The challenge of disengagement during lockdown – successfully engaging students in auditing courses
by Supawadee Moss
International Journal of Management, Accounting, Governance and Education 2021, Volume 1, Issue 2
Auditing all over the world is documented as being the most difficult and boring of any course in an accounting degree. Being a heavily theoretical based subject with hardly any calculations, students often struggle to see the relevance. Conventional techniques do not usually work when students cannot engage with what they interpret as dry and dull content. Since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic introduced additional challenges with a shift to fully online teaching.
This paper employs a number of evidence-based engagement strategies including incorporation of real-life examples with visual aids, engaging online questions and interactive live-streamed lectures in both undergraduate and postgraduate auditing courses in an Australian university. It was found that a 47-fold increase in undergraduate and 32-fold increase in postgraduate student engagement has been sustained since introduction. Further to these statistics, qualitative student feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with numerous students noting their initial reluctance to engage with the unit as their preconceived notion was that auditing would be dry and dull, only to find it very engaging and as a result are now pursing auditing as a career path.
This teaching method demonstrates that it is possible to engage students in traditionally difficult units through lockdowns and into the new normal.