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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Accounting Coach Blog

by Harold Averkamp
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.25 starsstar
Reviewed: Nov 20, 2006 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: Accounting Coach Blog consists of questions and answers covering a wide variety of accounting topics to help make individuals more financially literate. Archives date back to April 2006. Accounting tips, Coach's Comments and Readers Questions exist with links to additional topics, explanations and activities in a complementary website called Accounting Coach. The url for the site is http://www.accountingcoach.com/
Learning Goals: To provide accounting educators and students with an information resource for a variety of topics in financial and managerial accounting.
Target Student Population:
  • Faculty teaching and students enrolled in principles of financial and managerial accounting, intermediate accounting, and cost accounting.
  • Also useful for high school students and any individuals interested in basic business literacy.
  • Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None, other than an interest in business or accounitng.
    Type of Material: Collection
    Recommended Uses: The site serves as an educational resource that can be incorporated into classroom use for homework assignments, research projects, and lecture.
    Technical Requirements: Internet access and browser.

    Evaluation and Observation

    Content Quality

    Rating: 4.75 stars
    Strengths:
  • Provides a current collection of explanations of accounting topics in a concise manner.
  • Postings nicely informed by scholarship with references to selected FASB statements.
  • Good inclusion of real world examples. To illustrate, for the reducing breakeven point discussion, providing examples of the fixed costs versus variable costs within the context of the auto industry is right on target.
  • Content nicely integrated to other applications, providing links to explanations, drills, and crossword puzzles at the related site.
  • Presents a good discussion as to how real-world issues can differ from accounting textbook treatment.
  • Exceptionally well written.
  • Concerns:
  • Links to academic articles are needed to enhance research quality.
  • Sometimes acronyms are used without being defined immediately.

  • Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

    Rating: 4.5 stars
    Strengths:
  • Excellent resource for learners due to its accuracy and selected topics that can be difficult for unexperienced accounting students.
  • Very nice informal examples; particulary the "Put it where it ainÂ’t" discussion for bank reconciliations, and posting on "Summing digits of the difference amount" when looking for transpositions.
  • Teachers and students could learn much in a short time.
  • Concerns:
  • Very brief learning objectives should be in the skeleton structure of the blog somewhere, so the reader would readily know what to expect without having to spend time looking.
  • Occasionally the discussion on selected topics floated above the introductory principles of accounting level, therefore some readers with little knowledge might feel lost.
  • Links to academic articles are needed to enhance educational quality.

  • Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

    Rating: 4.25 stars
    Strengths:
  • The site is relatively easy to use with a sufficient layout to be visually appealing.
  • A search facility is available to locate content.
  • A chronological index of questions is also provided, so users who have time can browse the list to find the topic of interest.
  • Overall design quality and ease of use is very good.
  • Concerns:
  • Increased graphics are needed to enhance quality and usibility.
  • The links to the google ads are very distracting as they popped up under select blog listings.
  • Navigation is questionable. No instructions exist to inform the reader that clicking on ACoach takes the reader to an archival screen. The link is not typically defined so users may easily miss its existence. Unrealizing readers must keep pressing the Previous page navigation link to scroll and through every item.
  • When the search feature is used, sometimes truncated postings surface each of which have to be separately opened in order to find where the matching term occurs.

  • Other Issues and Comments: Kudos to the creator for consistently posting updates. The history and the inclusion of the FASB links to applicable discussions and pronoucements is an excellent feature.