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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Basic Financial Statements

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Oct 03, 2001 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: Basic Financial Statements is an electronic mini-book published by Studyfinance.com that provides a self-paced introduction to financial statements and the following financial statement concepts: the accounting equation, double entry accounting, the classified Balance Sheet and the Income Statement (non-classified format). Three 4-5 question practice quizzes are included at the end of the accounting equation, double-entry accounting, and balance sheet segments.
Learning Goals: Upon completion of this tutorial, students should be able to: understand the accounting equation; know the implications of double entry accounting; distinguish between debits and credits; understand what a balance sheet illustrates about a company; and know how an income statement is compiled
Target Student Population: This module would be appropriate for an introductory financial accounting course at either the high school or college level.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None
Type of Material: Tutorial
Technical Requirements: Internet Browser

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The written explanation for each concept is clear and concise with excellent use of illustrations, particularly a graphic that explains how increases and decreases in liabilities, owners? equity, revenues and expenses affect assets. Each segment is self-contained and presents an adequate amount of material for users to grasp all concepts.
Concerns: Some outdated/incorrect terminology is used, e.g. ?Capital Surplus?, ?Adjusted Income?.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Learning objectives are identified in the module overview. Progression through module segments is intuitive. Explanations are clear and concise with an excellent use of illustrations to demonstrate concepts. Relationships between concepts are explained and prior concepts are reviewed or repeated at key points during the progression. Quizzes, particularly, explanations of incorrect answers serve to teach as well as review and test concepts.
Concerns: Practice exercises are limited to only three, 4-5 multiple choice questions. While feedback is provided, it is only after all questions have been answered rather than on an item by item basis.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Page layout and design is attractive with an effective use of color, shading and text boxes to accentuate key concepts. Terms are emphasized in an attractive and pedagogically effective way. For example, users can click on any Balance Sheet or Income Statement account to reveal a pop-up definition. Topic headings are displayed on all pages so users always know where they are within the module. Page linking is efficient. Users can enter and exit module segments without having to complete the entire tutorial. Content can also be printed for offline review. Finally, the style of writing employed is very user friendly and easy to comprehend
Concerns: The table of contents (opening page of the module) would be enhanced if each major segment were listed with each subsection within identified. The heading ?Balance Sheet Overview? is a link to a quiz but not identified as such. Font size is rather small which might make reading the material somewhat difficult. Pop-up definitions on financial statement elements while interesting are often trivially brief.