Engaging in CPD Ethics Training: Serious Games
The revised and restructured international Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (Code) was released by the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) in April 2018 and will become effective from 15 June 2019. Professional accountants around the world will be required to familiarise and comply with the code from this date.
What better way to become aware of the requirements of the code than to be immersed in case studies with ethical implications, ascertain the consequences of various scenarios and make ethical decisions. Academic staff from RMIT University’s School of Accounting have worked with industry to build a ‘serious game’, a uniquely designed digital simulation to provide a distinctive learning experience. The game is designed for players at any stage of their professional career, whether they are at the beginning of their accounting educational journey or, accounting professionals needing an update to become familiar with changes in ethical requirements through continuous professional development. Learners will be provided a transformative learning experience, as well as be prepared for the globalised world and work environment. For those well advanced in their career, this ethics training is vital in keeping up-to-date with professional ethical obligations. Professional accountants will be able to claim three CPD hours of ethics training after completing RMIT University’s School of Accounting engaging cutting edge gamified offering. As Dr Gillian Vesty explained “serious game development is not only important for authentic learning and assessment, but is also an exemplar of RMIT University’s strategy to embed industry in everything we do”.
Serious games combine entertainment and enjoyment with a mental challenge or contest using computer-based digital offerings. Serious games are educational in nature and designed to align specific pedagogy, associated rules and strategic learning objectives. The serious gaming industry is a growing multi-billion enterprise used in higher education and professional training, strongly supported by governments around the world. Serious games are increasingly being used by companies as part of simulation and virtual environment-based training and are commonly embedded in domains such as health, engineering and science. They are useful and effective because they not only engage learners but they provide a safe way to experiment and practice in difficult situations. Accounting educators at RMIT University have built momentum and expertise in this space and are proud to support the global accounting profession with innovative tools that contribute to its advancement.
RMIT University’s School of Accounting first gamified CPD offering comprises a three hour package of material. It brings the restructured Code to life in a fictitious company, Bogart. Players are initially welcomed into the company as new senior accountants. They will meet colleagues including the senior management team and will be inducted into their new position. Through the learning and game mechanics, players are motivated to progress through a series of stages to practice their skills and ethical decision making. The engaging storyline is designed to follow a series of rules that match carefully constructed business scenarios and payers are required to make a series of choices in their journey of learning The learning outcomes in the game specifically align the different gamified scenarios with individually hypothesised and modelled ‘what-ifs’ based on the requirements and conceptual framework of the Code. It is okay to fail in this serious game as the player is provided with feedback and challenged to try again until mastery of the application of the Code is accomplished. The designed choices in this serious game allow players to select alternative paths in their ethical decision making processes. The non-linearity feature contributes to the reusability of this game as it is designed to be played several times to determine the alternative possible outcomes.
This serious game focuses on Part 1 of the Code, exploring the Fundamental Principles and Conceptual Framework, which apply to all professional accountants inclusive of members in public practice and in business. Once the player has completed the game, they will receive feedback on their choices and be provided with a series of short animated talks on the elements of the game and how their actions link to the Code’s Fundamental Principles and Conceptual Framework.
Bogart is the first in a series of professional ethics case studies. RMIT University’s School of Accounting will extend its accounting educational CPD offerings and the Bogart case study by shortly introducing the other parts of the Code.
Upon completion of the digital learning module, learners will be able to demonstrate:
Practical skill in the application of the requirements of the restructured Code
Awareness of professional and ethical responsibilities and consequences of ethical decisions
Accountability for actions as a professional and in line with ethical and professional obligations.
The game is designed to align with the professional body qualifications and the CPD requirements of members in business and in practice.
If you would like to know more about the micro-credential and be involved in endorsing the offering, please come and see us in our stand at WCOA. RMIT University is the Academic Partner of WCOA.
For more information on the game, contact
or find us at WCOA2018 for the full experience.