G. Bucior, E. Spigarska

University of Gdansk (POLAND)
Accounting is one of the key topics taught at various university study majors educating the staff for the broadly understood financial and managerial industries. Studies show that accounting is perceived by students as an area of economics difficult to be fully understood, using a distinct language, specific methods, principles and tools. The fact that accounting is heavily determined by the economic, the financial and the taxation law poses an additional difficulty. In this context, selection of adequate methods for teaching the subjects related to accounting can significantly impact the didactic process and its result. The expectations and the opinions formulated by the students should constitute, in this area, guidance for the teachers.

The aim of the study is to examine which methods of teaching accounting are considered as most appropriate and effective, in the opinion of the students at a university educating future accountants and financiers.

The main research method used in the work was a survey questionnaire conducted on a target group of the students studying at various majors realized by the University of Gdansk, both in the full-time and the part-time mode. All the respondents either had finished or were in the course of studying at least one subject in the field of accounting. The questionnaire was filled out by the students present during classes. Additionally, for the purpose of this work, it was necessary to analyze the literature.

The questionnaire consisted of 10 questions, 3 of which defined the characteristics of the respondent, while the next concerned the methods and the form of conducting classes in various accounting modules. The results show that:
1. Majority of the students think that traditional lectures, supplemented with workshops, is the best accounting-teaching method, however, this only concerns the fundamentals of accounting.
2. Relatively rarely students indicate the legitimacy of using non-standard teaching methods, such as the project method, webquest, blended learning, flipped classroom, peer learning. However, students see the possibility and the need of applying advanced modules into teaching, such as managerial accounting, bank and financial institution accounting, or public-sector accounting.
3. Majority of the students considers case studies with individual use of a computer as the best form of lectures and workshops.
4. A small percentage of the students considers e-learning as an adequate method of teaching accounting.

Analysis of the results leads to a conclusion that students prefer traditional accounting-teaching methods, where the relationship between the student’s age and the tendency to select non-standard methods and forms of teaching is – the younger the student, the more interested he/she is in non-standard methods. While teaching the fundamentals of accounting, teachers should apply classic methods, supported by modern multimedia techniques. After acquiring and consolidating the basic knowledge, students would appreciate non-standard methods and forms of learning during the classes involving more advanced modules of accounting – managerial, public sector, banking, controlling, budgeting.

Research limitations/implications:
The selection of the research population does not allow full generalization of applications. However, the research carried out may allow adjustment of the teaching programs to the changing conditions.