Swansea University professor uses VR to teach tax students

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An associate professor at Swansea University is using virtual reality (VR) to teach students about taxation.

Quick read

➨ Terry Filer is using VR to give students real client experience as part of a capital allowances taxation exercise

➨ AgorIP, supported by Swansea University and the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh government, are backing the project

➨ Filer recently won an award for using the technology

The story

Terry Filer is using VR to give students real client experience as part of a capital allowances taxation exercise.

Using the technology, students get to experience tax in the real world by virtually visiting client premises to identify assets eligible for a capital allowances claim.

According to AgorIP, which is supporting the project, the approach will ensure Swansea University students have the real life experience needed for them to stand out compared to other applicants for graduate accounting or taxation roles.

AgorIP, supported by Swansea University and the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh government, brings together academics, clinicians and businesses to invest in and commercialise technology research.

Filer, who recently won the Course Award for Technology Enhanced Learning in the Swansea University SALT teaching awards for using the technology, has worked with research officer Dr Marc Holmes on the VR project.

She is currently the associate professor of accounting and taxation at Swansea University, based in the School of Management, following on from a career of more than 20 years in accounting practice, public sector and industry.

She said: “The idea came to me during a HEA Conference in July 2017 where I wanted to provide students with more real life tax experiences.”

“When working with Dr Holmes on the app, I was aware that there was no one else teaching tax using VR globally, hence why we decided to pursue its commercialisation and marketing.”

“Using the technology, students will have the opportunity to experience tax in the real world by virtually visiting client premises. This approach will ensure Swansea University students are work ready and stand out compared with other applicants for graduate accounting or taxation roles.”

Technology transfer officer Berna Jones, who has been working with Filer on the project, said: “The virtual reality app is an innovative way of teaching taxation to students which provides an opportunity to understand how learning comes together in real life.”

“Now, the VR students can virtually walk around their client’s premises and identify the eligible assets for taxation. It has been a privilege to work with Terry and Marc to make capital allowances claims fun!”

Image credit: AgorIP