Thursday, January 7, 2010

Introduction -- Teaching (Financial Accounting)

My name is Joe Hoyle and I am on the faculty of the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond. I am half-way through my 39th year as a college professor. During that time, I have been fortunate enough to win a few teaching awards. Most notably, I was named the 2007 Virginia Professor of the Year by CASE (the Council for Advancement and Support of Education). In addition, in 2006, Business Week named me “One of 22 Favorite Undergraduate Business School Professors in the United States.” I also manage to make 3-4 teaching presentations each year in locations that range from Las Vegas to Tampa to Philadelphia.

In January of 2010, FlatWorldKnowledge will publish a Financial Accounting textbook that I wrote along with C. J. Skender of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We have worked on this book now for over three years. During that time, we spent a considerable amount of time thinking about teaching and student learning.
--How do you engage students in 2010?
--How do you help them to think critically?
--How do you get them to do the work necessary so that they can learn effectively?

Simple questions to ask but complex questions to answer.

As a result of all this contemplation, I want to share with you some of my thoughts on the learning process as I teach Introduction to Financial Accounting here at the Robins School of Business starting on January 11, 2010. I plan to write this blog as I teach 25 sophomores here in Richmond.

I am not trying to convert other professors to my style of teaching. It is a style that works (usually/sometimes) for me. You need to develop a style that will work for you. What I am hoping to do is to give you some ideas. It is as simple as that. If a few of my ideas help you, I will be thrilled. However, I already know that all of the ideas will not work (for me or anyone else). But you must try things to find out what works. I am hoping this blog will stimulate my thinking about education as well as your thinking about education.

When I give teaching presentations, I challenge every person in the audience to work to get 5 percent better as a teacher over the next year. I think that is a reasonable goal and one that can (over time) have a radical impact on higher education. In fact, at one school where I led a teaching discussion back in September, the teachers formed a “5 Percent Club” after I left with that very goal in mind. I could not have been more pleased.

So, my goal on this blog is to make myself 5 percent better as a teacher in 2010 and maybe give you some ideas that will help you reach that same goal.

Two final comments:

--This blog is about my teaching of Financial Accounting. However, I hope that 95 percent of my comments will apply to the teaching of any course from history to biology. I believe that good teaching practices cut across all disciplines.

--If you would like more information about me and my ideas, here are a couple of sources.

(A) – I have a free on-line book of teaching tips that you are welcome to download at http://facultystaff.richmond.edu/~jhoyle/ I get emails on a regular basis from teachers around the world who have found some helpful ideas in this book.

(B) – Last year, I was chosen as the first speaker for the Last Lecture series here at the University of Richmond. In that speech, I talked about the thrill of teaching. The video of that Last Lecture can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjwHxVbZq1o I think that video tells you about as much as I can think of about my feelings towards this wonderful, wonderful, wonderful profession.

And, finally, my email address is Jhoyle@richmond.edu – let me know if you have suggestions, questions, hints, ideas, complaints, etc.

Joe Hoyle
Associate Professor of Accounting
Robins School of Business
University of Richmond

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