technology, technology tools 

    A.W. (Tony) Bates has authored a book titled Teaching in a Digital Age.  The book is available as a free download.

    I have followed Tony's writing for several years.  He has written extensively about online learning and distance education.  I really appreciate one of Tony's sayings.....

    "Good teaching may overcome a poor choice of technology but technology will never save bad teaching."

    Book chapters include.....

    • Chapter 1:  Fundamental Change in Education

    • Chapter 2:  The nature of knowledge and the implications for teaching

    • Chapter 3:  Methods of teaching:  campus-focused

    • Chapter 4:  Methods of teaching with online focus

    • Chapter 5:  MOOCs

    • Chapter 6:  Understanding technology in education

    • Chapter 7:  Pedagogical differences between media

    • Chapter 8:  Choosing and using media in education:  the SECTIONS model

    • Chapter 9:  Modes of delivery

    • Chapter 10:  Trends in open education

    • Chapter 11:  Ensuring quality teaching in a digital age

    • Chapter 12:  Supporting teachers and instructors in a digital age

    • Appendix 1:  Building an effective learning environment

    • Feedback on Activities

    Check out the new book by Bates.  Tony provides useful insights into distance teaching and learning.  Also check out the resources link below for other of Tony's publications.

    Best wishes,

     

    Rick Lillie

     

     

  • Richard E Lillie
    Competency-based education is all the rage: What is it?9
    blog entry posted April 7, 2015 by Richard E Lillie, tagged research, teaching 

    In his blog "OLDaily," Stephen Downes referenced an article published in The Tennessean (4/07/2015) titled Competency-based education is all the rage:  What is it?  The article was written by Kimberly K. Estep, Chancellor of WGU Tennessee (Western Governors University).

     

    Estep provides a great definition of competency-based education (CBE).  She provides an interesting example of how CBE works at WGU Tennessee.

     

    I'm interested in finding out whether your college or university has adopted any type of CBE programs, particularly for accounting.  If you have adopted a CBE for accounting or are considering doing this, please REPLY to this posting telling us about the program.

     

    Best wishes,

     

    Rick Lillie

     

    Rick Lillie, MAS, Ed.D., CPA (Retired)

    Associate Professor of Accounting, Emeritus

    CSUSB, CBPA, Department of Accounting & Finance

    5500 University Parkway, JB-547

    San Bernardino, CA.  92407-2397

     

    Email:  rlillie@csusb.edu

    Telephone:  (909) 537-5726

    Skype (Username):  ricklillie

     

     

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  • Richard E Lillie
    Salman Khan -- A Breath of Fresh Air in Instructional Design...1
    blog entry posted February 8, 2014 by Richard E Lillie, tagged research, teaching, technology 

    Earlier today, Bob Jensen posted a link on AECM to a Harvard Business Review article (January-February 2014) titled Life's Work: Salman Khan.  I've written about Salman Khan and the Khan Academy several times before.  I use technology extensively in my course designs.  Where appropriate, I draw on Khan's methods and techniques to improve what I do for my students.

    Salman Khan

    Like Salman Khan, I am very much student-centered in my approach to designing the teaching/learning experience.  My approach to teaching came from the years when I was an audit manager in the National Continuing Education Department at Grant Thornton International (GTI).  I quickly learned that you do not teach adult learners.  Rather, you guide them through a learning process.  Adult learners take responsibility for their own learning.

    In the HBR article, Khan states that "one meta-level thing is to take agency over your own learning."  I agree with his statement.  However, I think it is important to understand the point at which a learner may be development wise.

    Taking "agency" (responsibility) for your own learning assumes a learner has the maturity needed for this level of responsibility.  I believe this is where faculty play a major role in the teaching/learning process.  I don't equate "tech-savviness" with "maturity."  Just because someone can interact with others on Facebook and Twitter does not necessarily make the person ready to take total control of the teaching/learning process.

    A learner in the "becoming stage" (i.e., in the process of earning a degree or credential) needs guidance, influence, and a structured learning process.  Whereas, a learner who has moved beyond the "becoming stage" (i..e, has earned a degree or credential) into the "continuing education stage" has reached the point of personal development where it is OK to do whatever turns you on.  Learning is more "learning for learning's sake." 

