Category Archives: Featured

Online Learning vs. Classroom Instruction

With the rise of online learning in recent years, students have more options with which to accomplish their educational goals. They can take a course, or even earn a degree, entirely online, receive

Image courtesy of sixninepixels at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of sixninepixels at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

traditional classroom instruction, or utilize a combination of these options, either throughout their curriculum or within a single course. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages depending on factors such as personality, learning style, time commitment, and computer literacy level. Understanding these influences can help you construct your course, whether it is in class or online, to ensure that your students receive the best learning experience.

Some of the benefits of online instruction are:

Increased flexibility – Students can access an online course at any time from any computer with internet connection, whether that be at home, the library, or a café. This makes it easier to fit a course into their schedule when they have responsibilities like work, children, or other commitments, in contrast to a traditional class, which would only be offered at certain times that may not fit the student’s schedule and preclude that student from taking the class.

Can be tailored to different learning styles – Many online courses come with a variety of resources, like videos, simulations, links, and articles, and the student can choose which resources to use according to how they learn best. Online courses also allow students to manage the pace of their learning, as opposed to having to adjust to the pace of their instructor and classmates. They can skim material that they already understand, while devoting more time and concentration to lessons which require more of their efforts to learn.

Encourages participation in class discussion – The relative anonymity that online courses offer can make students who might not speak up in a classroom more comfortable with participating in online discussions, which can contribute more ideas and add to the learning experience of all the students in the course.

The advantages of classroom instruction are:

Immediate interaction with instructors and peers – Classroom instruction offers in-person access to the instructor and classmates. Students can ask questions and contribute to class discussions, as well as receive answers and feedback immediately, rather than waiting for their instructor or classmates to see their posts or e-mails online. Hands-on activities and group projects can further enhance students’ learning experience. And interacting with instructors and peers in person can also better facilitate personal and professional relationships.

Offers a set schedule and structure – For students who may not quite have the self-discipline and time-management skills to complete an online course, traditional classroom instruction can provide that needed structure and motivation to successfully complete the work. Having a set schedule to attend class can help students manage their time more effectively, and having to submit work and take tests in person, which will eventually be graded and handed back in person, adds a certain sense of accountability that students may not feel in an online course, where those same interactions feel more anonymous.

Fewer technology requirements – For students that do not have access to a computer or internet at home, or who don’t have the level of computer literacy necessary to take an online course, a classroom course is beneficial for receiving on-site assistance from their instructor with any technological issues or questions they have.

We offer solutions that will optimize your students’ classroom and online learning experiences and help them attain their educational goals. Contact us at Labyrinth Learning to learn more about our full solutions for business and accounting courses, and also beginning- and intermediate-level computer courses.

Important Misconceptions Students have about Learning

misconceptions that students have about learning
Source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In order to get the most out of their education, students need to be able to learn efficiently and in a way that encourages them to retain the material, rather than simply forget it once the test is over. Understanding some common misconceptions that students have about learning will assist you in designing a curriculum and teaching style that fights these misconceptions and results in well-educated, prepared students.

Misconception #1: Knowledge is just a slew of facts.

A common student misconception about learning is that building knowledge is about learning more facts. In reality, knowledge is being able to tie these facts together, see how they relate, and understand their deeper meanings. Making sure you explain how individual concepts are related to one another will help break through this misconception.

Misconception #2: Natural talent, not hard work, makes someone good at a subject.

Provide your students with feedback throughout the semester, letting them know that their work is paying off and that they’re improving. They’re not just naturally talented; they’ve been putting forth effort to succeed.

Misconception #3: You can learn effectively while multitasking.

This common student misconception about learning is quite detrimental. Student think they learn well while also doing other things. Set policies, such as no texting during class, to encourage them to focus on the singular task of learning. They’ll find they have an easier time absorbing the material.

We invite you to contact us at Labyrinth Learning to learn about our accounting software for college students.

How to Effectively Improve Student Group Work

improving student group work
Source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Having your students work in groups is a great way to promote teamwork and problem solving skills. While educating your students is your priority, promoting teamwork is incredibly important as it is a skill that everyone needs in life in order to succeed. The following are a few tips for improving student group work:

  • Emphasize the reason for group work – Before you begin forming your groups, make sure that your students understand why the task is to be done in groups instead of on an individual basis. Students often think that group work is a way to avoid having to teach the class or make grading easier – dispel this notion immediately!
  • Teach students how to work in groups – Students often don’t know how to work in groups. Provide information on how each member needs to take responsibility and how they should relinquish individual priorities or goals for the favor of group goals.
  • Provide reasonable work and clear goals – Obviously, the task should be bigger than a single individual can complete, but you don’t want students to struggle in completing their assignment either. Make sure the goal is clear as well so that the groups know what they are working toward.
  • Provide class time – It can be difficult for students to schedule meetings outside of class. Provide class time for groups to meet.

