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    Bill Thomas
    Ethics in the Accounting Classroom: The Texas Experience
    CPE session posted July 27, 2010 by Bill Thomas, last edited February 10, 2012 
    2404 Views, 12 Comments
    Ethics in the Accounting Classroom: The Texas Experience
    leader(s), affiliation(s):
    Bill Thomas
    session description:

    Part of Ethics Education Boot Camp



    • Anton Du Toit


      I have posted some interesting material and files on the following post:

      CPE session  Ethics Boot Camp    2 19  Ali Abdolmohammadi

      Kind regards

      Anton du Toit

      Director: Accountancy Studies, Monash South Africa

    • Robert E Jensen

      From the AICPA on June 28, 2012

      Three ethics resources for CPA, CGMAs
      With the importance of ethics and non-financial reporting rising on the global agenda, CGMAs are in a unique position to make an important contribution to creating a sustainable ethical operating environment. The AICPA and CIMA have developed a number of resources to assist CPA, CGMAs in guiding their organizations to long-term sustainability and success. The Ethical reflection checklist is designed to provide organizations and individuals with an overview of how well ethical practices are embedded in the business. The CGMA case study: Navigating ethical issues highlights issues related to non-disclosure at the corporate level that come to the attention of non-executive financial managers and controllers. Responding to ethical dilemmas: CGMA ethics resources provides links to resources to help CGMAs navigate ethical dilemmas and respond in a manner that upholds their professional

      Bob Jensen's threads on professionalism in auditing ---

      Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade ---

    • Robert E Jensen

      i Marc,

      I've not had first-hand experience with ethics games. But here are a few ideas (not all are accounting games):.

      Ethics Games and Puzzles (and other ethics learning resources) ---

      Putting Yourself in Somebody Else's Shoes ---

      Situation Ethics Games ---

      Scruples Game ---

      Ethics Training Games ---
      This has a "brainstorming category."
      Concept Mapping is a type of brainstorming ---
      There's a good brainstorming accountics science paper in
      "Auditors’ Use of Brainstorming in the Consideration of Fraud: Reports from the Field," The Accounting Review, 2010, Vol 85, No. 4

      John A. Schatzel at Stonehill College does research on simulation games for teaching auditing, some of which entail ethics ---
      You must have access to the AAA Commons for the above link.
      John posts to the AECM on occasion. Maybe he will read this and help us out.

      You might consider easy-to-use software for making your own games

      "Games in the Classroom (part 3)," by Anastasia Salter, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 30, 2011 ---

      The challenge of finding a game for the classroom can be difficult, particularly when the games you’ve imagined doesn’t exist. And if you wait for a particular challenge or topic to make its way into game form, it might be a while. Educational games and “serious” games haven’t always kept up with the rest of video gaming, in part because there’s no high return. Modern game development tends towards large teams and impressive budgets, and these resources are rarely used on explicitly educational productions. While efforts like the STEM Video Game Challenge provide incentives for new learning games, and commercial titles can often be adapted for the classroom, there’s still more potential than games have yet reached.

      But if you have a new concept for playful learning, you can still bring it to life for your classroom. There are two ways to start thinking about making games in the classroom: the first is to build a game yourself, and the second is to engage students in making games as a way to express their own understanding.

      You’re probably not a game designer, although there’s a game for that: Gamestar Mechanic can help you “level up” from player to designer. But it’s also important to remember building games rarely happens alone: as with digital humanities projects, games lend themselves to collaboration. If you have a game design program (or even a single course) at your university or a neighboring school, there might be an opportunity to partner your students with them towards creating valuable content-based educational games. Similarly, there may be other faculty who are interested in collaborating on grant-funded projects to build new educational experiences, or collective and expanding projects like Reacting to the Past (which many readers cited as a classroom game system of choice). You might also find collaborators, inspiration and games in progress through communities such as Gameful, a “secret HQ for making world-changing games”–and community manager Nathan Maton has a few things to say about building serious games for education.

