Harness pedagogy and technology to engage students in auditing

Creating interactive auditing videos helped students contextualise a complex topic and provided feedback on their progress. Chu Mui Kim outlines how to do it

Chu Mui Kim's avatar
30 Jun 2024
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As a teacher of auditing-related modules, I’ve always been interested in finding ways to engage my students in what can be a complex topic. But traditional lectures and case studies often fail to capture the challenges and contexts of auditing out in the real world.

How to bridge the gap between theory and practice? By harnessing the power of learning science and digital tools, I created a series of interactive auditing videos, based on the cognitive theory of multimedia learning and the active learning theory.

Cognitive theory of multimedia learning says that learning media should help students process the important information without overloading them, while the personalisation principle suggests that the use of conversational rather than formal language during multimedia instruction can have a hugely positive impact on students’ learning. I wanted to use these videos to provide my students with opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world scenarios, and to receive feedback on their performance and progress.

To achieve these goals, I followed these steps:

1) I selected eight realistic and authentic case studies, involving control processes, business transactions and transactional data related to revenue, purchases, inventory and fixed-asset management. Each video has a unique setting, plot line and context that mimic real-life auditing situations. Depending on the case, the video asks students to review the control processes, assess the control risk, suggest improvements and design tests of controls. In other cases, we require students to perform data analytics to detect anomalies, evaluate risk of material misstatements and design suitable audit procedures.

2) I scripted and filmed the videos with student actors, enacting real-life auditing scenes. We used the personalisation principle, to create a sense of social presence and rapport with the learners. Actors in the videos played the roles of audit managers and juniors, who interacted with each other and the learners in realistic and engaging situations. The student actors used natural, informal language, as well as gestures and facial expressions, to convey the instructions and feedback.

3) Applying the segmentation principle, I split the content into short segments that focused on one topic or subtopic each. This makes it easier for students to remember the information. I also used signalling to highlight key points. I embedded pop-up questions such as multiple-choice, drag-and-drop and text input in the videos, using the H5p authoring tool, which allows you to create and share interactive media. The questions were designed to check the learners’ understanding and provide feedback.

4) I uploaded the videos to my university’s learning management system (LMS), and assigned them as post-class activities for my students. I also provided supplementary materials, such as lecture slides, readings and explanatory videos, to reinforce and extend the learning outcomes of the videos.

The videos were well received by the students, who reported positive learning outcomes and experiences. The data from the LMS showed that all of the students watched the videos at least once, and most of them attempted and completed the questions. I explored the students’ general perception of the interactive and branching videos using a survey at the end of the course.

The survey data shows that the interactive videos eased the cognitive burden of the students, as they overwhelmingly agreed that the videos had clear and comprehensible content (96 per cent), helped them to process and integrate the information learned from the seminars (91 per cent), and offered them chances to test and apply their knowledge through self-assessment (91 per cent).

Additionally, the videos were found to have enhanced the students’ engagement, as 98 per cent of the students agreed that the videos were engaging and intellectually challenging, 96 per cent agreed that the videos allowed them to self-correct any inaccurate understanding they may have had, and 95 per cent agreed that the videos provided them with opportunities for retrieval practice through simulation-based learning. The videos had fostered active learning among the students, which is the process of constructing knowledge and skills through meaningful activities and interactions. The data indicates that 89 per cent of the students agreed that the videos allowed them to work on real-world problems, and 93 per cent agreed that the videos were relevant in the context of auditing various accounts.

The success of these videos demonstrate how learning science and digital tools can be combined to create engaging learning materials. We based them on a foundation of sound pedagogical theory, and the interactive features reduced cognitive load, increased engagement and supported active learning. Educators who want to engage their students in potentially complex topics should consider using pedagogy and educational technology to create multimedia learning videos – and boost their students’ learning outcomes and experiences in the process.

Chu Mui Kim is an associate professor in the Business, Communication and Design Cluster at the Singapore Institute of Technology.

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