19 Feb (ACCT11059)

Hi

Welcome to ACCT11059 Accounting, Learning & Online Communication. It is great to have you in our unit.

My name is Martin Turner and I am delighted to be your unit co-ordinator.

Here is a link to my Welcome message (on my blog) to you.

The Moodle site for our unit is now available. This is our unit’s website that contains resources, forums and other useful tools. Check it out; particularly the Weekly Schedule and the Assignments, both in the top centre section of Moodle.  You can also find the unit profile in the Information section on the top left hand side of Moodle.

See the Study Guide (in the Study Guide section on the left-hand side of Moodle). The Study Guide contains the key resources for our unit. The Weekly Schedule shows you the topics we will be studying each week, the readings each week (from the Study Guide) and also when the assessed learning tasks in our unit are due. You will see there is quite a bit happening in our unit every week, starting in Week 1.

If you have any trouble finding our Moodle site, please contact our ITD Helpdesk (TaSAC) and they will be only too happy to help you.*

If you are studying at our Rockhampton location, I will be your primary contact; as I am for most of our distance students. And if you are a distance student studying in a region nearby one of our locations, you can also contact our teaching staff member at that location. And I am delighted to be working with everyone in our unit. We have people studying with us at Cairns, Townsville, Mackay (City), Rockhampton, Gladstone (Marina)BundabergBrisbaneSydneyMelbourne, Perth and Geraldton, as well as a great group of distance students from all around Australia.

Interactive workshops

We will have an interactive workshop each week at 9.00am – 12noon each Wednesday. These will be held in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. At each location, you will have a teaching staff member to support you in discussions; and Dr Maria Tyler and myself will lead these workshops from Mackay and Rockhampton, supported by others from time-to-time at other locations. Anyone in our unit can attend workshops at any location; and distance students are welcome to attend at a location near you, should you ever wish to.

You can also Zoom into the workshop live each week and participate from wherever you are in Australia (and elsewhere). This will include being able to be involved in discussions and also online Q&As. If the time of our workshop on Wednesday does not suit you, you can watch a video of each of the workshops. These will be available each week on Moodle (in the section for that week) by 2.00pm Wednesday.

In addition, stand-alone workshops will be held in Perth and Geraldton each week.

In the interactive workshops, we will review some of the key concepts from the readings each week (we all need to come to class having already completed the readings) and will have an opportunity to discuss issues with, and be supported to complete, the steps of the assignment. You can find the room of your workshop at your location here.

Contact details of our teaching staff can  be found at Unit Contacts in the Information section on the top left hand side of Moodle.

We will consider why accounting is so important in business. Isn’t it just about a few nerdy people who lack basic interpersonal skills and who seem to like numbers and sitting in darkened back rooms being ‘bean counters’?

Well, in this unit you will have the chance to ask yourself ‘what exactly is accounting?’ And what is its role in business? And also whether or not knowing something meaningful about accounting might be important for me in my business, investing and professional career?

I will give you your own company at 5.00pm Friday (Week 1). This will be available in the top central section of Moodle. I will also email everyone (as well as post on the unit Facebook page and on my blog and also tweet) to let you know when they are available.

Your company may be from Australia, New Zealand, UK, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America or Canada. Your company will use international accounting standards so we can together make sense of our firm’s accounts from a range of different countries, as all our companies will be following the same accounting ‘rules’. Your company may have exotic and well-known international brands, or it may be a business completely unknown to you. Either way, the central question we will explore is whether or not our firm’s accounts can help us, or hinder us, to better understand what is really going on in our firm.

In our unit we have no exam. This will be great at the end of term. If you are studying other units with exams, this will allow you to focus on preparing for those exams. But the trade-off (and there is always a trade-off, isn’t there?) is that there are a series of assessments spread evenly throughout the term. This means in our unit you need to work steadily each week; that is right, every week.

Assessment

The assesment in our unit is:

PeerWise     5%

ASS#1          25%

ASS#2          70%

Assignment

The key assessment is a major assignment broken into two stages (ASS#1: 25%, ASS#2: 70%) with each stage building on the one before; and with each stage having steps due progressively through the term.

For example, ASS#1 is due at 11.00am Tuesday 3 April (Week 5). In addition, Step 1 (the first step) of ASS#1 is due by 11.00am Monday 12 March (Week 2); and Step 2 is due by 11.00am Monday 19 March (Week 3). Step 1 involves us reading the Introduction and Chapter 1 from the Study Guide and including some of our key concepts and questions from these readings. Step 2 involves us setting up our personal profile on Moodle and setting up our blog.

PeerWise

The other part of the assessment is PeerWise, worth 5%. Being active on PeerWise can also really help you with your major assignment.

Now one thing you should get started on right away is PeerWise. Click on the PeerWise folder (just beneath the Weekly Schedule) in the top central section of Moodle. There you will find everything you need to know about how to get started on PeerWise (and also the marking guidelines for PeerWise). You should register and get started on PeerWise now. It is open and you can start now. No need to wait until Week 1. I have already included a few questions in PeerWise to get things started (which will also help me get my own personal score on PeerWise started too!). Catch me if you can!

There is some great guidance on how to use PeerWise effectively on my blog.

The idea with PeerWise is that you read the reading from the Study Guide each week. You can see what chapters from the Study Guide to read each week from the Weekly Schedule. And you can find the Study Guide by clicking on ‘Study Guide’ in the Study Guide section on the left hand side of Moodle.

I know this may be a new experience for you, but in this unit I actually expect everyone … yes, everyone … to complete the readings properly and thoughtfully each week (and before our workshops, if you are attending workshops). PeerWise is designed to help support you to do this, and to help you gain some initial insights about some of the key concepts about accounting that we will study each week.

While reading the Study Guide each week, write down a few multiple choice questions to include on PeerWise (and their solutions). Then enter these into PeerWise. Also, answer a few questions from other people, and also rate their questions, and you can comment on some of these questions as well. Do a little bit of this each week. Tip: There is a great advantage in starting PeerWise early. So if you want to get a great score on PeerWise, I strongly advise you to get started now.

Interacting with others

You will also find a link here to our unit’s Facebook page; which you can also find in the Communication section on the right hand side of Moodle. Click on this link and ask to be included as a member of the Facebook page of our unit. You then might like to write a post saying hi to everyone and introducing yourself to others.

You will quickly realise that interaction and discussion with others in our unit is critical – indeed, essential – to be able to complete the assessed learning tasks. You will find you need to discuss with others to help you develop your own understanding and personal meaning about key concepts in accounting and, indeed, about what accounting actually is. So you may need to adjust how you learn, to learn for understanding (rather than simply ‘rote learn’ material you may not properly understand for yourself); and as you seek to understand what we are studying each week through your discussions and interactions with others, you will find a lot of these interactions we have with each other will be online.

Our Facebook page, the various Moodle forums, our blogs and UCROO (pronounced U-Crew) are key vehicles we will use to help us connect with others in our unit, no matter where we are; whether on any of our locations or online across Australia. You will find there are a really great group of people in our unit to interact with; and as we all have different companies, we can share our work freely with each other and discuss aspects of our assignments without any fear of people ‘copying’ our work. You will find we all need to understand the key concepts for ourselves, for us to be able to apply them to the special and particular situation of our own individual company.

We expect we will have about 350-400 people enrolled in our unit this term, including about 150+ distance students.

It is great to have you in our unit. I look forward to working with you as together we seek to find out whether accounting can help, or perhaps hinder, us to better connect to and understand our firm.

Regards
Martin

19 February 2018

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