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A strategy for using digital mindsets and knowledge technologies to move past pandemic conditions

Cherry Stewart (Department of Education, University of New England, Armidale, Australia)
Ashfaq Ahmad Khan (UNE Business School, University of New England, Armidale, Australia)

Accounting Research Journal

ISSN: 1030-9616

Article publication date: 2 February 2021

Issue publication date: 23 August 2021




The purpose of this paper is to discuss the theoretical concepts of adult constructive development (ACD) in response to a requirement to teach fully online during the COVID-19 lockdown. However, responses have been unique for many university educators, regardless of the roles they have in supporting students during this time. How each person approaches the changing context can be enhanced by an understanding of their mindset as defined by Kegan’s theory.


An accounting academic and educational designer combine their expertise and engage a “digital mindset” to guide the re-design of the management accounting unit incorporating strategies that encourage students to be self-reliant yet learn from a broad diversity of perspectives.


Unexpected changes within an educational environment may be the catalyse needed to force significant rethinking of pedagogical practice within the online teaching space.

Practical implications

This paper offers practical thinking and design tips for creating interactive learning and teaching programs to develop a positive and supportive approach that challenges and facilitates cognitive growth in student knowledge, skills and learning behaviours.

Social implications

Stimulating student interaction via the creation of interactive and dynamic online curriculum design teachers may communicate more effectively with students as well as sharing their knowledge and skills with each other.


The authors explore Kegan’s ACD framework (1982, 1998, 2009) within the context of tertiary teaching and learning design for management accounting. The authors propose online strategies for each of the levels of development in the form of supports and challenges.



Stewart, C. and Khan, A.A. (2021), "A strategy for using digital mindsets and knowledge technologies to move past pandemic conditions", Accounting Research Journal, Vol. 34 No. 3, pp. 345-356.



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