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Peer Review

Electronic Flashcards

by David spiceland


Overall Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.4 stars
Effectiveness: 4.25 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: May 04, 2009 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: Electronic Flashcards is designed to provide drill and practice of key concepts typically found in an Intermediate Financial Accounting course. The flashcards were designed specifically for the text Intermediate Accounting, 3e, by Spiceland, Sepe, and Tomassini. Each set of flashcards is tied to a specific chapter. A total of 22 sets of flashcards are available. Complete questions are posed with thorough responsed provided.
Learning Goals: The major goal is to provide students studying intermediate financial accounting with drill and practice review of key concepts on a chapter by chapter basis.
Target Student Population: The target population is intermediate accounting students. However, some
introductory concepts are also covered and might be useful in an introductory
course. This module need not be limited to only the users of the Spiceland
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Students should be enrolled in intermediate accounting. The flashcards are intented to be used after users have read and studied a particular chapter or content segment, for example, "Time Value of Money."
Type of Material: Drill and practice
Recommended Uses: Electronic Flashcards is probably best suited for use outside of class by individual students to reinforce their understanding of definitions, terminology, and concepts. The materials are online so they could be used wherever students have an Internet connection, including during class. It should be noted that numerical exercises are not included within the flashcards.
Technical Requirements: Netscape Navigator 7.0 browser or equivalent

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.4 stars
Strengths: Each series of flashcards is connected to a chapter typically covered in the Intermediate Financial Accounting courses (22 individual units exit). Items are posed as complete questions with a thorough response provided. Content is current, accurate, relevant and informed by scholarship. The questions posed are clear and concisely stated. Flashcards is not merely defnition of terms but attempts to ensure a thorough understanding of concepts by posing appropriate questions tied to the concepts presented per chapter. The number of flashcards per chapter ranges from 6-21.
Concerns: Numerical examples are not included to illustrate concepts where they might be
most helpful. It is not clear why certain concepts were chosen over others.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: Learning objectives appear on the entry page for each chapter. Electronic Flashcards is and effective learning tool when integrated into a student's overall study plan, since they are designed to help students review what they should have already studied. The questions can be randomized each time the topic area is entered. As a result students will be less inclined to simply memorize information based on the order presented. Although some topics build on prior knowledge, each area is relatively independent and can be used without necessarily having to go through other listed topics first. Questions are brief and clearly stated. The ability to go back and review prior questions is useful. The ability to delete questions is an excellent feature.
Concerns: While not necessarily a concern, instructors who recomment use of these flashcards need to realize that the definitions, terminology, and explanations are tied to a given text. As a result some of the information covered may not be relevant for students using other texts. No rational is apparent as to why certain concepts were covered while other were not. In addition, each item should be referenced to a specific learning objective.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: From a design standpoint, the flashcards are nicely done. Color use is
excellent. Clicking on the answer serves the purpose of flipping a flashcard.
Users can shuffle the cards, delete cards, move from question to answer and back
to the question, as well as move forward or backward through the deck. These
online flashcards effectively simulate a paper flashcard. Use is intuitive,
i.e. instructions are not necessary.
Concerns: The link directions from Merlot must be followed carefully if the flashcards
are to be accessed. In a few cases the window to display the answer seems too tiny. Having a larger flashcard frame would enhance feedback. For example scrolling would be eliminate, enumerations could be included as a list rather than in paragraph form. Numerical illustrations could then be included. Users cannot shift focus and display the answers and then identify the questions would be a nice enhancement too.

Other Issues and Comments: If the intent is a basic review of definitions and terminology, this
Flashcards site is an excellent resource. However, every link within every flashcard needs to be fixed. Dead links raise issues about the validity of the tool and create frustration for students who want to move between chapters?