Concept maps in Accounting Education

Presentation by Toby York
TACTYC Virtual Annual Conference on 15 May 2021


1. Background paper

My presentation is based on a draft paper The benefits of concept mapping in accounting education [PDF] which is in three parts.

Part one: identifies some common problems with current accounting education practices, drawn mostly from personal and anecdotal experiences.

Part two: draws on literature in cognitive psychology and other disciplines. It offers 8 specific educational benefits of concept mapping in accounting education.

Part three: explains the layout and some of the functions of a specific concept map, the BaSIS FrameworkTM.


2. Using conversations and stories

I refer to conversations that we have with students before using the BaSIS FrameworkTM. These are the subject of a series that we are running on Accounting Cafe. Recordings of past webinars are available below.

1. An overview of Color Accounting

2. The funding butterfly

3. Deriving profit


3. Using the BaSIS Framework online

I refer to examples of using the concept framework in online learning systems. These examples use H5P, although it is possible to create similar examples using tools native to any learning management system, or in another open format such as SCORM.

Classic transactions

Embedded within an online lesson

© AccountingCafe.org


Download paper [PDF]: The benefits of concept mapping in accounting education

Download presentation [PDF]: Concept mapping and playful learning through ‘Color Accounting’

Seminar: Deriving profit using a concept map

Toby York and Paul Jennings hosted a Zoom seminar on 20 May 2021

This was the third seminar in a series about using concept maps in accounting education.

Session 1: Concept mapping in accounting education

Session 2: The funding butterfly

This approach emphasises the organisational structure of accounting knowledge, which makes it easier to teach and learn.

In this session we demonstrated how to introduce the concept of profit, using a conversation about its nature and relationship to equity within the accounting framework.

© AccountingCafe.org


Presentation slides [4.0MB PDF]

Seminar recording [36 mins: Zoom Cloud]

Draft white paper [Concept mapping in accounting education]

Join Accounting Cafe on LinkedIn

Request sample materials [from Wealthvox]

Concept mapping and playful learning through ‘Colour Accounting’

Presentation by Toby York at the Games and Simulations in Accounting and Finance Education (‘GSAFE’) conference hosted by Aston University on 20 April 2021

The benefits of concept mapping in accounting education

My presentation is based on a draft paper The benefits of concept mapping in accounting education, which is in three parts.

Part one: identifies some common problems with current accounting education practices, drawn mostly from personal and anecdotal experiences.

Part two: draws on literature in cognitive psychology and other disciplines, and offers 8 specific educational benefits of concept mapping in accounting education.

Part three: explains the layout and some of the functions of a specific concept map, the BaSIS FrameworkTM.


Using conversations to introduce accounting concepts

I refer to conversations that we have with students before using the BaSIS Framework. These are the subject of a series that we are running on Accounting Cafe. Recordings of past webinars are available below.

An overview of Colour Accounting

The funding butterfly

Deriving profit


Using the BaSIS Framework in online learning systems

I refer to examples of using the concept framework in online learning systems. These examples use H5P, although it is possible to create similar examples using tools native to any learning management system, or in another open format such as SCORM.

Classic transactions

Embedded within an online lesson

© AccountingCafe.org


Download paper [PDF]: The benefits of concept mapping in accounting education

Download presentation [PDF]: Concept mapping and playful learning through ‘Colour Accounting’

Seminar: The funding butterfly

Toby York and Paul Jennings hosted a Zoom seminar on 18 March 2021

Zoom cloud recording (34 minutes): Toby York demonstrates the “funding butterfly”, part of the Colour Accounting method, which he uses to introduce students to the accounting equation.

StartsContent
00:00Introduction
02:04The BaSIS FrameworkTM
04:35Where to start
06:10Point of view: the pineapple conversation
10:40The funding butterfly
25:35The accounting equation

Zoom cloud recording (9 minutes): Paul Jennings explains some of the practical issues and experiences of implementing Colour Accounting at Winchester University.

