Integrating Research into an Undergraduate Accounting Course

34 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2010 Last revised: 9 Jan 2012

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Date Written: December 1, 2010


Consistent with educational theory, research studies in accounting education substantiate claims of the benefits associated with active learning. This paper describes how I integrate research into an undergraduate accounting course using a pedagogical approach which fosters active learning. Throughout the course, students read and discuss excerpts from accounting journal articles related to class topics. These readings are intended to enhance students’ understanding of the topics and develop their awareness of how accounting research and accounting practice are related. After becoming familiar with research articles and the research process, students are then challenged to complete a research study following the scientific method, in which they investigate research questions corresponding to the course content and test hypotheses using archival data. Results from a survey created to assess this research experience reveal that 94 percent of respondents indicated this project substantially improved their level of knowledge, skills, and abilities related to accounting. I supply instructional tools for faculty interested in implementing a similar program.

Keywords: undergraduate research, active learning, curriculum innovation, critical thinking skills

Suggested Citation

Irving, James H., Integrating Research into an Undergraduate Accounting Course (December 1, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

James H. Irving (Contact Author)

James Madison University

United States

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