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Promoting active learning in introductory financial accounting through the flipped classroom design

Camillo Lento (Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Canada)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 1 February 2016



The purpose of this paper is to describe a classroom design for introductory financial accounting that promotes active learning through a flipped classroom approach. A course learning management system, white-board voice-over video applications, an online homework manager and online tutorials pre-packaged with the course textbook were all adopted to facilitate the flipped classroom. The in-class sessions were refocussed around active learning strategies, including case analysis, concept mapping, solving comprehensive problems, mini lectures with bookends, and small group discussions.


A quasi-experimental design, combined with student surveys, are utilized. A Wilcoxon rank-sum test is used to assess the significance of any difference in student performance between a lecture-based course (control group, n=92) and the flipped classroom course (experimental group, n=97). Student performance is measured based on final exams and overall course grades.


The results suggest that the flipped classroom improved student grade point averages, final exam performance, and pass rates. Both the stronger and weaker students benefited from the technologies and active learning strategies adopted in the flipped classroom.


This is the first known study to investigate the efficacy of promoting active learning in introductory financial accounting through a flipped classroom design. This study is valuable for accounting educators, and educators in other similarly technical disciplines, who seek to combat the high failure rates that typically plague complex, technical introductory courses.



Lento, C. (2016), "Promoting active learning in introductory financial accounting through the flipped classroom design", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 72-87.



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