Really Engaging Accounting Island:

This is our Island on Second Life where you will complete four homework assignments. But these assignments are just some of what can be done here to help you master financial accounting. Many times I've been asked, Why Second Life? The answer to that is both simple and complicated. Basically, the more time you spend working on accounting the better you will do overall. Most people will prefer to spend time in an engaging environment vs. in a class with a book. To that end in addition to doing homework you will be able to view my lectures within this environment (both the Live in-class lecture captures and my PPT lectures on the content). Additionally, there will be collaboration areas where you will be able to interact with the spreadsheets I use in class to work out problems, to interact with me during Second Life office hours, and most importantly to interact with each other, etc. You can do all this with others, and this may not seem important but actually is, humans are social animals and we learn BEST in social groups. As most students will consume this class in an entirely online fashion there isn't much capability for social learning, Second Life provides a place for this. As the new CEO of Linden Labs (creator of Second Life), states: "Second Life is unique as it sits at the intersection of virtual worlds, avatars, and human contact". The assignments have been developed to target the KEY concepts that are critical to your understanding of the concepts needed to fully succeed in this course; the accounting equation and the function of debits and credits. It sounds easy (and to some it actually will be) but to the average student these things can pose conceptual problems and the ability to visualize and interact with what are otherwise intangible concepts can be beneficial. But where do you get started? See the next section for answers.

Orientation:


An orientation area is available for you to get started working with the learning objects you will encounter on Really Engaging Accounting and this is what it looks like. Similar information is presented below for each of the learning objects described below:

OrientationStations.png This video will show you how to get started with these orientations:




Places:

Arrival Area:

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This is where you first arrive onto our Island. From here you will be able to access the HW assignments areas to the debit and credit sides and the amphitheater where you can watch my lectures. Upon initial arrival, click on the box that says "Click me for Help". This will provide you with a landmark that will be placed in your Inventory which will allow you to return to our Island if you leave it to explore Second Life. It will also provide instructions on how to set your "Home" area to our Island, giving you an alternative way to get back. If you always access ReallyEnagingAccounting from here.

Homework Area:



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Debit Side of Island (Get it?)





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Credit Side




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Credit Side, Multi-Levels














These are the area where you will be completing assignments. Depending on the assignment, what objects you see in these area will differ. You can do the assignment in any of these areas, and you can stop and start again anywhere. These areas can get quite crowded on the day an assignment is due (kind of like the lines in the testing lab) so I recommend, as much as possible, not waiting until the last day to do the assignment. The area can hold about 60 avatars at one time so if you do complete the assignment on the last day, to be courteous to your fellow students, log-off as soon as you submit your HW and verify that I have it.

Amphitheater:


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Lonely Avatar, Share Accouning Lectures with Him!

The Financial Accounting Theater is where you can come to watch any of the PowerPoint based video lectures or on the days of class watch a live stream of the classroom lecture capture video. While you're there chat with your fellow students if you don't understand something, take notes using Second Life Notecards, send me Tweet questions using the days #hashtag and I'll answer them after class. And then after a class lecture view the worksheets I used in class on the study/collaboration area tables, just click the tops, they are really web pages, check it out (note: no sound on this video):








Lecture Viewing Area 2:

This is another smaller location where you can also watch lectures, there are two screens so multiple people can watch different things.


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Office and Collaboration Building:


The building on our Island will provide you access to my office (3rd floor), where you reach me during my Second Life office hours (see syllabus for days and times). On this floor will be other ways to interact with me including using Meebo to IM me if I'm not on SL and you have a question, collaboration tables and walls which will provide you access to collaborative spreadsheets to work on exercises and problems from class. The 2nd floor will contain interactive tutorials to help you with your homework assignments, and the first floor contains video walls to review how to use any of the learning objects on the Island, as well as HW confirmation signs to check that your HW has been properly submitted and received.

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Using the Tutorial's:




Assignments:


You will do 4 assignments utilizing Second Life during the semester. These assignments are geared towards providing you with a way to fully grasp the foundation of financial account: The accounting equation and how to use debits and credits when working with the accounting system. You will use the accounting equation model to test your understanding of these concepts, once you feel you understand the concepts you will complete assignments by writing the answers on notecards and submitting them via HW boxes. To learn how to use these objects please visit the orientation area on our Island (see above). Instructions and videos for using these objects can also be accessed via our wiki.

3-D Accounting Equation:


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3-D Accounting Equation


This may not look like anything more than a few squares, but its the accounting equation: Assets = Liabilities + Owners Equity. But if you understand this equation and how the system of accounting manipulates the different parts in order to keep track of company resources, what it owes non-owners, what it's owners own, how much revenue its able to generate and how much expense it has for a particular, then you will understand financial accounting. So as you do your assignments using this model think about that accounting system and how it works because if you understand the concepts you can account for any type of business transaction.

T-Account:


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T-Account with Accounting Cube


So how does the accounting system maintain and manipulate that accounting equation to keep track of the effects of business transactions on it? Why with debits and credits of course. The debits and credits are the Inputs to the accounting system, which processes them to maintain balances in all the various accounts that are important to the management of the company. Learning how the accounting system uses and processes debits and credits is key to your understanding of financial accounting. You'll use debits and credits to make the accounting equation pictured above work, but you will also be able to practice the impact of a debit's and credit's on particular accounts using the t-account. The t-account is the representation of each account that a business deems important enough to track the impact of business transactions, how to you indicate within the account that a transaction has increased the amount of say Inventory that you have to sell? How do you indicate that you've sold Inventory and thus have less on hand to sell? Two words: Debit and/or Credit.