These are some tips for improving student group work. For additional effective teaching advice, be sure to contact us at Labyrinth Learning today.

Preparing for the Future of Higher Education

Source: morgueFile
Source: morgueFile

Whenever there is an innovation disrupting the world of higher education, it’s easy to try and ignore it and label it as just that – a brief disruption. However, the future of higher education is based off of innovation, which means that keeping up with new innovations is a smart thing to do. The following innovations could mean big things for the future of higher education:

  • Analytics – Analytics tools will allow you to predict the success of students, improve student support services, measure the achievement of learning outcomes and much more.
  • Competency-based education – Competency-based education is based on the idea of awarding credits for mastery instead of traditional credit hours. This gives students a chance to accelerate their time to degree due to the ability to acquire knowledge and skills outside of the classroom through life experience.
  • Personalized learning – Personalization has become a focal point for marketing and retail, and it makes sense that it could be implemented into education. By providing students with individualized learning pathways, you can tailor activities and readings to the needs and interests of students.
  • Open educational resources – Higher education is expensive as it is when not accounting for the need to purchase textbooks every year. Open educational resources on the web make it easier for students to do research and save money, as well.

These are some of the innovations that could change the higher education for the better. Contact us at Labyrinth Learning for additional teaching resources.

Teach Students Accounting by Playing Monopoly

how to teach accounting with Monopoly
Source: morgueFile

Teaching new subject matter can sometimes be difficult – one way to get information across easier is by using an activity that students are already familiar with. For example, you can actually use the popular board game Monopoly in order to teach students accounting. The following are tips on how to teach accounting with Monopoly:

  • Ask your students to use profit and loss sheets while playing the game and to predict expenses and income as they go. Make it so that a single trip around the board equals a single month on their profit and loss statements.
  • Compare the management of personal and business expenses in real life with playing the game by highlighting the importance of anticipating their expected income and their expenses. Discuss what happens if they don’t plan properly, using examples of losing businesses and homes in the game to mirror real life consequences.
  • Require that receipts be written out whenever money is used within the game, whether it’s for purchases or for paying rent. These receipts will be used for when the students are writing up their profit and loss statements.
  • Ask your students to create a graph that compares their initial predictions with their actual expenses and income to see how things change as the rounds progress. This will help them see whether they became better at making financial predictions or worse.

Use these tips regarding how to teach accounting with Monopoly. Contact us at Labyrinth Learning for additional teaching resources and advice.

How Often Should Professors Lecture in the Classroom?

how often should teachers lecture in class
Source: Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to teaching a classroom of students, making sure that you have their attention is incredibly important. This means that you should vary your lesson plan a little bit instead of having lectures every single class. However, lectures are still very important, so how often should teachers lecture in class?

Deciding whether you should give your students a lecture is largely dependent on the content you are trying to get across. You don’t want to rely solely on lectures, and you certainly don’t want to repeat what your students are reading and learning on their own – this is simply regurgitating the material and making them more dependent on you instead of their own study habits.

There are a lot of things to consider. For example, maybe you know that the students will have trouble with particular content from past experience, which means a lecture can help make the content more clear to them. Maybe the lecture helps set the foundation and context of the content, thereby giving the students a chance to deal with the content from a place that is expediting their understanding.

When you do decide to give a lecture, make sure that you connect with your students. Ask questions that are intriguing and get your students thinking. Add anecdotes to make the content more entertaining. Don’t just paraphrase from the textbook.

How often should teachers lecture? That depends on the content and your experience. Contact us at Labyrinth Learning for additional teaching tips.

The Promising Future of Accounting

future of accounting
Source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Trying to decide what area to study when going to college can not only be difficult, it can be downright scary. All you have to do is look at the economic landscape – many college graduates are struggling with repaying their massive student loans as well as in trying to secure employment in their chosen field of study. Fortunately, those who are studying to become accountants can feel safe in the knowledge that the future of accounting looks bright.

