Accounting education and the role of educational technology

Ryder, Michael J. (1983) Accounting education and the role of educational technology. (MPhil thesis), Kingston Polytechnic, .


Professional accountancy bodies currently have a combined membership of some 130,000 in the U.K. and about 25,000 new students are registered annually on courses which include accountancy. The education of prospective members of the profession is an important subject for investigation. Various educational research designs were considered, and an illuminative approach was adopted to study the Foundation Course at Kingston Polytechnic. The results of the examination papers in accounting were analysed over a four year period. From the analysis it was found that students did less well in certain topics, particularly when the answers required an element of essay work. These results led to a review of learning systems, to discover if there were alternative methods of tuition which would improve results, particularly where the examination performance indicated a difficult topic. The reports reviewed suggested that, although some learning systems were successful the great investment in preparation time and the high risk of the system not surviving staff changes, would inhibit their use. The purchase and use of commercial products were a way of reducing the staff preparation time, and a survey of such accounting material was undertaken. It was found there was very little available and that most of it would not be suitable for an Accountancy Foundation Course. Computer Assisted Learning was reviewed. It was concluded that there needed to be a flexible approach to using educational technology. In accounting, the cost of introducing alternative tuition methods to topics in which students were already achieving good examination scores by traditional means, did not seem justified. However, in those topics where performance was weaker, alternative approaches were needed. This, together with the need for accounting students to be very familiar with computers and computer systems, strongly suggested the need to develop computer assisted learning models in some accounting topics.

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