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Accounting Professors Honored for Their Innovative Course Design

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Cal State Fullerton accounting faculty members Betty Chavis, Glen Hatton and Randy Hoffman will be honored in August by the American Accounting Association.

The trio will receive the organization’s 2015 Jim Bulloch Award for Innovations in Management Accounting Education, in recognition of their success reducing the humber of students repeating the course and improving final exam scores by 25 percent.

In “An Approach to Reducing Repeat Rates for Lower-Division Accounting Courses,” the three recount their efforts to redesign basic accounting courses to emphasize in-class discussions and small-group work, with lectures and exercises/homework done online.

This reversal of the typical course design had a profound effect, according to Hatton, who has taught on campus since 2008. The repeat rate dropped from 43 percent to 21 percent, and the common final exam scores increased by about 25 percent, he noted. Also, the redesign was selected to be part of the California State University’s Proven Course Redesign Program, an effort that has identified 44 courses that have proven successful in breaking the bottleneck created by high-demand, low-success-rate courses.

“We replaced the relatively passive learning environment of the traditional two-day-per-week lecture and adopted an instructional approach that incorporates elements of flipped, active and collaborative learning methodologies, and a variety of readily available classroom technologies,” said Chavis, who chairs the Accounting Department. The courses are taught by Hatton and Hoffman.

“The basic traditional lecture and today’s students just don’t mix,” said Hoffman, a certified public accountant who has been teaching on campus since 2008. “They need more active participation, so we took the lecture out of the classroom and made it a video online with closed captioning.”

The honor — a plaque and $3,000 — will be presented during the organization’s annual meeting in Chicago.