Experiential Learning In Action

The “firsts” just keep coming for The Accounting Friars! In our July 21st posting entitled Teaching Has Taught Me, we published our first-ever “personal reflection essay.” Professor Faith Lamprey, in writing about her teaching experiences, described an experiential activity by a team of students from an Accounting Information Systems (AIS) class.

Her essay inspired Professor Sonia Gantman, the instructor of that AIS class, to respond with her own personal reflection essay. We’re delighted to publish it below, as our “first ever” interactive social media discussion.

The reflection essay of Professor Lamprey describes how a team of Accounting Information Systems class students helped her to gain a new insight into processes in her own company. This is a great opportunity to see experiential learning in action.

The AIS experiential learning project is challenging for students. It forces them to do many things that they did not do before – reach out to companies, interview people, convert their notes into business documentation. For many of them it is also the first team project where they have to distribute tasks and manage interdependencies. The challenges of the project offer students incredible opportunities for learning and growth, and for those who are eager to learn and aren’t afraid of hard work, it enables them to use these opportunities to expand their business acumen and acquire skills that are essential for their future careers.

Experiential learning projects are also challenging for instructors! Every project is unique, each teams works on a different process in a different organization. I meet with every team several times during the semester, read and comment on the drafts of their documents and reports, help them brainstorm and get to “aha” moments. Working with teams throughout a semester allows me to witness the learning process as it happens and brings me tremendous fulfillment. The students’ experiential learning in my AIS class is a great opportunity for me to grow as a teacher and as a mentor, and working with new processes and organizations every semester is a great way to stay current with trends in the industry.