Hyperbolic Browser for Erp Accounting System Pedagogy and Curriculum Management

By Swanson, Zane L. | Global Perspectives on Accounting Education, January 1, 2014 | Go to article overview

Hyperbolic Browser for Erp Accounting System Pedagogy and Curriculum Management


Swanson, Zane L., Global Perspectives on Accounting Education


INTRODUCTION

This is a developmental work of incorporating hyperbolic browsers in a knowledge management accounting systems and curriculum framework in university education. The study will work through the development theoretically and by way of example. Hyperbolic browsers can benefit academics in two respects: curriculum management; and information visualization of accounting in the classroom. Every accounting department faces issues of curriculum management. Over time, the accounting information/curriculum has become more complex. With increasing complexity comes a greater difficulty of administration with respect to coverage and control. A means to the end of better administration is application of knowledge management (Swanson and Hepner, 2011) in which hyperbolic browsers can be used as the information organizer. The motivation is efficiency within administration and the generation of welldefined documentation.

Information visualization is an issue in classroom accounting education. Instructors know accounting cycles and information systems but must convey them to students who many times cannot see the forest for the trees. Hyperbolic browsers give a big-picture overview and facilitate the mapping of transactions through an accounting system and accounting cycle. This mapping feature is of particular instructive value for ERP systems which are used in all top firms and most middle level firms. Due to the complexity of ERP, knowledge management then becomes a useful means to administer ERP and its application to various educational competencies (i.e., as evidenced by learning objectives). A substantive issue is: How does one navigate within the specific (detail) transactions in regards to the general (overall) reporting? One answer is information visualization with hyperbolic browsers. Hyperbolic browsers bring to the table the capability of making a graphic presentation of the ERP conduct of business (e.g., MicrosoftDynamics GP) and then following through the numbers to the financial statements.

The remaining sections of the development cover: a literature review of relevant information visualization including hyperbolic background, an ERP curriculum hyperbolic example, a classroom design formulation, and conclusions with future directions.

LITERATURE OVERVIEW

The literature overview has two areas of discussion. One addresses the idea of information visualization and the other specifically addresses knowledge management in accounting pedagogy.

Information Visualization

Two approaches to information visualization are discussed here. One is the approach commonly known as mind mapping. Wikipedia (Wikipedia, 2012) has a list of freeware mind map software at their web site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_concept-_and_mindmapping_ software. Mind mapping is generic and not a rigorous graphical methodology, but it does enhance student learning (Farrand et al., 2002). The Wikipedia site has several example pictures, and it is possible to make a graphic organization of any particular accounting system with one of the software packages. Note that individual users' preferences may affect whether one of the freeware programs meets a need or not.

The second alternative, which is utilized in the following analyses and examples, uses a hyperbolic browser methodology. Hyperbolic browsers are best defined by their purpose and application to facilitate the database navigation of hyperbolic space of data trees (Swanson, 2010). An axiom postulates that as the database becomes larger, the advantage of a hyperbolic browser becomes greater. This axiom is particularly applicable to large ERP accounting systems. In hierarchical databases of accounting information, as the number of nodes of tree structures grow, the visualization of the information becomes more difficult to comprehend for students. Similarly, curriculum management become challenging to manage with large/highly detailed programs. …

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