European Financial and Accounting Journal
European Financial and Accounting Journal
European Financial and Accounting Journal
Faculty of Finance and Accounting, University of Economics, Prague

European Financial and Accounting Journal 2017/2

Who Said Accounting Was Boring? Let’s Play Cards. The DAC Project


[full text (PDF)]

Néstor Lázaro-Gutiérrez, Irene Barainca-Vicinay, Ana Bilbao-Goyoaga

Accounting is often regarded as an abstract –and hence, boring– subject by students, although it is strongly linked to real life. In this paper, an experimental activity is presented as a complementary tool to theoretical classes in the subject Introduction to Finance Accounting, taught in English at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). This article aims at showing the use of the DAC project as a methodology that will help foster the motivation of those students as well as their understanding of the basic accounting concepts. Using several traditional card games, the authors expect to create a user-friendly learning environment, where the students feel motivated towards their self-learning construction process and can, at the same time, become comfortable with the basic accounting concepts and terminology in a CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) English subject. After a thorough revision of the literature on games being used for educational purposes, we explain how the DAC Project works in class, identify the main impacts on learning, analyse the outputs and reach some relevant conclusions. The main results of the literature consulted show that using cards in Higher Education produces significant improvement.

Keywords: Cards, Introduction to Financial Accounting, Serious games

JEL Classification: A220


American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 2017. Sample Teaching Strategies and Techniques for Accounting courses. Available from: <>. [10 July 2017].

Arquero M. J., Donoso A. J., 2004. Análisis de las motivaciones de los estudiantes de contabilidad. XI Congreso de ASEPUC, Granada.

Arquero, J., Byrne, M., Flood, B., González, J., 2009. Motivaciones, expectativas y preparación de los estudiantes: un estudio sobre los estudiantes de contabilidad en la Universidad Española. Revista de Contabilidad-Spanish Accounting Review 12, 279-300.

Azis, S., Mat, M. K., 2008. Using Games in Accounting and Finance Class. Compass 2, 21-24.

Barclay, S. M., Jeffres, M. N., Bhakta, R., 2011. Educational Card Games to Teach Pharmacotherapeutics in an Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 2, 1-7. DOI: 10.5688/ajpe75233.

Bee, S., Hayes, D. C., 2005. Using the Jeopardy Game to Enhance Student Learning of Accounting Information Systems (AIS) Exam Material. The Review of Business Information Systems. 1, 69-78. DOI: 10.19030/rbis.v9i1.4471.

Bénabou, R., Tirole, J., 2003. Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation. Review of Economic Studies 3, 489-520. DOI: 10.1111/1467-937x.00253.

Biggs, J., 1987. Student Approaches to Learning and Studying. Australian Council for Council for Educational Research, Hawthorn.

Cherry, K., 2017. Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Motivation: What is the Difference? 3 May 2017. Very well. Psychology. Available from: <>. [10 July 2017].

Corral-Lage, J., Ipiñázar, I., 2014. Aplicación del aprendizaje basado en problemas en la asignatura Contabilidad Financiera Superior: Ventajas y desventajas. Tendencias pedagógicas 23, 45-60.

De George-Walker, L., 2010. Self-determined blended learning: a case study of blended learning design. Higher Education Research and Development 1, 1-13. DOI: 10.1080/07294360903277380.

DeLong, M., Winter, D., 2002. Learning to Teaching and Teaching to Learn Mathematics: Resources for Professional Development. Mathematical Association of America, United States of America, 168.

Deterding, S., Dixon, D., Khaled, R., Lennart, N., 2011. Gamification: Towards a Definition. CHI Conference paper ,Vancouver, 3.

Glover, I., 2013. Play as You Learn: Gamification as a Technique for Motivating Learners. In Jan Herrington, Alec Couros and Valerie Irvine, eds. Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications, 1999-2008. VA: AACE, Chesapeake.

Goikoetxea, E., Pascual, G., 2005. Aprendizaje cooperativo: bases teóricas y hallazgos empíricos que explican su eficacia. UNED. Facultad de Educación 2; 227-247. DOI: 10.5944/educxx1.5.1.392.

Gonzalo Angulo, J. A., Garvey, A. M., 2007. Ética y enseñanza de la contabilidad (una propuesta de discusión). Contaduría Universidad Antioquía 50, 11-42.

Helliar, C., 2013. The Global Challenge for Accounting Education. Accounting Education 6, 510-521. DOI: 10.1080/09639284.2013.847319.

Jaijairam, P., 2012. Engaging Accounting Students: How To Teach Principles of Accounting in Creative and Exciting Ways. American Journal of Business Education (AJBE) 1, 75. DOI: 10.19030/ajbe.v5i1.6706.

Kouyoumdjian, H., 2012. Learning Though Visuals. Visual Imagery in the Classroom. Psychology Today. Available from: <>. [01 July 2017].

Odenweller, C. M., Hsu, C. T., Dicarlo, S. E., 1998. Educational Card Games for Understanding Gastrointestinal Physiology. Advances in Physiology Education 1, 78-84.

Rajashekar, R. K., Bellad, A., 2016. The effectiveness of educational card games as a supplementary educational tool in academic performance. Indian Journal of Clinical Anatomy and Physiology 1, 4-7. DOI: 10.5958/2394-2126.2016.00002.5.

Rastegarpour, H., Marashi, P., 2012. The effect of card games and computer games on learning of chemistry concepts. Social and Behavioral Sciences 31, 597-601. DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.12.111.

Raux, D., Smith, W., 2007. Effectively using active and online learning to help students with weak retention of prerequisite skills succeed in intermediate financial accounting. Review of Business Research, 5 (7). ISSN: 1546-2609

Riley, R. A., Cadotte, E. R., Bonney, L., MacGuire, C., 2013. Using a business simulation to enhance accounting education. Issues in Accounting Education 4, 801-822. DOI: 10.2308/iace-50512.

Rollings, A., Adams, E., 2003. Game Design. New Riders, Indianapolis.

Ryan, R. M., Deci, E. L., 2000. Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist 1, 68-78. DOI: 10.1037//0003-066x.55.1.68.

Tanner, M. M., Lindquist, T. M., 1998. Using MONOPOLYTM and Teams-Games-Tournaments in Accounting Education: A Cooperative Learning Teaching Resource. Accounting Education 2, 139-162. DOI: 10.1080/096392898331225.

Vician, C., Mortenson, K. G., Daigle, R. J., Houston, S., Hayes, D. C., Watson, M., Henderson, D., 2017. Integrating Accounting Themes with Enterprise System Experiences : An Accounting Department’s Journey. AIS Educator Association 1, 34-58.

Žižović, M., Kaljević, J., Pantelić, I., K. V., 2014. Multicriteria Approach to Organization of Teaching Accounting. Unitech - International Scientific Conference, Gabrovo Proceedings.