The aim of the project is to create a multimedia course on the topic of “cost accounting” to analyze, explore and evaluate the potential and the limitations of open learning resources.
High withdrawal rates are a major issue for most MOOCs, i. e. the proportion of participants actually working through the complete course is relatively small. Although some approaches have been developed to address this issue (like establishing off-line learning groups, awarding certificates, etc.), in many cases these attempts did not prove to be sufficiently successful. Therefore, MOCCA will further supplement the existing approaches by telling a fictional story which is carried forward from session to session.
In concrete, MOCCA-participants accompany an entrepreneur from founding his one-man-start-up-company until it develops into a global player. As the company grows, new cost accounting issues arise while others get more complex (e. g. the financing challenges of a start-up significantly differ from those of an multi-million-euro company or managing overhead costs only becomes relevant after the company actually ramped up administrative functions).
We expect that using this approach of “digital storytelling” will enhance the identification of the participants with the acting subjects and could create some curiosity about their next challenges. Moreover, it will lower the barriers for the participants to dive into the concepts of cost accounting, which are commonly perceived as abstract, complex and somehow unattractive. Overall, a continuous, compelling and convincing background story should be a helpful factor to preserve the motivation of the participants and enhance their “stickiness” to the course.
The results created by the MOCCA-project will be provided as OER. As cost accounting is a mandatory subject in practically every study program related to business & economics and (at least) an optional subject for many other students (engineering, informatics, etc.) the academic target group is quite large. Moreover, the MOCCA-approach of demonstrating how cost accounting practices are applied to solve “real world problems” exemplified by a fictional company will also raise the interest of practitioners. Finally, the course material will be used to establish an “inverted classroom”-setting for students of business psychology at the HFT Stuttgart (University of Applied Sciences Stuttgart). For this group, MOCCA will be accompanied by regular and mandatory sessions with extensive opportunities for exercise, interaction and discussion. In this setting, students can also provide direct and near-term feedback, which will be a valuable input for evaluation and further enhancement of the course.
Learning materials like video tutorials, worksheets or self-assessments are provided via learning management systems. Other common elements of MOOCs (like expert interviews and -chats, tutorial support etc.) will initially be omitted to avoid an overload of the available resources. Nevertheless, as the project is a priori designed for a high degree of scalability, it should be quite easy to integrate these elements in later stages of the project.
Adam (1997): Philosophie der Kostenrechnung, Stuttgart
Hommel (2011): Kostenrechnung – learning by stories, 3rd. edition, Frankfurt
McLellan (2005): Digital Storytelling, Köln
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