      There’s also a difference between making a game or asking your students to make a game as an expression of content for pedagogical purposes and making a game in the industry. Even a flawed game can provide an opportunity for learning and discussion. And your students will often bring a wealth of their own experiences with games to the process, offering them a chance to make new connections with your course material.

      Ready to try making games? Here are a few tools for getting started.

      • Board and card games can be a great first project, particularly for students. Digital games are flashy, but board and card games offer the advantages of structured play with a lower barrier to entry. They can also be good practice for learning the mechanics and structure of games without getting bogged down in programming and logic. We’ve all played some version of classroom jeopardy before, and it remains an example of taking game-like mechanics and applying them to any content–but when content guides the way, board games can transcend these roots.
      • Inform 7 is a modern heir to text-based games, and it’s a free development tool that’s perfect for interpreting and building worlds without needing visual elements. Aaron Reed’s Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7 is a thorough guide to the system. The Voices of Spoon River IF offers one example of literary instruction through the form, while Nick Montfort’s Book and Volume demonstrates the potential for systematic logic. There’s even the ECG Paper Chase IF for a meta-experience on the origin of gaming and educational technology. (Curveship, a newer interactive narrative platform, is less friendly to non-programmers than Inform 7 but offers some impressive possibilities.)
      • GameMaker (with a free lite version) allows for building games on two levels: at the surface is an easy to manipulate, graphical interface for building games. Beneath that, an advanced scripting language allows for the possibility of delving further. The GameMaker’s Apprentice textbook goes step-by-step through making a variety of basic games drawn from arcade genre standbys, many of which could serve as the basis for more creative projects while also offering the tools to build procedural literacy and digital skills.
      • GameSalad is a free tool for building simple games. While GameSalad is only available for Macs, it offers a code-free way to create graphical games for both mobile platforms and HTML5. It’s relatively new, and most of the educational games created for it aim at the younger crowd of kid-friendly mobile apps, but it definitely offers the chance for experience with logic and rapid prototyping.

      "Games in the Classroom (part 4)," by Anastasia Salter, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 6, 2011 ---

      Throughout this series, we’ve talked about why you might want to use games in the classroom, how you can find them, and how to start making your own. But games can also inspire us to rethink our classrooms at a structural level, and particularly as sites for collaboration and playful learning that can extend long beyond a single lesson plan. Game designers are pointing out the similarities between games and the classroom. Extra Credits, a video series by game designers taking a deeper look at the form, recently did an episode on Gamifying Education that provides a great starting point for a conversation on game-inspired classroom design.

      For ideas on getting started, I recently spoke with Lee Sheldon, author of the recently released The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game (Cengage Learning 2011), whose book chronicles both his own and others’ experiments with taking the structures, terminology, and concepts of a massive multiplayer role-playing game and applying them to the classroom. You can check out Lee Sheldon’s syllabus at his blog on Gaming the Classroom, along with more of his reflections on the experiment, which divided his students into guilds and encouraged them to “level up” through the semester. After using the course model in its latest iteration, he reported perfect attendance. He also notes the value in his system of “grading by attrition”—students are not being punished for failing, but instead rewarded for progressing and thus less likely to be defeated early.

      As a professional game designer teaching courses on game design, Lee Sheldon has a natural environment for innovation–but his concepts open the door for a conversation across disciplines. Lee Sheldon describes his model as “designing the class as a game”—so not just focusing on extrinsic rewards (the typical focus of gamification), but instead trying to promote “opportunities for collaboration” and “intrinsic rewards from helping others.” As game designers, like teachers, are focused on creating an experience, many of the strategies for building a class as game are similar to more traditional preparation. And he advises that these ideas can work for anyone: “You don’t have to a be a game designer…you can prep like putting together a lesson plan, but learn the terminology.” Lee Sheldon explains that one of the benefits of using games as a model is that a game is abstracted—it has to “feel real”, but you get to “take out the stuff that isn’t fun.” He also notes that “You can do just about anything in a game that you can do in real life,” and the wealth of games today is a testament to that range of possibilities.