    Khan states that Khan Academy is all about giving more breathing room to the learner.  He believes he can use technology to deliver information at a student's pace.  He says "there is something you get only from a human voice..It's incredibly valuable."  On this, Khan and I agree.  

    I learned the art of instructional design by the seat of my pants.  I quickly realized that "CPA" stood for "cut, paste, and attach."  I created some pretty interesting instructional materials with a pencil, ruler, invisible tape, IBM Selectric typewriter, a variety of font balls, colored markers, and some fairly modest software applications.  I was amazed what I could accomplish with an Apple2Plus computer.  This all brings back a lot of enjoyable memories.

    While at GTI, I started experimenting with computer-based instructional design.  I played around with sound and video.  It was difficult to do and include in course design.  The technology was far too clunky, complicated to use and far too expensive.  While experimenting, I began to follow the work of Ruth Colvin Clark and Richard E. Mayer dealing with multimedia learning.

    Khan's methodology is all about connecting with the learner in ways that empower the learner to progress as quickly as the learner is capable of doing.  I agree with this objective to a point.

    Rick Lillie, CSU San Bernardino

     

     

     

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  • Richard E Lillie
    Which Way Higher Education?
    blog entry posted November 18, 2012 by Richard E Lillie, tagged research 

    This weekend, I participated in the AAA Council meeting held at the Anaheim Hilton Hotel in Anaheim, California.  The meeting opened with a talk by Lloyd Armstrong titled Which Way Higher Education?  In preparation for Armstrong's presentation, we were asked to read the article College is Dead.  Long Live College!

    Armstrong explored the traditional college/university business model and described "big forces" causing the business model to change.  Below is a concept diagram summarizing key points from Armstrong's talk.  It was interesting to hear his comments about the growth and impact of online learning for all aspects of university-level education.  Armstrong briefly described recent events such as a consortium of universities agreeing to offer courses online that could be taken for credit by students at other universities.

    Times are rapidly changing.  Armstrong's question to us was whether accounting (and university) education will be prepared for the change.

    Rick Lillie (CSU San Bernardino)

     

     

  • Richard E Lillie
    CHANGING HIGHER EDUCATION1
    blog entry posted November 14, 2012 by Richard E Lillie, tagged research 

    Today, I learned about an outstanding blog published by Lloyd Armstrong titled Changing Higher Education.  He writes about a rapidly changing world driven by powerful forces such economics.politics, demographics, religion and technology.  Armstrong suggests that American universities have been affected only marginally by these forces so far; but, imagines it difficult to believe universities will not be changed in significant, perhaps radical, ways over the next few decades.  Armstrong focuses on forces impacting higher education.  I believe you will find this website to be a tremendous resource that challenges your thinking about what is happening in higher education.

    Rick Lillie (CSU San Bernardino)

     

     

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  • Richard E Lillie
    12 Tech Innovators -- Who are Transforming Campuses6
    blog entry posted July 26, 2012 by Richard E Lillie, tagged research, teaching, technology, technology tools 

    The Chronicle of Higher Education has published its first e-book titled Rebooting the Academy:  12 Tech Innovators Who Are Transforming Campuses.  The book is available through Amazon.com in Kindle format.

    Bob Jensen commented about the book in an AECM posting this morning.  Rather than purchasing the e-book at this point, I decided to learn something about the work of each innovator.  I discovered that the name of each innovator on the Chronicle web page is an active hyperlink to a support web page describing the innovator and his(her) work.

    Click the image below to access the "Technology" page (Thursday, July 26, 2012) in the Chronicle of Higher Education.  Click the name of an innovator to find out about the person's work.  Also, peruse the feedback comments at the bottom of the Chronicle web page.  The comments are quite good.

    If an innovator's stories tweaks your interest, you may want to search deeper for articles about the innovator's work. Alternatively, you may decide it's time to purchase the Kindle e-book.

    Enjoy!

    Rick Lillie (Cal State, San Bernardino)

     

     

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