Exploring new ways of teaching financial accounting

Conceived by Prof. Garen Markarian, Faculty of HEC (UNIL), a pedagogical innovation project has just been launched in the rather rigid field of financial accounting. Thanks in particular to the support of the CSE (Centre de Soutien à l’Enseignement, UNIL) and the design work of Stella Jermann, an Interactive Media Designer apprentice at UNIL, a new wind is blowing through the way this subject is taught at HEC Lausanne.

Faced with ever-increasing class sizes, traditional teaching methods had reached their limits, and were no longer able to generate the interaction with students required for effective learning.

With this in mind, Prof. Markarian set about rethinking the format of his courses. He decided to opt for a flipped classroom concept, making a series of educational videos available to students for free viewing. The aim is to help them fully integrate the material studied before moving on to the next phase of learning: group work.

While this concept is not new in itself, its implementation marks a turning point.

Key elements: Visual Design

What sets this project apart is its creative visual identity, designed by UNIL’s Interactive Media Designer apprentice, Stella Jermann.

Her work, which was awarded the bronze trophy at IMDAward, transformed accounting videos into an educational, fun and entertaining experience. With dynamic animations and motion design, these videos offer an engaging spectacle around a dry subject (see a sample video).

Professor Markarian emphasizes the importance of these elements in learning. “Stella has a talent for creating interest from scratch. Without that, I don’t see how accounting videos could hold students’ attention for 90 minutes.” Feedback from students confirms the positive impact of this approach. Not only does it make learning more enjoyable, it also improves retention of information.

With around twenty videos now available, there is real potential to extend this method to other courses. In conclusion, this project embodies the continuing evolution of higher education towards more interactive and engaging methods.