American National University

“Monopoly ” Offers a Fun Learning Opportunity

For students in Timothy Whited’s accounting class at the Princeton Campus, “Monopoly” is always an exciting activity, and a day that everyone looks forward to.  While it is difficult to decide which term to apply to a credit or some type of expenditure, playing Monopoly makes the task of journal keeping and logging expenses and credits more real and enjoyable.

Each class is assigned to work in groups of four, according to Timothy.  Each turn counts for one day’s financial activity, and a log and financial journal must be kept for each transaction.  Thirty turns are taken in order to be able to account for a monthly log of expenditures.  Each sale and purchase must be accounted for as well. 

Prior to playing the game, Timothy explains any extra rules, and distributes a packet of materials including logs, journals and ledgers.  He insists that whatever property a student lands on during the first seven plays, the student must buy.  In this way, everyone owns some property.   Each student must also buy housing and hotels, and document rental expenses and rental income, which covers debits and credits in the ledger.

There is a place for utility and transportation expenses and rental income.  There is also a jail expenditure (if needed), as one cannot waste time and good business sense staying in jail beyond one turn!
Student Stephanie France said, ‘I enjoyed playing Monopoly, because it used real life scenarios and terms used in accounting class.”

Timothy mentioned that the students can each become quite competitive, and in addition, win extra credit points for doing a good “real world job” of correctly recording the outcomes of the game.  All in all, Timothy said that when Monopoly is played, he has the best class attendance and that he sees it as a good way to integrate real skills with cooperative learning and good old fashioned fun!

Instructor Timothy Whited with the Monopoly game that he uses as a unique teaching method. 

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