Developed initially for the Commonwealth of Independent States, this web site is dedicated to teaching Principles of Financial Accounting. It includes 8 text-based lessons, homework problems, solutions, and an online glossary. The eight lessons include the following topics: 1) an introduciton to accounting and the accounting equation, 2) recording transactions including adjusting entries, 3) deferrals, 4) double entry accounting, t-accounts and debits and credits, 5) merchandising companies, 6) allowance and direct write-off methods for bad debts, credit purchases, warranty obligations, discount notes, 7) accounting for inventory, and 8) accounting for property, plant, and equipmentas well as intangibles.
Type of Material:
On-line material where a text book may not be available. Could be assigned on a lesson by lesson basis for self-directed study.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
To help individuals: 1) learn accounting basics, 2) have an opportunity to solve accounting problems to strengthen knowledge and skills, and 3) determine whether solutions to problems are correct as well as reasons for mistakes.
Target Student Population:
Anyone enrolled in a Principles of Financial Accounting course
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic math skills.
Evaluation and Observation
A very thorough discussion of most of the basic accounting topics is provided. Lessons range from 5-12 web pages or 10-24 printed pages. Lesson 4 provides a particularly nice presentation of transaction analysis. For the most part, the content provides accurate information with concepts integrated and summarized well.
Users must realize this site was initially developed for CIS countries. As a result some terminology may not seem applicable to U.S or United Kingdom users.
Sentence structure and clarity issues exist throughout. Example: Logically, the assets must have the source, so they balance with the claims.
Throughout the lessons, reference is made to tables, but it is not clear if users should view them concurrently.
In Lesson 1, the certificate of deposit purchased is short-term, thus an operating activity.
In Lesson 2, the combined discussion of adjusting entries and accrual accounting is too much to handle at one time.
In Lesson 3, the combined discussion of deferral accounting and adjusting entries is too complicated. Contra accounts is never explained. Including the loss on the sale of land at this point is asking too much.
In Lesson 5, a discount for early payment is illustrated, yet early payment was not made.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Good examples are provided. Key terms are highlighted. Homework problems are text-based for completion with pencil and paper. Links to the online solutions are included.
A major concern is the lack of interactivity. The learning object presents the content, asks some questions, and gives the solutions. Users would have to be very dedicated to learning the material, as little exists to entice the user to complete the material.
Terminology is introduced in Lesson 1 without being explained.
No formative (i.e. milestones) assessment exists, where certain content would need to be successfully completed before moving on to new material. As a result progession is poor.
Prerequisite knowledge is not identified per lesson.
The wording for Problem 3.3 is not precise enough.
Inconsistency exists in Problem 2.2 between the question and solution.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is easy to use. For a text-based site, its layout and design appeal is at best average. All pages are numbered so one does not become lost.
The only graphics included are tables.
Text is hard to read and poorly spaced on the page. Double spacing between paragraphs would enhance readiblity.
All pages are comprised of black font on a white background. No use of color has been incorporated.
Problem 1.1 needs more explicit instructions.
Sentence structure in Problem 1.2 is unclear with reference to item h. Concepts tested in items c, g, and o are not fully developed.
Number 9, on page 3 has the wrong description.
Other Issues and Comments:
Spelling errors exist throughout the text as well as incorrect grammar usage. Would only recommend using this material when a text book is not available. Current textbooks do a better job of presenting the material than this module.