The Effect of Teaching Technology on the Performance and Attitudes of Accounting Principles Students

By Bates, Homer L.; Waldrup, BobE | Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, September 1, 2006 | Go to article overview

The Effect of Teaching Technology on the Performance and Attitudes of Accounting Principles Students


Bates, Homer L., Waldrup, BobE, Academy of Educational Leadership Journal


ABSTRACT

Improvements in computer technology and audio-video equipment have allowed accounting faculty to significantly change the way accounting information is delivered to students. Presentation software, such as PowerPoint, allows faculty to build well-designed slides that would be impossible with the traditional chalk, blackboard and overhead method. The research question examined in this paper is whether PowerPoint presentations significantly increase student performance and attitudes in the principles of accounting course. The results display no significant statistical differences in either student performance or attitudes between those sections taught using PowerPoint and those taught using the traditional method.

INTRODUCTION

Computer technology allows an accounting faculty member to change the delivery method of the accounting information provided to students. Recently developed teaching technology enables faculty to include graphics, scanned images, animation, sound, and access to Internet web sites. Presentation software, such as PowerPoint, allows faculty members to build slides in a well-designed format that would be virtually impossible to duplicate using the chalk and blackboard method. However, this new teaching methodology does not come without considerable cost. There are enormous costs for hardware, software, and faculty training and preparation time. Considering the substantial direct and indirect costs of "teaching" technology, a very important question is "Do teaching technologies actually help students learn?" The major objectives of this research project were to determine whether a particular teaching methods results in measurable performance effects among accounting principles students and whether there is an effect in the attitude of the students toward the accounting profession and toward their instructor.

PREVIOUS RESEARCH

Recently the pressure on university administrators and faculty to increase the level of technology in the classroom has intensified. Referred to as an academic technological arms race (Jackson, 2000), universities are routinely expected to compete for rankings such as Yahoo Internet Life's "most wired colleges." This pressure has become a centerpiece of debate on college campuses as can be seen by looking at virtually any edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education in the past five years (see for instance http://chronicle.com/infotech/wiredcampus.xml for historical references to these articles).

Previous research, primarily in the field of education, has demonstrated the potential of multimedia to enhance the learning process. Shank ( 1995) argued that multimedia-based instruction theoretically should promote student learning and retention. Many others (Pea and Gomez, 1992; Drook, 1994; Roberts, 1994; liebowit/ and Letsky, 1996; Jategaonkar and Babu, 1995) have developed successful applications of multimedia technology in the learning process.

Liu and Beamer (1997) provided anecdotal evidence that suggested positive pedagogical effects of multimedia in the classroom due to the ability to "attract, hold the attention, and spark the imagination of the viewer. However, Becker and Watts (1998) suggest that most academic professors have not kept pace with this technology sufficient to employ these advantages. From evidence in the economics field, Greenlaw (1999) found that the only definitive outcome was an increase in the initial workload of faculty for new course preparations.

Over a decade ago, the Accounting Education Change Commission (1992, 1993) provided guidance that recommended, among other things, the use of materials in the first accounting course that "enhance presentation ... consistent with current developments and new technology in the field...." Specific to the field of accounting education, Jensen and Sandlin (1992a and 1992b) strongly supported the use of technology in accounting education and provided information for those faculty interested in using multimedia approaches in the classroom. …

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