At the end of the fall 2013 semester, I made myself a movie director…well, maybe not a movie (yet), but it is a short video illustrating the importance of being organized and diligent when taking an online class in accounting. After teaching financial accounting class online for a few semesters, I found that some students are extremely successful – while others struggle a lot. This time, I decided to ask a successful student to share his experiences – hopefully students after him can learn a few tricks before they start – or at least know what they got themselves into!


Many thanks go to the OEL staff, the graduate student instructor Brad Mikus, and my start student Nicholas. The completed video is here:


Classroom turing into trading floor

In my BUS 421: accounting information systems class, I have a module that requires students studying business processes and building an accounting system. Since accounting is about record keeping for business transactions, I make students “trade” with each other. Everyone in class serves as both buyer and seller, and everyone needs to come up with an idea of products or services they want to sell (and buy). In the process, students learn how to keep the transaction documents (for a complete audit trail) and record the transaction in an AIS. This is a fun activity and I do this for both traditional or online section. I always enjoy seeing how students jump outside the (accounting) box and practice their marketing skills!

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Trading floor in classroom
Trading floor in the virtual world (for online section)

Guest from far far away

In October 2013, I was honored to welcome Professor Shu-Jou Lin to visit School of Management from National Taiwan Normal University. When I was in Taiwan this year with study abroad students, Professor Lin was one of the NTNU faculty members who gave us the warmest welcome on earth! They organized student buddy (which was a HUGE help for the group leader like myself), company visits, and classroom immersion experiences. Professor Lin is also well-known in her research field, and she is in Michigan for a research trip. Welcome Professor Lin!

Pictured with Dean Johnson and visiting scholar Prof. Lin
Pictured with Dean Johnson and visiting scholar Prof Lin

Sync class that is not constrained by distance

I coordinated a sync class focusing on a case discussion with MBA students from UM-Flint and National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) in Taipei. With the input from my colleagues (both of them marketing professors at UM-Flint and NTNU) students thousand miles apart were able to contribute to a case discussion about Walmart’s marketing strategy in China. The new classroom with necessary IPTV equipment built by the School of Management had just finished construction and immediately was put to a good use. The quality of video and audio was amazing – you don’t really feel that people on the screen are actually 11 time zones away!

Read about the story published  by UM-Flint News here:

UM-Flint MBA Students Connect with Taiwan via Technology

The same story was also published by NTNU’s press office (in Chinese):

A new page of life in Beijing

A former student of mine, Feben Teklemicael, who is a proud graduate of UM-Flint BBA-Accounting program, contacted me recently and shared her new adventure: master’s program in Tsinghua University, China. Feben went to China after she graduated from UM-Flint, got into a Chinese language program in Beijing, received a scholarship and started her master’s degree program in computer science. For her, it’s definitely an adventure. We wish you all the best, Feben!

Congratulations, Michelle!

A former student of mine, Michelle Tolin, won a competitive IIA scholarship recently. This scholarship is sponsored by the Detroit Chapter of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). She won this scholarship by completing an essay ” Discuss the benefits of using social media in the internal audit process and provide specific examples“.¬† She was one of my best students in BUS421 in the winter semester that ended in April. See the link to the IIA’s announcement here:

I am very excited to be involved with IIA here. They really provide great opportunities to students. Thanks IIA!

New welcome video for online class

I participated in UM-Flint Office of Extended Learning’s online course redesign project. This is a great workshop for online instructors! One of the projects I did was to make a new welcome video for students online. Folks in OEL have really put efforts into this thing – they used HD camera and professional lighting equipment to shoot the video (feel like I am a movie star!) I am so delighted with the result. This video was first launched in my BUS421 Accounting information systems in summer 2012 semester.