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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Interactive Worksheet: Accounting concepts and conventions

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

3.4 stars
Content Quality: 3.5 stars
Effectiveness: 3.3 stars
Ease of Use: 3.3 starsstar
Reviewed: Apr 23, 2004 by Business Editorial Board
Overview:

This interactive worksheet is the last of the 6 tutorials in the accounting
principles section of the Book-keeping and Interactive Tutor (BAIT) from the
Biz/ed website. The purpose of the module is to 1) explain the need for
objectivity and consistency in the accounting profession; 2) introduce the going
concern, accruals, prudence, consistency, cost, materiality, business entity,
money measurement, realization and dual aspect concepts; and 3) introduce the
main provisions of the British Statements of Standard Accounting Practice #2
(SSAP 2). A learning situation is presented to illustrate the rules and concepts of the accounting profession. The tutorial includes four separate problems where the user responds to a variety of questions in order to self-test one's understanding of the conceptual framework that guides financial accounting and reporting.

Learning Goals: The purpose of this tutorial is to explain and re-enforce the following three objectives:

  1. The need for objectivity and consistency within the accounting profession.
  2. The concepts of going concern, accruals, prudence, consistency, cost, materiality, business entity, money measurement, realisation and dual aspect.
  3. The main provisions of Statements of Standard Accounting Practice (SSAP 2).
Target Student Population: British students taking an Introductory Financial accounting course.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:

Prerequisite knowledge is absolutely necessary for the completion of this
module. Students need to be familiar with the British definitions for the
following accounting concepts: accruals, business entity, consistency, cost,
dual aspect, going concern, materiality, prudence, and realization. Familiarity also with the British Statements of Standard Accounting Practice, especially British SSAP 2 is required.

Type of Material: Tutorial
Recommended Uses: The tutorial would best be used individually outside of the classroom when studying and applying the basic accounting concepts.
Technical Requirements: Internet browser

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3.5 stars
Strengths:

Accounting Concepts and Conventions consists of a one page introduction
followed by six fill-in-the-blank exercises. The first three cover definitions
of concepts. The words to be used to fill-in-the-blanks are provided for each
exercise. The last three exercises require two or three blanks to be completed
and include computations. The content of the module is current, relevant, and
informed by scholarship. It is self-contained and can be used without requiring
an assignment, however, students will need to be familiar with the applicable
terminology to feel comfortable completing the tutorial. The tutorial is satisfactory for its intended audience, which is British students. A few of the examples apply the concepts to real life situations. As an added feature, a mechanism has been included to allow users to provide feedback to the author.

Concerns:

Prerequisite knowledge is a definite requirement for the completion of this module as the terms are not defined or explained prior to the question #1.
Without prior knowledge students may feel inadequately prepared to attempt
question #1. As an alternative, users might want to suggest that students
access and print the definitions found at:


http://www.bized.ac.uk/stafsup/options/accounting/figure4.htm

(As a side note, upon completing question 1, the explanation for the correct answer provides a link to more information, which takes one to the url just listed.) Other than this link no glossary can be located to review definitions. In addition, the number of examples and fill in the blank questions is rather limited.


Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3.3 stars
Strengths:

Learning objectives are identified as ?aims.? This tutorial takes a
discovery learning approach to instruction by asking students to complete a
fill-in-the-blank exercise before key concepts have been explained in the
module. The hints for questions 2-6 are very useful. The application questions
are well done and link theory to practice. For the intended audience with the
appropriate prerequisite knowledge, the module could be a satisfactory learning
tool for students to use.

Concerns:

The following concerns were noted:


  1. Prerequisite knowledge is not identified. Based on feedback provided in one
    of the hints, the module assumes students have read chapter 1 of an
    introductory accounting text prior to attempting the tutorial.
  2. Concepts appear to be approached rather haphazardly, which may not be a problem if students begin using the tutorial after they have the appropriate background knowledge.
  3. The hint for question 1 is not very useful. It says ?Two answers are used twice? which is rather obvious from the fact that twelve words are provided in the text box and two are repeated. Definitions of concepts are not entirely identical to the U.S. definitions such that use with American students is cautioned.
  4. The typed answers must match the correct resposne exactly or they are marked wrong.
  5. The tutorial appears to rely on rote memorization of the basic accounting concepts, without much variation in the presentation on the material.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 3.3 stars
Strengths: The module is relatively easy to use and interactive. The instructions while clear, could be improved. The screen layouts are average from a visual design standpoint in terms of appeal. Key words are bolded. The terms to be used for the fill in the blank questions are provided so that the users have some idea of what to enter for answers. All links work as intended.
Concerns: The following concerns were noted:

  1. The module does not score responses correctly. Question 1 requires 12
    responses, yet the denominator for the number of possible responses is 13.
    Question 2 requires 4 responses, yet looks for 5. Question 3 requires five
    responses, but looks for 6, etc. Only the last two exercises (5 & 6) are
    scored correctly.
  2. Data entry must be precise or responses will be judged incorrect. For example
    typing ?accrual? instead of ?accruals? makes a difference.
  3. Instructions could be improved. For example, rather than just having a
    prompt that says ?Type your answers? it would be better to say, ?Type your
    response for each statement by selecting one of the words found in the following
    text box. Each word is to be used only once and must be spelled properly to be
    judged as correct.?

  4. Question 1 appears as one long paragraph. The design of the item would be
    enhanced had each statement been lettered a. b., c., etc. with each statement
    beginning an a new line.
  5. When the answers are marked incorrect, students aren't given the opportunity to try again.
  6. Students are not given the correct response to their incorrect answers, This aspect would not be troublesome if students were allowed to try again. To do so, one must exit and re-enter the tutorial website.

Other Issues and Comments: Interactive worksheet: Accounting concepts and Conventions is one of many accounting modules contained within the Biz/Ed web site. There are also Business Studies and Economics modules located on this site.