Original Research

Perceived pervasive skills acquired through educational games in an accounting undergraduate degree

Marelize Malan, Vanessa van Dyk
Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences | Vol 14, No 1 | a555 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jef.v14i1.555 | © 2021 Marelize Malan, Vanessa van Dyk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 February 2020 | Published: 25 February 2021

About the author(s)

Marelize Malan, College of Business and Economics, School of Accounting, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park, Johannesburg, South Africa
Vanessa van Dyk, College of Business and Economics, School of Accounting, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Orientation: Learning should be active, experiential and fun.

Research purpose: This study investigated the perceptions of students regarding the development of pervasive skills within an undergraduate accounting syllabus.

Motivation for the study: Game-based learning is an effective way to increase students’ knowledge, evoke intense involvement in a collaborative setting and promote effective learning, which could result in the development of pervasive skills.

Research approach/design and method: The perceptions of second-year students were gathered through a questionnaire with closed- and open-ended questions. The questionnaire sought to compare the two games that are played by the same set of students, one in their first year of study in a commerce module and another in their second year of study in an accounting module.

Main findings: It was found that students enjoyed both games, particularly their collaborative nature and how they could learn from fellow students. The students perceived that the Monopoly board game primarily developed strategic thinking, critical thinking and professionalism whilst the 60 Seconds game developed teamwork, time management and communication (listening). The two games were, therefore, seen as effective learning aids since skills development occurred both within a formal, mark-bearing game and in an informal game with no bearing on the students’ marks.

Practical/managerial implications: Learning through games can be interactive, practical and enjoyable and should be used as a tool to develop students’ pervasive skills.

Contribution/value-add: This study also showed that it is not always necessary to spend much resource on a learning supplement. Both games proved to be effective learning tool in the development of pervasive skills.


pervasive skills; student perceptions; game-based learning; accounting education; collaboration


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