ASS#1 Steps 2-6 General Feedback

 “I must admit that this style of interactive learning is actually not too bad!”

“One of the main things I got out of reading this chapter was that I definitely agree with the importance of understanding, not just knowing. I know in many subjects I have found myself doing the course work each week and then coming to assessment time and realising I really have absolutely no idea what I am doing. These situations always result in me having to go back and re-read and learn more content. This year is a new year and I am really trying to focus on understanding the content completely from the get go. I will not just know content, I will understand content.”

“On Friday afternoon, I was eagerly waiting for Martin to release the details of my company. This is my first piece of University assessment and I wanted to jump in and get off to a great start.”

“It can feel a bit overwhelming to be faced with a bunch of different terms, whilst trying to wrap your head around what they all mean and how they’re connected in many ways. I might be stuck at this level for a short period or maybe longer, who knows. However, I do think that later on down the track, I will grow to have my own type of understanding on the knowledge of accounting and have confidence in what I write or speak about in regards to it. I can’t guarantee this will happen, but like a lot of people out there, I’m optimistic.”

Hi

ASS#1 is just the beginning…

We are enjoying reading your ASS#1 Steps 2-6. We expect to finish marking everyone’s ASS#1 by the middle of the week break.

Quite a few people started our unit feeling rather intimidated and worried about studying accounting. Gradually, many people are starting to feel more comfortable about what may be expected of them. And a number of people have been starting to experience those ‘uh-ha!’ moments of gaining fresh insights into aspects of accounting, and into how we learn.

The key feedback you will get on your ASS#1 is this ASS#1 Steps 2-6 General Feedback. There are also some great ASS#1 Steps 2-6 exemplars from Elenore Cross (Distance – Rockhmapton) and Toni Daniel (Distance – Mackay) available in the Feedback section on the right hand side of Moodle (click on ASS#1: Steps 2-6 Exemplars). Also in the Feedback box are exemplars from Danielle Bradley (for all her assignments). Dani was a previous student in our unit and is now studying her 2nd year accounting in Cairns. You will also be given a mark and individual feedback. The individual feedback may be particularly useful to you in making, if necessary, any changes to your spreadsheet so you can complete your ASS#2.

If you need support to get your spreadsheet into good shape for your ASS#2, please email me at m.turner@cqu.edu.au or discuss it with your lecturer on your location.

Here is some general feedback on everyone’s ASS#1 Steps 2-6.

Step 2

Most people scored well in Step 2. Usually people included a description about themselves and their photos and a link to their blog. It was great to read everyone’s introductions about themselves. There are so many interesting people in our unit, including people from many different countries in the world, as well as people from many parts in Australia. And we come from a wide range of backgrounds and have a range of reasons for doing this unit.

Some people had a few frustrations with setting up their blog; and many people in our unit indicated this was the first blog they had set up. After a little bit of initial reluctance (why are we doing this? what has this got to do with learning accounting?), quite a few people have begun to appreciate the benefit of being able to share their comments, ideas and questions with others in the unit, through various means including their blogs. Also, many people simply look at other people’s blogs without leaving a comment; so more people are probably looking at your blog than you realise.

Step 3

“I really enjoyed surfing people’s blogs to see what they had found out about their companies. I love business and found it so interesting to see all the different companies and industries we got assigned and what concepts people had pulled out about them. Reading and commenting on blogs became addictive and I rarely checked the Moodle forum, it seems so old fashioned in comparison!

Being able to truly engage with others, across multiple platforms, makes this unit unique and it really does help trigger things in your mind that you otherwise would probably have stayed ignorant about.”

Most people handled this step quite well, commenting on different aspects of their firm’s business and financial statements.

It sure is the case that every business is different; indeed, very different. People have a wide range of most interesting businesses; from technology companies, to firms involved in providing mining services, to firms developing life-saving medicines and medical devices, to large property development companies, to various retail businesses and to firms providing a wide range of services.

Some people learnt that it can be very difficult to have meaningful discussions when you are trying to finish your ASS#1 at the last minute. Generally, ‘back-ending’ your Assignments in this unit and doing them at the last minute is not a good approach. It is hard to be reflective and thoughtful and engage in discussions with others when you only have a few minutes until the deadline.