      Lee Sheldon and his team at RPI are now working on an experiment with their new Emergent Reality Lab that offers a possible future for courses as games. He explained their current project, teaching Mandarin Chinese as an alternate reality game, as a “Maltese Falcon-esque mystery” narrative—the class will start out as usual, in a normal classroom, but it will be interrupted and move into the lab as the students take a virtual journey across China aided by motion-aware Kinect interfaces in an immersive environment. Lee Sheldon said that his ideal outcome would be for students to learn more Chinese than they would in a traditional class.

      Continued in article

      Edutainment Idea for Class
      This might be a fun thing to try in class.

      The instructor could identify three students in the class that have some cartoon drawing skills.

      Then the three-column Jeopardy-like listing of choices could be presented to the class where the choices relate to accounting issues.
      Students pick one issue from each column.

      The cartoon-drawing students could then commence their cartoons.

      While they're drawing, the instructor could show New Yorker's accounting cartoons to the class. At The New Yorker Website it is possible to drill down to accounting cartoons.

      Video:  Improv With New Yorker Cartoonists --- Click Here
       You could have students draw accounting ethics cartoons similar to those wonderful cartoons that appear in the New Yorker.

      Educational Comics Collection ---

      Hollywood's Accounting, Ethics, and Business Movies ---

      Professor Roselyn Morris has a listing of ethics movies and some accounting movies---

      "Perceptions of accountants' ethics: evidence from their portrayal in cinema.: by Felton, S., Dimnik, T. and Bay, D. (2008, December).  Journal of Business Ethics, 83(2), 217-232.

      Abstract: "This article examines popular representations of accountants' ethics by studying their depiction in cinema. As a medium that both reflects and shapes public opinion, films provide a useful resource for exploring the portrayal of the profession's ethics. We employ a values theoretical framework to analyze 110 movie accountants on their basic ethical character, ethical behavior, and values."

      Hollywood Accounting ---

      Spout's Movies Tagged for Accounting ---

      Amazon's Wall Street Movies ---

      And here are some entrepreneur movies. Of course there are countless movies that feature business (usually in a bad light).

      "Must-See Movies for Entrepreneurs," by Anthony Tjan, Harvard Business Review Blog, March 12, 2010 ---

      After the Oscars last weekend, I started to think about which movies have really inspired me as an entrepreneur. Here are three films I believe that you should not only see, but also share with your teams. Each ties to an important entrepreneurial and leadership lesson.

      Man on Wire
      A story of the fanatical pursuit of a dream. Philippe Petit, a French tightrope walker, was consumed by the idea of walking a wire between New York's former World Trade twin towers. To do so, he would need years of planning and would have to do it as a covert mission. When I first watched this film, I did not know if it was based on a true story or not. The narrative and grainy black-and-white shots made me constantly question whether I was wishing for this to be true or if it was just brilliant story-telling. The fact that Petit is real and actually accomplished the feat in August of 1974 is beyond incredible. In an earlier post, I wrote about the thin line that great entrepreneurs balance between what Oscar Levant described as genius and insanity. You want someone like Petit to succeed because it seems so improbable and outlandish that it takes a creative visionary with some degree of craziness to pull it off. Seeing this movie is an inspiration for those who dare to think differently and push the boundaries.

      More than a Game
      This is the inspiring story of a high school basketball team and their quest for the national title. It is also happens to be the documentary of the high school basketball team on which superstar Lebron James played. I loved this movie for so many reasons, but the inspiration for entrepreneurs is in the unfolding of how Lebron and four of his closest friends from childhood pursued a dream, Starting as a team of fifth graders playing and growing up together in some of the poorest neighborhoods and practicing in a Salvation Army basketball court with linoleum floors. The movie highlights how the journey is always as important as the ultimate goal and inspires us to believe that almost anything is possible with the right people and right dedication.

      Slumdog Millionaire
      A hugely successful film about how you can create your own luck. So many successful entrepreneurs I have met talk about the role of luck in their careers, but it is equally true that they put themselves in the pathway of opportunity. In some ways this movie was like a modern day Bollywood version of Forrest Gump (we all need a little Bubba Gump shrimp luck in our lives). Both are believable tales because of the attitudes of the protagonists who, like great entrepreneurs, have a boundless optimism and openness that allow luck to come to them.

