The case study presented in this paper, relates to the use of a digital toolkit to support teaching on two core accounting/finance modules over a 12-week period– Intermediate Management Accounting (Level 5, n=120 students) and Advanced Financial Management (Level 6, n=95 students). The digital tools used by the lecturer on the two modules includes; e-pen, interactive whiteboard and lecture capture. The paper to be presented focuses predominantly on the impact of the most transformative tool from the toolkit; the ciscle stylus e-pen. The e-pen was used by the lecturer to work through examples, annotate lecture notes and write down collective discussion points in the lectures of the two modules.
There are a wide range of pedagogic theories that suggest learning is a social activity and such learning is constructed through action and interactions (Ihde,1991). In much of the established literature about postmodernism and education, pedagogy becomes, “the what” that one should practice in order to transform traditional, institutionalised learning spaces to transformative experiences (Wilson and Korn, 2007)
We use critical frames of reference as a lens to explore students’ evaluation of the use of the e-pen in this context; mediation theory (embodiment), postmodernist view of technology, power and control relations between lecturer and technology and legitimisation of learning through mimetic teaching/instruction. These frames of reference acknowledge that within the context of the case study – the learning process involved a negotiation of power and control directed by the lecturer but embodied by the technology (Ugiagbe-Green, 2017). These hegemonic structures seemingly conflict with best practice principles of facilitation and student centred approaches to teaching.
It is important to note that the lectures in which e-pens were used, involved a combination of didactic and student centred activities. This approach was both valued and enjoyed by the students. It is a pedagogical approach in which technology becomes an embodiment of the lecturer – so that it is the tool that becomes the active agent of learning.
A limitation of the context of the case study to which this paper relates, is that in reflecting on his own practice, the lecturer suggests that although the students enjoyed the module and achieved good results, there was scope for deeper learning to take place. Data was collected from a module evaluation questionnaire for both modules (n=c40) and 3 focus groups with (n=10) students who studied on the modules. Hence, our findings only represent the views of students involved in these data collection activities.
Attendees to the presentation, will receive a ‘handy tips’ sheet, with guiding principles/framework on how to use e-pens in lectures, to be modified for their own practice. We intend to trigger debate, discussion and evaluation of how e-pens can be used as transformative tools in lectures, thus indicating that “the lecture is not dead.” Ideas for future research, include an exploration of whether these frames of reference are as a consequence of the conditions specific to accounting education of this nature, or more generalizable to the use of technology in different learning environments.
Ihde, D. (1991). Instrumental Realism: The Interface between Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of
Technology, Indiana University Press
Richardson, H. “Students only have ‘10-minute attention span’.” News.bbc.co.uk. January, 2010. Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/8449307.stm.
Ugiagbe-Green, Iwi (2017) Exploring the construction of verifiable evidence in a technology-mediated competency assessment environment according to the experiences of accounting professionals. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.
Wilson, K. and Korn, J. H. “Attention during lectures: Beyond ten minutes.” Teaching of Psychology 34, no. 2 (2007): 85–89..