Studiosity

“Initially I wasn’t fond of the idea of submitting my work to Studiosity, as I generally don’t cope with criticism. Normally I just do assignments independently, submit my work and hope for the best.

To my surprise I found the feedback from my Studiosity tutor really helpful. They were delivered the criticisms in a positive way and the feedback was really useful. Some spelling mistakes and some grammatical errors were highlighted, an area in which I had repeated something I’d already covered earlier and some other helpful tips.

I will definitely use this service again, and encourage others to do so too.”

“Hi Evan.

Thank you so much for patiently waiting for your document to be reviewed. There has been an unexpected surge in submissions to our service which, unfortunately, has caused delays, so your file … is still in the queue.

Don’t worry – we’re going to get it back to you as soon as humanly possible.

Our sincere apologies for this delay and any stress caused as a result of it. 🌷 We’re working really hard, around the clock, to make sure you get the help you’re looking for.

Best wishes,
The Studiosity Support Team”

There were a range of experiences with using Studiosity, although many people found it useful and valuable. Many people indicated they would use the service again in their studies. And do you think the ‘unexpected surge in submissions’ to Studiosity may have been, at least in part, due to our unit having it as part of our Step 3 to submit draft work to Studiosity? I hope we did not cause the Studiosity team too much stress.

Occasionally, a few people also had some technical difficulties with using blogs. This is a feature of using web 2.0 technologies such as blogs; the technologies are still reasonably new, and developing, and do not always work perfectly. But they are getting better very, very quickly.

To the extent you have thought about your firm and its activities, and also had an initial look at your firm’s financial statements and gained some familiarity with them, and discussed with others your firms, you have laid good foundations for your ASS#2.

Step 4

“Initially, coming into this subject I was under the misconception that accounting was entirely maths related with a bunch of numbers that only accountants and ‘smart people’ could understand. I have always considered accounting to be far too complicated and complex for me to comprehend … To be perfectly honest when I found out accounting was one of my core units I was dreading it as maths and numbers have never been my forte.”

Step 4 (entering your firm’s financial statements into your spreadsheet) was generally very well done. A few people had trouble entering their firm’s Statement of Changes in Equity. For example, some people entered in the items of equity from their firm’s balance sheet instead of their Statement of Changes in Equity. If you did this, or made some other significant mistake in entering your firm’s financial statements, you need to correct it now so that you will be able to complete your ASS#2.

If you need any help with this, please contact me at m.turner@cqu.edu.au or your lecturer on your campus for assistance.

Step 5

“… the more I read the chapter the more I could see where the author was coming from. It was all about engaging the reader to actually think about what they were reading. This was really difficult for me, I am used to dealing with facts and definitions, and to some extent that is what I preferred but I realise now that is not really understanding what I am reading. I HAVE to engage with what I am reading and apply it to real life situations in order to really understand it, whether I like it or not.”

I was generally very impressed with how you approached your Step 5.

You had a wide range of responses and reactions to the readings. This is great.

Some people gained new insights about what accounting is, or might be, that are quite different to what they may had previously thought. For example, some people said they now understand that accounting is not just meaningless number crunching as they had thought it was, but that accounting has a purpose, a meaning: that it seeks to help us better connect to business reality. This led to the question, but how well does accounting do this? This is a key issue we will have the opportunity to explore in this unit with our own firms and with other people’s firms.

In your ASS#2, focus on not just giving your opinions and responses. After all, opinions are cheap, we can all have them. Instead, focus also on supporting your opinions with evidence and reasons from your prior knowledge and previous experience.

Step 6

“I found the feedback from others in the unit very helpful. Starting this assignment was very nerve-wracking, but the feedback from other students assured me that I was on the right track. I found this giving and receiving feedback process to be very important when it came to my confidence in my work.”

“I have to be honest here and say that I did not [always] find the feedback provided by other students to be … helpful. There were those who provided supportive, encouraging comments … but there were also those who seemed more concerned with getting feedback, rather than providing it. Comments were not [necessarily] constructive in helping me improve my assignment.”

