Advertisement

Measuring the Effect of Innovations in Teaching Methods on the Performance of Accounting Students

An Empirical Study Into the Relationship Between Learning Objectives, Teaching Methods, Knowledge Levels and the Performance of Students in an Accounting Context
Chapter
Part of the Educational Innovation in Economics and Business book series (EIEB, volume 7)

Abstract

Research on teaching methods that are employed in courses in abstract subject areas such as mathematics, physics and also accounting, shows that traditional methods of instructing and evaluating students still predominate to a large extent, based on teaching and evaluation methods such as lectures and multiple choice exams8. However, there are also examples of instructors or institutions that have either revised individual courses or have redesigned their entire curriculum to modernize and improve the educational process9. Teachers that are engaged in improving the educational process by looking for new and innovative ways to design their courses or organize their curriculum, inherently face the problem of measuring the impact of such changes. Usually, the effect of course revisions is measured by using student evaluations or changes in exam results. The primary argument of this article is that such instruments may provide an inadequate basis for evaluating the impact of educational changes on student performance. This premise was based on the experiences taken from the revision of an intermediate accounting course for business economics students. In the course discussed in this article the passing rate for the final written exam had been a problem for a number of years as less than 50% of the students passed the course exam, indicating that the applied teaching methods did not adequately prepare them to meet the course objectives. However, the annual student evaluations of this course revealed that the quality of this structure was rated satisfactory and students typically complained only on minor practical elements of the course that should be improved. These mixed signals eventually resulted in a project involving teaching staff, students and educationalists in which the structure of the course was re-evaluated through re-examining the learning objectives and the instructional design of the course. New learning objectives were specifically aimed at teaching students cognitive strategies to apply existing knowledge on accounting procedures in a new (unfamiliar) setting. From the objectives defined, a new instructional design was developed explicitly aimed to meet the course objectives. Given the inconsistent results of the student survey and the exam results, a research project was undertaken to assess the consequences of the changes in educational methods that were adopted.

Keywords

Teaching Method Case Description Procedural Knowledge Cost Allocation Declarative Knowledge 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anderson, J.R. (1990). Cognitive Psychology and its Implications, 3rd edition. New York, NY: Freeman.Google Scholar
  2. Bonner, S.E. (1994). A Model of the Effects of Audit Task Complexity. Accounting, Organizations and Society, Vol. 19, No. 3.Google Scholar
  3. Bonner, S.E. (1999). Choosing Teaching Methods Based on Learning Objectives: An Integrative Framework, Issues in Accounting Education, Vol. 14, No. 1, February.Google Scholar
  4. Bonner, S.E., and Walker, P.L. (1994). The Effects of Instruction and Experience on the Acquisition of Auditing Knowledge. The Accounting Review, Vol. 69, No. 1, January.Google Scholar
  5. Chang, C.J., Ho, J.L.Y., and Liao, W.M. (1997). The effects of justification, task complexity and experience/training on problem/solving performance. Behavioral Research in Accounting, Vol. 9, supplement 7.Google Scholar
  6. Chi, M.T.H., Feltovitch, P.J., and Glaser, R. (1981). Categorization and representation of physics problems by experts and novices. Cognitive Science, 5.Google Scholar
  7. Dow, K.J., and Feldmann, D.A. (1997). Current approaches to teaching intermediate accounting. Issues in Accounting Education, Vol. 12, No. 1, (Spring).Google Scholar
  8. Gagné, R.M. (1984). Learning outcomes and their effects: Useful categories of human performance. American Psychologist, (April).Google Scholar
  9. Gal, J., and Garfield, J.B. (1997). The assessment challenge in statistics education. Amsterdam: IOS Press.Google Scholar
  10. Giacomino, D.E., and Akers, M.D. (1998). An examination of the differences between personal values and value types of female and male accounting and non-accounting majors. Issues in Accounting Education, Vol. 13, No. 3, (August).Google Scholar
  11. Herz, P.J., and Schultz, J.J. Jr. (1999). The role of procedural and declarative knowledge in performing accounting tasks. Behavioral Research in Accounting, volume 11.Google Scholar
  12. Hill, M.C. (1998). Class size and student performance introductory accounting courses: further evidence. Issues in Accounting Education, Vol. 13, No. 1, (February).Google Scholar
  13. Keef, S.P., and Roush, M.L. (1997). New Zealand Evidence in the Performance of Accounting Students: Race, Gender and Self-concept, Issues in Accounting Education, Vol. 12, No. 2Google Scholar
  14. Kirch, D.P., and Cavalho, G. (1998). The delivery of accounting in the problem-based learning environment. In R.G. Milter, J.E. Stinson, and W.H. Gijselaers, (Eds.), Educational Innovation in Economics and Business, Vol. 3. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  15. Libby, R. (1993/1995). The role of knowledge and memory in audit judgment. In: Ashton, R.H., and Ashton, A.H. (Eds.). Judgment and decision making research in accounting and auditing. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Libby, R., and Hun-Tong, T. (1994). Modeling the Determinants of Audit Expertise. Accounting, Organizations and Society, Vol. 19, No. 8.Google Scholar
  17. Libby, R., and Luft, J. (1993). Determinants of Judgment Performance in Accounting Settings. Ability, Knowledge, Motivation and Environment, Vol. 18, No. 5.Google Scholar
  18. Philips, F. (1998). Accounting Students’ Belief About Knowledge: Associating Performance with Underlying Belief Dimensions. Issues in Accounting Education, Vol.13, No. 1, (February).Google Scholar
  19. Porter, B., and Carr, S. (1999). From strategic plan to practical realities: developing and implementing a zero-based accounting curriculum. Issues in Accounting Education, Vol. 14, No. 4.Google Scholar
  20. Stout, D., and Monahan, T. (1998). Longitudinal Assessment of Case-Based Teaching in the Required Undergraduate Cost Accounting Course. In R.G. Milter, J.E. Stinson, and W.H. Gijselaers, (Eds.), Educational Innovation in Economics and Business, Vol. 3. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Economics and Business AdministrationMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtthe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations