financial accounting memes

financial accounting memes

The Importance of Memes in Financial Accounting Education

1. Introduction to Memes and Their Role in Education

The current research examines the use of memes in the classroom and, specifically, in a financial accounting classroom. The use of images in educational media such as slides, handouts, and websites is by this point nearly universal. “Memetic” images often make their way into these materials due to the impact that they can have on content and student engagement. This article examines the impact that the use of these images can have in the classroom – specifically, within the field of financial accounting. The benefits for educators are numerous, with the use of such images operating to foster higher levels of critical thinking and content retention. The impact on critical thinking could also challenge the efficacy of employing these memes within the undergraduate classroom; however, limited evidence is reported here.

In the world of teaching and learning, memes can be used to highlight useful or amusing information about a particular idea or topic. A good meme can also unlock new knowledge and understanding about any given subject. Memes can clarify an idea and help individuals create relationships and meaning by expressing that idea in a new way. Furthermore, the association between the new idea and the existing meme could potentially strengthen the meaning of the meme, allowing for new memes to be created and understood.

From kittens to Kermit, hipsters to inspirational slogans, memes are everywhere. Originally coined by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, a meme is a contagious information pattern that replicates by parasitically infecting human brains and incentivizing their widespread transmission. In other words, a meme is a sort of cultural gene that spreads by leaping from brain to brain via a process of imitation.

2. The Evolution of Memes in Financial Accounting

It has often been said that common dated cliché phrases and humorous stories motivate students to learn. Jonathan Swift said, “The latter part of the first day and the whole second day of the voyage were fair and pleasant and full of comfort and good company, but I will not tire you with repeating the conversation, or the number of times that I was forced to argue the case, or the various opinions of the common seamen that sailed with us, concerning our course, when the wind was fair, and the weather good. It was time enough to hold an argument (as they called it) since no lady could dispute in a more agreeable manner, or make use of worse reasons to avoid being convinced” (1909, p.342). Everything old is new again! At one time, it was Lady Wilhelmina Smiff who had dumb comments to reinforce that learning is still active. Rachel Ash said, “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact” (Wilde, 1997, para. 2). With the advent of social media, communication gurus, such as Peter Shankman, teach that employees intentionally want company executives to get the message quickly; they don’t want the memo to go through four levels of handlers and have five dumb comments added to it. Enter memes. With technology, people offer their “dumb comments” without heavy strings. Financial accounting is an ideal topic for memes and a course laden with “dumb comments.”

3. Impact of Memes on Student Engagement and Learning

The innovation in this research centers on the effectiveness of memes as a reinforcement of the learning process in financial accounting education. A meme is an amusing or sharp-witted cut that conveys or expedites transmission of an idea from individual to individual in a society. Memes demonstrate considerable influence and occupation in everyday communication, especially within social media. This sphere of humor has not been investigated quite often as an educational tool. There is motion within the literature that humors a collective educational process, but little research intersects memes and accounting education. Despite the fact a few other research forays have incorporated humor and comedy using other jokes, frequently the most recent memes are snazzy, amusing, playful, and amusing. This process of perception by the millennial generation and those people with charge of higher learning could not advocate that other types of humor could maintain that level of association. By omission, then, it might stand to reason that memes are communicatively patronized. To the best of knowledge or the authors’ capabilities, no research has properly estimated the effectiveness of memes relative to the impact of other educational humor vehicles in the knowledge domain or field of financial accounting.

The topic of concern here is whether memes serve as an effective and engaging reinforcement of learning in financial accounting education. We do acknowledge that demonstration and assertion of attitudes prior to implementation have limitations. However, it is unwise and scientifically unfounded to simply assume that the existing humor is ineffective or there are no benefits until proven otherwise. The use of humor in education has demonstrated some positive effects in general teaching and learning. It enhances perceptions of pupil and course content, ameliorates academic performance, and escalates interest in relation to curriculum delivery and competencies. The advantages of humor in education are particularly attributable to the constant alteration in modes of learning and mixing things up to fit the contemporary generation of pupils or students. The intent is that this research serves to stimulate increased novel research in the field of financial accounting by evaluating the effectiveness of memes aimed at impacting behavior and student interest or attention as measured by student perceived amusement and their effect on examination performance or student understanding of the concepts.

4. Best Practices for Using Memes in Financial Accounting Education

With the practical best practices provided in this paper and an increased understanding of the value of memes, faculty teaching financial accounting courses may become more comfortable facilitating the use of memes in their classrooms. In addition, by incorporating these best practices, faculty can help to ensure that the use of memes achieves the intended pedagogical objectives. As our undergraduate business students become accounting professionals, they will share these educational experiences with future managers and co-workers. Therefore, promoting a sense of innovation in the classroom can prepare students for the ongoing reality of adjusting to the demands of a fast-paced changing environment in the industry. To encourage students to actively engage with financial accounting topics and to develop a practical and critical understanding of the concepts presented, memes can be an effective pedagogical tool to stimulate interest and provide a conduit for creation and meaning.

Based on our experience of using memes in our financial accounting courses, we offer some best practices for encouraging meme creation and incorporating memes into the learning process. To ensure quality memes that are related to the financial accounting knowledge being presented in class, instructors should provide instructions that clearly outline the learning objectives for the meme. Most instructors may be unwilling to risk valuable class time in order to dedicate precious minutes to meme instructions, but that time spent discussing memes can become part of the class and helps to create an educational trend of a fun and creative learning process. We recommend that faculty place a strong pedagogical emphasis on meme creation requirements by including these activities within assignments worth more substantial portions of the overall financial accounting course grade. Finally, memes should be collected from students so they can see the evolution of memetic relation as the semester progresses.

5. Future Trends and Innovations in Memes for Accounting Education

Memes may have a strengthening role in diversification or be beneficial in acknowledging a global classroom, so future research could also explore if this is true, and to what extent. The recent rising cultural complexities in financial accounting curricula may affect not only the professor but also the students, who may feel that their own personal identities are at odds with the subject or the learning of the subject. Exploring if the use of student-made memes can increase inclusiveness, respect, and a sense of community could provide valuable insights to professors. Other elements, related to personalization and interactivity, may also benefit from the use of student-made memes as a class project.

The second suggestion involves memes’ relationship with stress in the context of financial accounting education. Memes are said to be stress-relieving, so exploring if the use of memes as a medium for serious pedagogical content, or especially for assessment, reduces any negative long-term stress from learning financial accounting and also creates an environment more conducive to psychological safety can offer future research opportunities.

The following suggestions serve as ideas for future research for those wanting to gain insights into the most effective memes, medium, or method for a particular learning outcome or group. The first suggestion is related to the comparison of the meme effect with other pedagogical expressions such as flow theory, just-in-time learning, or visual-based teaching aids. Determining if memes require less processing or are more effective is conducive to insights about the human learning process and the role of humor in the learning process.

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