      That's it for my Siskel and Ebert moment. I'll see you all at Netflix.

      A lot of ethics cases are available ---

      Bob Jensen's threads on edutainment ---

    • Robert E Jensen

      "Business Ethics" (Judge) Richard Posner, Becker-Posner Blog, March 3, 2013 ---

      Bob Jensen's threads on accounting ethics ---

    • Robert E Jensen

      "Business Ethics" (Judge) Richard Posner, Becker-Posner Blog, March 3, 2013 ---

      Bob Jensen's threads on accounting ethics ---

    • Robert E Jensen

      Can Ethics Be Taught?
       "Crazy Eddie Revisited: Old Lessons for Today's Accountants," by Anthony H. Catanach Jr., Grumpy Old Accountant, June 7, 2013 ---

    • Robert E Jensen
      Hi Marc,
      I'm not certain that there is a whole lot of benefit of a law versus ethics debate without first focusing on a law versus ideology debate ---


      Note especially Item 4 in the above link.

      All this points to another and related tension. This is the tension between the ideology view and the concept of the rule of law, the centrepiece of a liberal legal order. At their most basic, the terms the rule of law, due process, procedural justice, legal formality, procedural rationality, justice as regularity, all refer to the idea that law should meet certain procedural requirements so that the individual is enabled to obey it. These requirements center on the principle that the law be general, that it take the form of rules. Law by definition should be directed to more than a particular situation or individual; the rule of law also requires that law be relatively certain, clearly expressed, open, prospective and adequately publicised.

      Jensen Comment
      The question is where do ethics codes fit in between law's rules and ideology. Also at issue is how rule-like codes of ethics become become laws over time. Also at issue are sanctions. With rules of law there are procedural requirements for enforcing those rules. Ethics seems to fit more into a gray zone when rules of laws are not broken but morality standards (ideologies) have been violated.

      An interesting aspect of this thread would be examples where laws are not broken but ethics codes are violated. For example I don't think there are statutes dictating that a supervisor cannot date or have sexual relations with an employee being supervised. Many business firms and governmental agencies, however, consider this to be unethical and actually have rules against such behavior even if it is not illegal in the statutes.

      There are no statutes to my knowledge that college instructors cannot campaign for particular political candidates in their classrooms. However, the AAUP and most colleges consider this a breach of ethics in the classroom. Instructors can and have been suspended for such political activism in classrooms. But more often than not the instructor is simply advised not to campaign in the classroom. Further actions are taken if the instructor repeatedly and egregiously ignores the advice.

      The ideology in this case is that instructors should teach but not indoctrinate. Ethics codes become somewhat specific regarding what constitutes indoctrination. But the sanctions are often vague. Laws become even more specific what constitutes violation of law such as offering bribes or making physical threats. Such laws are enforceable to a point where the courts rather than the employer decides on the punishments. And the sentencing guidelines can be quite specific.

      Bob Jensen


    • Robert E Jensen

      ""Ten Commandments" for Today's CFO," by Anthony H. Catanach Jr., Grumpy Old Accountants, September 17, 2013 ---

    • Robert E Jensen

      "How not to cut ethical corners as economic growth slows in emerging markets," by Sabine Vollmer, CGMA Magazine, October 10, 2013 ---

      Challenging economic conditions are increasing the risk of unethical practices in markets around the world, according to EY surveys in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

      After years of rapid growth, economies in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, known collectively as the BRICS, have slowed considerably, International Monetary Fund data show. The economic environment has also gotten more difficult in central and eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

      EY surveys found that many companies in these countries are under increased pressure to meet targets of their investors and owners. In countries where enforcement of anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws is less rigorous, survey respondents perceived a rise in unethical practices. The surveys involved 681 executives, senior managers and other employees at companies in eight Asia-Pacific countries and more than 3,000 board members, managers and their team members in 36 European, African and Middle Eastern countries.