© AccountingCafe.org


Join Accounting Cafe on LinkedIn

Request sample materials

Presentation slides: PPTX | PDF

Seminar: Concept mapping in accounting education

Toby York hosted a Zoom seminar on on 18 February 2021

This recording is hosted on Zoom cloud and is about 38 minutes.
You can download the presentation slides at the bottom of this page
StartsContent
00:00Introduction
05:19Module learning outcomes
06:60The BaSIS Framework
10:45Introducing accounting to students
14:27Conversation 1: point of view
16:25Conversation 2: the funding butterfly
27:32Conversation 3: deriving profit
30:00Materials and implementation
31:45An example of one of the 16 Classic transactions
35:15Concept map materials: free, licensed and in development

Teaching first-time accounting students has always been challenging. With remote learning it is even more so.

Toby York, Senior Lecturer at Middlesex University Business School, believes that using a concept map makes it much easier. For three years he’s been using a concept map called the BaSIS Framework and the Color Accounting System.

“Significantly, a concept map understood clearly within a community of learners provides a solid reference point throughout the student’s learning journey. It provides “pointability” for teachers and students alike.”

Toby talks about how he integrated concept mapping and used Colour Accounting in his teaching.

© AccountingCafe.org


Join Accounting Cafe on LinkedIn

Request sample materials

Presentation slides: PPTX | PDF

What we do

We are a community who believes that learning accounting can be an engaging and enjoyable experience for educators and learners alike. We care so deeply about this that we share, discuss and learn the best ways to explain accounting concepts with each other and the wider world.

Accounting Cafe is a community of educators and learners who are passionate about accounting education.

We believe that teaching and learning accounting can be an engaging and enjoyable experience, so we are building a community to enable students and teachers to learn from each other. Our aims are to:

  • Share, discuss and develop the best ways to explain accounting concepts with each other, and the wider world.
  • Provide practical advice, guidance and resources to teachers and learners.
  • Demonstrate to students that the accounting profession offers many exciting and varied opportunities, both locally and internationally.
  • Explore the dynamic and evolving nature and purpose of accounting.
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© AccountingCafe.org

Why concept mapping is important

A version of this article was first published on Linkedin on 30 July 2020.

Concept maps are visual representations of information that show everything in a single view. They help students to create a clear mental model, which clarifies their thoughts and provides a shared language of understanding in a community of learners.

Concept maps work well for all types of students when it is important to understand relationships between different things.

According to the educational psychologist David Ausubel, the single most important factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows1. A concept map accommodates this and supports Ausubel’s idea of “meaningful learning”, that is, when the student comprehends the relationship of what is being learned to other knowledge.

Concept maps generally start with higher-level concepts, so help students to create schema for learning. Schema enhance learning by showing students:

  • The context of what they already know.
  • How new information fits with what they already know.
  • How new bits of information fit together.

The BaSIS Framework3

Traditional concept maps consist of circles or boxes (“nodes”) each of which contains a concept and are connected by linking phrases.

Although the BaSIS Framework is not a traditional concept map in that sense, like all effective concept maps, it has intellectual integrity––although it might look simple, it is not simplistic and it accurately reflects how the things it represents behave in practice.

Good concept maps are so rigorous that no matter how complex the example you throw at it, the model still works. This is also true of the BaSIS Framework.

Here are some of the many benefits that this conceptual map for accounting can provide:

  1. By showing everything—the forest and the trees—students have a concept map of the accounting framework in a single view.
  2. The duality of accounting—assets are equivalent to liabilities plus equity—is obvious.
  3. The use of colour accelerates learning of debits and credits. It may be common for students to muddle debits for credits, but unusual for them to muddle orange for green.
  4. Students learn quickly that debits and credits can increase or decrease amounts, depending on context.
  5. It is clear that profit is a function of income and expenses and it is part of equity. The statement of profit and loss and the statement of financial position are part of the same story.

Significantly, a concept map understood clearly within a community of learners provides a solid reference point throughout the student’s learning journey. It provides “pointability” for teachers and students alike.

© AccountingCafe.org


Further reading

Miller, F. (2018) Organising Knowledge with Multi-level Content: Making knowledge easier to understand, remember and communicate. [https://www.francismiller.com/organising-knowledge/]


References

[1] Ausubel, D. (1968) Educational Psychology: A Cognitive View. Canada: Holt, Rinehart & Winston

[1] Ausubel, D. (1968) Educational Psychology: A Cognitive View. Canada: Holt, Rinehart & Winston

[2] Australian Society for Evidence Based Teaching, (2019) Meta-Analytic Research on Concept Mapping. Accessed 23 May 2020.

[3] The BaSIS Framework is a trademark of Color Accounting International

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