Title

Learning logs: Incorporating writing to learn assignments into accounting courses

Department/School

Accounting

Date of this version

5-2015

Document Type

Article

Keywords

writing to learn, writing across the curriculum, accounting curriculum

Abstract

The writing across the curriculum movement advocates using Writing-to-Learn (WTL) assignments to facilitate learning. The basic premise of WTL assignments is that students learn concepts better when they write about them. This article discusses the pedagogical theories relating to WTL that were used to design and implement learning logs in an introductory financial accounting course. Learning logs are two-page papers requiring students to interpret and apply accounting concepts. One learning log assignment requires students to prepare a whistleblower letter reporting a fraud that they have observed. Other learning log assignments are based on current events such as a dividend announcement by Apple and a stock split proposal by Google. This paper describes student learning goals, presents learning log assignments, provides sample student responses, and includes a discussion of classroom experience. Student survey responses indicate that students perceived the learning logs as useful for promoting learning outcomes. A regression analysis of exam scores on learning log indicator variables suggests learning logs increase content comprehension. While the WTL examples in the article focus on topics covered in the introductory accounting course, the WTL strategies presented and discussed in this article can be incorporated into any class in the accounting sequence.

Published in

Issues in Accounting Education

Citation/Other Information

30 (2) 79-104