      While regulatory efforts to tackle fraud and corruption seem to be improving in China, where only 9% of respondents said using bribery to win contracts is common practice in their industry, 79% of respondents in Indonesia reported widespread bribery and corruption.

      In South Korea, where investigations into alleged bribery are underway at state-owned enterprises, 86% of respondents said their companies have policies that are good in principle but do not work well in practice.

      In India, 74% of respondents reported increased pressure to deliver good financial performance in the next 12 months, and 54% of respondents said their companies often make their financial performance look better than reality.

      Respondents in Spain and Russia reported the highest incidence of misleading financial statements (61%).

      About half of all respondents in Malaysia (54%) said their companies are likely to take ethical short cuts to meet targets when economic times are tough, or double the Asia-Pacific average (27%).

      Local application is key

      “The majority of businesses surveyed have created or are in the process of creating policies and procedures to deal with fraud, bribery and corruption,” Chris Fordham, an EY managing partner for Asia-Pacific, observed in the introduction of one of the survey reports. “However, too often we see a disconnect in the local application of these policies and tools.”

      The Asia-Pacific findings echo results of the survey involving European, Middle Eastern, Indian and African companies, Fordham said.

      Big data technology. Seventy-eight per cent of the Asia-Pacific respondents agreed that tapping the large volumes of data companies generate and collect routinely to examine all company transactions would result in better fraud detection and more effective prevention of corruption, but only 53% do it. In several Asia-Pacific countries, including Malaysia and Indonesia, IT investments are still seen more as a burden than a tool.

      Whistleblower programmes. Eighty-one per cent of the Asia-Pacific respondents considered them useful, mainly because whistleblower programmes are easy to access and employees are willing to use them, but only 32% set them up. Concerns about potential retribution and lack of legal protection and confidentiality prevent implementation of whistleblower programmes. Thirty-four per cent of respondents in Europe, Africa and the Middle East said their companies had whistleblower programmes.

      Codes of conduct. About half of the respondents in Europe, Africa and the Middle East said their companies had anti-bribery codes of conducts with clear penalties for breaking them and that senior management was strongly committed to the codes of conduct. Forty-eight per cent said certain unethical practices, such as offering gifts or cash to win business or falsifying financial statements, are justified to help a business survive an economic downturn. In Asia-Pacific, 40% of respondents said their companies have anti-bribery codes of conduct, but only 34% include clear penalties and senior management at only 35% of companies were seen as strongly committed to compliance.

      How to better manage the risks

      Continued in article

      Bob Jensen's threads on professionalism and ethics ---

      Bob Jensen's threads on managerial accounting ---

    • Robert E Jensen

      "Cheating Scandals at the Navy and Air Force bring Integrity into Question:  Ethics Failures can be attributed to the Culture of the Military Services," by Steven Mintz, Ethics Sage, February  11, 2014 ---

    • Robert E Jensen

      Fraud ---

      Ethics ---

      "A few thoughts on teaching Ethics:  Are Business Schools using the Best Approach to Teach Ethics?" by Steven Mintz, Ethics Sage, January 27, 2015 --- 

      Jensen Comment
      For me role playing did not work so well in teaching ethics or most any other topic. I think it went too slow and got boring.  There are tons of cases, but these also tend to get boring.

      For me short videos seemed to work the best, especially when followed by review discussions. At the time the IMA had some very good videos for classroom use.

      I think it's important to stress the occasional murky line between unethical acts and illegal acts. You can teach both, but it's important to stress when behavior is possibly unethical but probably not illegal.

      CGMA Portfolio of Tools for Accountants and Analysts ---
      Includes ethics tools and learning cases.

      Ethics Games and Puzzles ---

      Scruples Game ---

      Ethics Training for the Workplace ---

      The bottom line is that both ethics and political leanings more often than not are impacted more by what is learned growing up at home and possibly by what is learned in church and K-12 schooling.  Sometimes we learn ethics best by watching our teachers, coaches, and supervisors recommending things that are not ethical.

      For example, my high school football coach encouraged playing dirty ---