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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Balance Sheet Quiz

by Rudy Lopes
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

3 stars
Content Quality: 3 stars
Effectiveness: 2.75 stars
Ease of Use: 3.75 stars
Reviewed: Jun 16, 2008 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: This object consists of a ten question multiple-choice quiz covering terms and accounts associated with the balance sheet. Questions are randomly generated from a database. As a result different questions appear each time the quiz is taken. The location of the correct response changes from iteration to iteration as well.
Learning Goals: To provide students with a formative assessment regarding their understanding of terms and accounts associated with the balance sheet
Target Student Population: High school or undergraduate college students studying principles of financial accounting.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Understanding of the components and terms associated with the balance sheet.
Type of Material: Quiz for drill and practice
Recommended Uses: Formative assessment or in-class review
Technical Requirements: Browser and flash plug-in

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3 stars
Strengths: The quiz delivers 10, three-response multiple choice questions on accounts and terms found on a typical balance sheet. Users earn 1 point for each question answered correctly. Items appear to be randomly generated in that some different questions appear when the quiz is repeated. Links to applicable resources have been included to encourage additional review of missed concepts. This object is one more place for students to assess ther understanding of accounting terminology.
Concerns:
  • Content is not comprehensive and requires more detail and precision to be of much value.
  • Terminology accuracy and currency warrant concern. Amortization is no longer applicable to goodwill and has not been for some time. Some of the other problematic items are identified in the Other Comments section of this review.
  • From a test-item design standpoint, many of the multiple choice questions are very poor. Clues exist in many of the stems to the correct answer in the form of clang associations, e.g. a key word in the stem only appears in the correct answer. As a result, a test wise individual can answer the questions correctly without knowing the concepts.
  • It is obvious that the quiz is provided free of charge in an attempt to entice the user to support the advertisers and sponsors of the general website that is hosting the quiz.

  • Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

    Rating: 2.75 stars
    Strengths: As a formative assessment, the quiz awards 1 point for each correct answer provided. User’s can try again. To encourage mastery, answering correctly on a second or third try results in positive feedback but earns no additional points. When the entire quiz is repeated, the location of the correct response also changes in a question previously delivered. The 10 question quiz gives the user a very broad overview of balance sheet concepts.
    Concerns:
  • The accuracy and test-item design issues identified under Quality of Content significantly impact the teaching effectiveness of this module. Instructors are cautioned to review definitions used to make sure they are suitable. Some of the questionable items are identified in the Other Comments section of this review.
  • Feedback acknowledges a correct or incorrect response, but does not provide any explanations, nor prompt students to try again.
  • Learning objectives and prerequisite knowledge are not expressly identified. Students must know the structure of a classified balance sheet and the definitions of typical accounts and terms appearing on it.
  • A master list of terms included in the quiz question pool is not provided in order to determine thoroughness.

  • Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

    Rating: 3.75 stars
    Strengths: From a visual design standpoint, the appearance of the quiz is well done. The green background is very attractive. The quiz is easy to use and clearly interactive and engaging. Forward and backward navigation functions as intended.
    Concerns:
  • Users must scroll down a page and a half to locate the 5” by 6.5” rectangle that contains the quiz. It is surrounded by advertisements which are distracting. For example, while retaking the quiz, an animated GUI is moving to the immediate left of your vision trying to get the user to take a survey.
  • While no instructions have been included, use for the most part is intuitive, i.e., click on a response. Click > to move forward or < to move backwards.
  • Users have to either re-enter the site to take a new quiz or discover the Take a quiz link under Resources. A button that says “Retake quiz” should be included just beneath the quiz frame.

  • Other Issues and Comments:
  • The question that had wording “obligations due to employees in short time” and had the answer “accrued wages”, more appropriately could have had the more common answer “wages payable”, which was not a choice.
  • The item “’Things’ whose value is not expected to be converted into cash for at least a year” is not an appropriate definition of fixed assets. It is far too generally stated to be useful.
  • The item “Depreciation expense for assets which reduces their balance sheet value” with the answer of “accumulated depreciation” is simply not accurate – doesn’t state anything about it being accumulated over years of time.
  • The Mortgage payable question is not accurate as mortgage payable can be subdivided into current versus long-term payable.
  • Awkward wording existswith usage of the term “the cost” in “the cost of fixed assets less accumulated depreciation”
  • “Investment capital” is not a term used very frequently on a balance sheet, so the question with that as an answer is misplaced/distracting.
  •