The Impact of an Online Homework Management System on Student Performance and Course Satisfaction in Introductory Financial Accounting

The Impact of an Online Homework Management System on Student Performance and Course Satisfaction in Introductory Financial Accounting

Victoria Fratto (Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA), Magda Gabriela Sava (University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA) and Gregory J. Krivacek (Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICTE.2016070107
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Abstract

Educators in all disciplines are searching for effective educational technologies that help students learn. One technology that has evolved is the online homework management system. The online homework management system permits professors to use the Internet to assign homework problems that students can complete online. Since this system is automatic, students can receive feedback instantly. The researchers designed this study to determine if the use of an online homework management system as an educational complement was an effective way to improve student performance and course satisfaction in an introductory accounting course when compared to traditional accounting pedagogy. The results of this study show the use of an online homework management system is an effective way to improve student performance and course satisfaction in an introductory accounting course when compared to traditional pen-and-paper homework.
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Literature Review

The best teaching and learning methods within a first accounting class are continually questioned and contested. The design and delivery of an effective introductory accounting course is a challenging task for accounting educators since the class is composed of a large majority of non-accounting majors (Tickell, Lim, and Balachandran, 2012). Furthermore, the first course in accounting is an important foundation for business students’ future academic work (AECC, 1992).

Face-to-face methods or traditional models with the professor transmitting factual information to passive recipients have dominated introductory accounting courses for many years. While these methods may be an efficient way to convey information to students, it often leads them to demonstrate low content mastery and deficient in understanding of concepts when compared to other approaches (McKeachie, 2002). Also, these methods have been criticized because they don’t develop the analytical and critical thinking skills that are needed to compete in the global environment (Lily and Tatnall, 2009). Furthermore, failure rates in introductory accounting courses are coming under scrutiny (Sargent, Borthick, and Lederberg, 2011). The Accounting Education Change Commission (AECC, 1992), and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA, 1999) encourage accounting educators to provide active learning opportunities, to integrate the creative use of technology into the curriculum, and to help students become self-regulated learners, particularly in introductory accounting courses (Saunders and Christopher, 2003).

Additionally, stakeholders have challenged accounting instructors to help students become self-regulated learners so they can effectively cope with changes in regulations and technology (Wyer, 1993). Technological tools can permit students to become active participants in the learning process rather than passive recipients and can improve student learning by giving students convenient access to review material and immediate feedback (Gaston, 2006). Agosto et al. (2013) argues that learning opportunities based in technology enables students to effectively analyze problems, to apply critical thinking skills, and to increase their expertise in the use of technology. Incorporating technology using an online homework management system within a face-to-face environment is potentially beneficial for the student as well as the instructor.

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