3 Ways Flipping the Accounting Classroom Benefits Instructors

A flipped classroom literally flips the traditional style of learning— instead of in-class lectures followed by homework assignments, students learn the material prior to class through online tutorials. Then they work on practice exercises and activities during class with the aid of the instructor. We recently covered how the use of the flipped classroom can increase student engagement. But what advantages are there for instructors? Read on to find out.

Better use of class time

The goal of teaching is for students to learn. Ideally, that means more than just temporarily memorizing facts—it’s about understanding important concepts to the extent that students can apply them in the ‘real world.’ This is especially true with accounting, where non-majors will benefit from practicable financial knowledge and majors will learn the vital skills they need for their future careers.

But when class time is taken up by a lecture, as in the traditional learning style, instructors don’t have much time to help students really understand the information they’ve just been given.

With the flipped classroom, it’s easier for instructors to meet learning objectives. Students learn the basic information before class; then, instructors can put their expertise to good use by answering specific questions and helping students apply their new knowledge.

Accessible lessons

Having lessons online in the flipped classroom helps instructors for a couple of reasons. For one, it saves them from answering the same questions over and over again. Of course, a little repetition can be necessary now and then, but when two class periods have been spent re-explaining the accounting equation, it probably feels like it’s time to move on. With the flipped classroom, this isn’t an issue. Students can view the lessons they missed or didn’t understand on their own time, allowing instructors to move at their preferred pace.

Online lessons also help instructors when they’re absent, whether they need to take an unexpected sick day or they’re going out of town. There’s no need to hunt down a substitute who probably won’t teach the material the right way or push back the semester schedule due to a canceled class. Instead, instructors can simply assign students to view the online lessons as usual.

Easier to gauge student learning

In the traditional classroom, homework is a way to ‘prove’ that students have been paying attention and learning in class. However, when all the instructor sees is a filled-out sheet of paper, it’s hard to accurately assess how much the student knows. Did this student really know the answer to every single problem, or did they just copy from someone else? Did that student get problem two on the worksheet wrong because they made a simple mistake in their math, or do they have trouble grasping the concept of debt ratio altogether?

These unknowns aren’t an issue when practice problems are done in class. Instructors can watch students as they complete exercises to figure out exactly where they’re going wrong; they can see which lessons need more work; and they can come up with better ways to explain. This level of insight assists instructors in making the class as effective as possible.


The flipped classroom can be a great model for teaching accounting, especially with the right resources. To easily implement flipped learning in your own accounting course, check out Paradigm’s new suite of AME Learning courseware, which includes access to the AME Engage™ technology platform.

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