iCFS: Developing Intelligent Tutoring Capacity in the Accounting Curriculum

By Thomas Kern, Nicholas McGuigan, Antonija Mitrovic, Amir Shareghi Najar and Samantha Sin.

Published by The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 6, 2014 $US5.00

Higher Education, globally, is in a current state of flux where increased technological pressures and social demands are challenging the traditional classroom-based approach to education. This is increasingly causing university management to search for innovative learning and teaching solutions that attempt to address the paradox of catering to personalised learning whilst operating within the parameters and constraints of mass education. Intelligent Tutoring (ITS) may provide one such innovative solution, where a learner is able to interact with a bespoke designed computer-tutoring system, which delivers a degree of individualised learning support and guidance. This paper aims to describe the conceptual design and construction process of iCFS, an ITS designed to assist students to develop a conceptual understanding of Cash Flow Statement (CFS) generation and their integration within the business reporting system, in an intermediate financial accounting course. In doing so, the practically focused paper provides a detailed description of the context in which the study takes place, the ITS environment, the creation of the tutoring system including problem design and motivation, problem construction and user interface design. Practical reflections on the design and development of such an ITS within an accounting context are subsequently advanced.

Keywords: Accounting Education, Intelligent Tutoring Systems, Individualised Learning, Cash Flow Statements, Higher Education

The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, Volume 20, Issue 3, May 2014, pp.91-103. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 6, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.230MB)).

Thomas Kern

Associate Lecturer, Department of Accounting and Corporate Governance, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Thomas lectures in financial accounting at Macquarie University. His research interests are in the areas of accounting education and corporate social responsibility of financial institutions. Before his transition back into academia in 2008, he was Head of the IFRS Competence Centre of an international commercial bank based in Hamburg, Germany, taking shared responsibility for the technical implementation of IFRS by 2007. Prior to this, Thomas held a lecturing position at Saarland University, Saarbruecken, Germany, with a focus on international financial reporting of banking institutions and their regulation. During this time, he delivered advanced teaching programmes at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.

Nicholas McGuigan

Lecturer, Department of Accounting and Corporate Governance, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Nicholas McGuigan is a Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head of Department in Accounting and Corporate Governance at Macquarie University. His research interests include the integration of graduate attributes within the accounting curriculum, student conceptions of and learning approaches towards accounting and innovative teaching practice. Nicholas has published in international accounting and education journals, presented at numerous conferences, been involved in the award of over $700,000 in competitive research funding and been invited to hold visiting academic positions in England and Germany. He is currently an Associate Editor for 2 International journals and is Co-Chair of the Accounting Education Special Interest Group for Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand (AFAANZ).

Antonija Mitrovic

Professor, Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

Dr. Antonija (Tanja) Mitrovic is a full professor and the Head of the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. She is the leader of ICTG (Intelligent Computer Tutoring Group) and her primary research interest is student modelling in intelligent tutoring systems. Dr Mitrovic received her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Nis, Yugoslavia, in 1994. Prof Mitrovic is the president of the International Society of Artificial Intelligence in Education. She is an associate editor of the following journals: International Journal on Artificial Intelligence in Education, IEEE Transactions on Teaching and Learning Technologies, and Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning (RPTEL).

Amir Shareghi Najar

Doctor of Philosophy Student, Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

Mr. Amir Shareghi Najar is a PhD student and software developer in Intelligent Computer Tutoring Group (ICTG) at University of Canterbury, New Zealand. His PhD research is focused on improving Intelligent Tutoring Systems by adding adaptive examples. He has associated with many academic and industrial projects as a researcher and software developer. Mr. Shareghi Najar is a member of the International Society of Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED) and Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education (APSCE).

Samantha Sin

Senior Lecturer, Department of Accounting and Corporate Governance, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Samantha Sin holds PhD degrees in education from Macquarie University, Australia and Linköping University, Sweden. Her research interests include developing generic skills and language proficiency, assessment and the assurance of learning and the transition of university learning to professional practice. Samantha has published in international accounting, education and linguistics journals, such as Accounting and Finance, Studies in Continuing Education, Accounting Education and the Journal of Applied Linguistics. Samantha has also successfully led a number of funded learning innovation projects.