The new wave of accountants entering the job market have a lot to offer, so it should come as no surprise that they are excited about their future. Accounting students were recently asked about their thoughts concerning the future using Conferences.io, an interactive conference participation software, as well as MBSN (management by sticky notes). Accounting students were also asked what they wanted from their future employers.

Using the Insights to Action process, accounting students provided questions as well as comments on everything from the history of the profession, the future of the profession and the current state of the profession. Much of the information from the presentation was recorded or filmed and has been organized by hindsight, foresight, and insight categories.

Find out what accounting students think about the future of accounting and what they expect from their accounting careers and employers. For additional information on accounting and for information about our educational products and services, be sure to contact us at Labyrinth Learning today.

Join us at one of Our October 2014 Educator Conferences

2014 Educator Conferences
Source: Facebook.com/labyrinthlearning

At Labyrinth Learning, we aim to transform classrooms by providing materials that make it easier for instructors to teach, and easier for students to learn. If you’re interested in learning more about our mission and the steps we are taking to achieve it, consider attending one of our 2014 Educator Conferences.

We are going to be attending several conferences coming up this fall. Find the one that’s nearest to you, and make plans to attend today.

  • October 12th – 13th: Hot Springs, Arkansas
  • October 15th-17th: Acme, Michigan
  • October 23rd-25th: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • October 30th – 31st: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • November 6th – 9th: Baltimore, Maryland
  • November 20th – 23rd: Orlando, Florida

At each of these conferences, we will have a display set up and knowledgeable staff present to answer all of your questions about our software and learning programs, and how they can benefit both you and your students. Take the time to read about Labyrinth Learning’s growth over the last few years, and look over some of our materials. You can also order review copies to see for yourself whether our materials are the teaching solution you’ve been looking for.

Conferences are a great way to spread new ideas and rehash older ones. We’re happy to be a part of these events. You can see our 2014 Educator Conferences schedule on our website. Contact us if you are interested in giving our materials a try or to learn more about our mission.

How Computer Literacy can Prepare Students for the Workforce

computer literacy
Source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Those who are able to use computer programs effectively are referred to as “computer literate.” While the ability to use computers was a specialized skill several decades ago, it is now nearly essential for students who wish to find a place in the work world. Here is look at a few benefits of being computer literate when trying to enter the workforce:

  • Basic computer skills will help students through the classes they take in college, which will prepare then for the workforce. Many college courses are now at least partially computer-based.
  • Knowing more advanced software, such as QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel, will set your students apart from candidates who have only basic word processing skills.
  • The more efficiently an employee can use a computer, the more work they’ll be able to get done in a day. Productivity is a valued skill in today’s workplaces.
  • Knowing how to use the internet makes communication easier. Harnessing the power of social media and instant messaging services enhances the ability to work remotely, which is becoming more common in recent years.
  • Employees with great computer skills are often placed in leadership roles, where they can help other employees boost their computer skills.

The benefits of being computer literate are never-ending. We are dedicated to providing students and instructors with the software they need to enhance learning in their subjects, and also bolster computer skills. Contact us at Labyrinth Learning today to learn more about our selection of software.

Take Advantage of Our Comprehensive QuickBooks Pro 2014 Set

QuickBooks Pro 2014Learning (and teaching) QuickBooks has never been easier than with the QuickBooks Pro 2014: Comprehensive Set. This package includes everything your students need to learn QuickBooks and utilize its applications in real world settings. Built for the benefit of both the student and the instructor, QuickBooks Pro 2014 gives you the resources you need to reduce prep time and create the most effective instruction sessions.

At Labyrinth Learning, we love the QuickBooks Pro 2014 set for the following reasons:

  • A “Behind the Scenes” feature makes connections to accounting principles, giving your students a better understanding of the way that QuickBooks works.
  • The material has been approved for the QuickBooks Certified User Program, so your students can enter their exams well prepared.
  • The new, expanded payroll section in QuickBooks 2014 offers more detailed instructions for entering payroll from an outside source than precious versions.

As an instructor, you are bound to find QuickBooks Pro 2014 convenient and effective. Several features serve to simplify the instruction process, so you can spend more time addressing students’ questions and less time fumbling with software:

  • An included e-lab license gives you access to pre-built course material which you may choose to use.
  • The e-lab grading tool allows you to upload student assignments for instant assessment. You can also manage grades with e-lab.

If you’re interested in learning more about QuickBooks Pro 2014: Comprehensive Set, as well as our other software instruction packages, contact us at Labyrinth Learning.