Step 6 was generally quite well done. Many people commented on how useful they found the feedback from others (when it was ‘quality’ feedback); in particular, that it was encouraging and affirming for them, as well as pointing out ways they could improve their ASS#1.

But you know what? The main benefit in sharing feedback with others in our unit, is not for the person receiving the feedback. Rather, the main benefit is for the person giving the feedback. Why might this be? Well, a number of people found that as they were looking at other people’s work and giving their feedback against the marking criteria, they realised areas in which they could improve their own work. And also, when we seek to explain something to others, this can greatly help us to understand it better for ourselves. So, good quality, thoughtful feedback is a ‘win-win’ for both those giving and receiving feedback; but only if it is of a good quality.

In your ASS#2, you will have the opportunity to share your draft work with others and give them feedback. It is a great way to learn yourself and can be a great help to others as well.

There are also some really great blogs. For example, Becsunijourney from Rebecca Byrne is one of my favs – among many, many great blogs. Toni Daniel said of Bec Byrne’s blog:

“This is possibly the most visually appealing blog that I have seen, it suits my taste and style.  Bec has a wonderful way of writing, that kept me reading the whole blog!  I can relate to the busy working Mum dealing with the hazards of ‘in sickness and in health’, putting yourself last and having to deal with the backlog after.  Very nice blog, no doubt will be visited again!”

Toni Daniel

Another of my definite fav blogs is A Late Bloomer from Christine Smith (Distance – Perth). Her firm, Fleetwood Corporation, is based nearby Christine in East Perth. Christine is concerned most people in our unit will be on the east Coast of Australia (and may be difficult to connect with). This is true, but we also have many people studying with us from all across Australia, including some great students studying with us on our Perth campus and also in various parts of rural WA:

“About a week ago I spent what seemed like hours following as many blogs as I could see in the blogs forum. Since then I’ve made an effort to look at other people’s blogs, read their assignments, and have left them comments and other positive words such as wishing them all the best in their studies.  The most response I am getting is the occasional ‘like’ of a comment. I’m starting to stress about how I am going to have any substantial interaction with fellow students online. The on campus students have the advantage of face to face contact on a regular basis, being able to forge friendships and discuss assignments freely. The words ‘interact or perish’, are starting to resonate with me, and I’m starting to feel a little isolated over here in Perth.”

And as we have progressed in our unit, Christine has been discovering more and more people to connect with as we progress into our unit. And plenty of people have been commenting on her posts and interacting with her. One advantage of online communication is that it can reduce the ‘tyranny of distance’ and allow us to connect with people from many different locations.

And I have to mention Evan Spurway’s Chat Flow $$$. Great posts, Evan – and you are developing quite a following.

As many people have already, you should take some time to check out lots of other people’s blogs. You can find the links to them on the Blog Links Forum in the Communication section on the top right-hand side of Moodle. Also, many people have posted their top 3 blogs on their own blogs.

Thank you again for your ASS#1. I am greatly enjoying reading about your initial insights about your firms and their financial statements.

ASS#1 is just the beginning. In ASS#2, you will face the challenging task of restating your firm’s financial statements. This is a task designed to support you to think about what each item in your firm’s financial statements means (at an introductory level). This task will require you to identify which items in your firm’s financial statements are operating items, and which are financial; and to make a number of other judgements about your firm. Many people find this to be a challenging task at first, although I find almost everyone can do it very well in the end; particularly if they discuss and interact with others well.

Also, do not forget: your ASS#2 Step 1 is to be completed by 11.00am Monday 16 April (Week 6).

I know many people may have quite a few assignments in other units due in the coming weeks. So it is very important you start your ASS#2 as soon as you can. It is not an assignment you can leave to near the deadline to do. It is just not that sort of assignment.

And there is plenty happening on PeerWise. So far, we have together written over 1,400 questions and given over 20,000 answers to these questions; as well as given over 1,700 comments. It is a great way to review some of the key concepts in the readings each week; and can also help you a lot with your assignments.

All the best with your studies for the rest of this week and during our week break next week.

And I look forward to reading your ASS#2 Step 1 and to working with you as you prepare your ASS#2 over the next few weeks.

Regards

Martin

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