Teaching internal control through active learning

Document Type



Published in the Journal of Accounting Education, volume 32 issue 2, 2014. Bryant users may access this article here.


Active learning; Interactive; Internal control; In-class competition; Accounting education; AIS education



Publication Source

Journal of Accounting Education


This teaching note presents the use of an in-class competition that actively engages students in learning about the basics of internal control in an organization. Student feedback and instructor’s observation suggest that this active learning approach is effective for three primary reasons: (1) it focuses on the student’s own personal experience resulting in the fact that students can more easily relate to the examples created by their peers; (2) it empowers the student; and (3) it creates a competitive, active-learning environment. This article provides a detailed description of an interactive lesson that innovatively guides introductory accounting students toward understanding the basic principles of internal control, a topic getting more and more important in AIS education in post-SOX era. Furthermore, the detailed materials at the end of the article provide ready-to-use teaching materials and related instructions to facilitate implementation.