What game-based learning looks like in financial accounting
With a quiz app, students in economics can learn and do good.
Financial Accounting students can not only acquire knowledge in lectures and exercises, but also learn with a special quiz app and do good in the process. In the app, they playfully learn new things about financial accounting and can check their own learning status. All this is paired with elements and challenges for which there are RUBine, the in-app currency, to collect. The RUBine are converted into real donations to charitable organizations.
For example, in the summer semester of 2023, 2,500 euros were earned by students. This value was doubled by partner companies. “We were thus able to donate 5,000 euros to a good cause. Specifically, the money went to Doctors without Borders, People for People and various student initiatives at the Ruhr University,” says Prof. Dr. Martin Nienhaus, who co-developed the FINACC app.
From the idea to the project plan
Together with Dr. Matthias Nienaber, postdoctoral fellow at the department, he worked for a year and a half on the idea of developing a quiz app for students to learn. “Both of us have always been interested in the topic of gamification and how it can affect learning behaviors. During some coffee calls during the pandemic, we thought about how the digitization jolt could be perpetuated in the future to make teaching more digital in the future. So it made sense to combine the beautiful with the useful, and so a crazy idea suddenly became a real project plan,” says Nienhaus.
The programming was done by an external technology company. Students from the Faculty of Economics tested the app and provided feedback before the FINACC app was used for the first time. The app was funded by teaching innovation grants from the faculty and the FAACT (Finance, Accounting, Auditing, Controlling and Taxation) department, as well as money from the practice partners BDO, Deloitte, IVC and mazars.
The fundraiser motivates
Shari Etteldorf was one of the first to use the app for learning. “Through the app, you could get in-depth knowledge about the content topics of the lectures and check what you took away from the lectures,” she said. But most of all, she said, the fundraiser motivated her to try out the app. New quizzes and challenges were frequently uploaded after lectures. “This allowed me to see what I remembered from the lectures in terms of content and practice applying knowledge. The explanations that faded in for the correct answers were also helpful. In addition, the combination of the quizzes and the challenges asked questions repeatedly, which made it easier to memorize and remember certain topics,” she says.
For the 2023/2024 winter semester, Nienhaus and Nienaber have requests for how the app should be further developed. “We are currently working flat out on micro-learning units in Infinite Scrolling format. The content is reloaded in such a way that when you scroll, you get the impression that it is infinite. With this, we want to test a flipped classroom concept in our lectures. We’ve also just received additional funding that will allow us to bring augmented reality into the app,” says Nienaber.