A professor from Baylor University is making the most of the challenges of the pandemic, using innovative content in her classroom to keep students engaged?and gather ideas she can implement in the future.

Laurie Burney, Ph.D., CMA, CSCA, associate professor at Baylor, was looking for a way to ?meet students where they are? this semester. She came up with a simple idea: Ask her students (she teaches advanced managerial accounting) to listen to IMA?s Count Me In podcasts and to complete an assignment.

She explained, ?The assignment for the students was three-fold: first, select a podcast you find the most helpful or informative and explain why you chose it; describe what you learned by listening to the podcast; and explain why your peers would also benefit from listening to that podcast.?

While initially Burney thought many students would pick the same podcasts, just the opposite happened. ?No two students picked the same podcast, which was pretty surprising,? she explains. Themes did emerge, however. Podcasts about data analytics were popular. Also popular: Podcasts about the impact of COVID-19 (and other podcasts related to crisis management) and those on ?soft skills? like confidence building.

Burney said that the information she gathered is helping her to understand more clearly where students? interests lie and will help her develop her curriculum for the fall. ?The pandemic prompted me to reconsider some of the ways I engage with students. Through this assignment, the students have learned some great content. I?ve also learned that listening to short, bite-sized segments about emerging topics in accounting and finance is a great way to get students exposed to real-world situations.?

She says the podcasts are especially beneficial for students because they ?give students a connection to practitioners who are working in the world of accounting and finance?and about popular subjects like business transformation, agile project management, technology, and much more.?

Burney also thinks that engaging students with the podcasts helps them to understand the breadth of resources available from IMA. ?Many of my students are just on the CPA track. Introducing them to these podcasts lets them see that IMA offers many resources, not just if they are interested in a management accounting career.?

All Count Me In podcasts are free to IMA members and nonmembers alike. The podcasts are available on a variety of platforms, including Apple Music, Google Play, Spotify, and Amazon Music, and typically run approximately 30 minutes or less. Visit the IMA website to learn more about Count Me In.?