L'Intégration d'un Module d'Étude Internet Dans la Classe de Comptabilité: Perceptions des Élèves et les Résultats Académiques
Implemented in the context of Business Administration students enrolled in a college level three year technology program, this research investigated students’ perceptions and academic results concurrent with the implementation of an online web module designed to facilitate student self-study. The students involved in this research were enrolled in a program that, while offering a broad education in business disciplines, specialized in the field of accounting. As a result, students were enrolled in academically rigorous accounting courses in each of the six semesters of the program. The weighting of these accounting courses imposes a significant self-study component – typically matching or exceeding the time spent in class. In this context many of the students enrolled in the Business Administration Program have faced difficulties completing the self-study component of the course effectively as demonstrated in low homework completion rates, low homework grade averages and ultimately low success rates in the courses. In an attempt to address this situation this research studied the implementation of a web-based self-study module. Through this module students could access a number of learning tools that were designed to facilitate the self-study process under the premise that more effective self-study learning tools will help remove obstacles and provide more timely confirmation of learning during student self-study efforts. This research collected data from a single cohort of students drawn from the first three sequential accounting courses of the Business Administration Program. The web-based self-study module was implemented in the third of the three sequential accounting courses. The first two of these courses implemented a traditional manual self-study environment. Data collected from the three accounting courses included homework completion rates, homework, exam and final grades for the respective courses. In addition the web-study module allowed the automatic reporting of student usage of a number of specific online learning tools. To complement the academic data, students were surveyed to gain insight into their perceptions of the effectiveness of the web-based system. The research provided a number of interesting insights. First among these was a confirmation of the importance of the self-study process in the academic achievement of the learners. Regardless of the self-study environment, manual or web-enhanced, a significant positive correlation existed between the students’ self-study results, demonstrated in both homework completion rates and homework averages and the corresponding final grades. These results confirm the importance of self-study found generally in the prevailing academic literature regarding students enrolled in higher education. In addition, the web-enhanced learning environment implemented during the third accounting course coincided with significantly higher homework completion rates and corresponding homework averages: homework completion rates in particular increased from a combined average of 63% in the first two accounting courses to 93% in the web-enhanced context of the third accounting course. Moreover, the homework completion rates of the web-enhanced course were evenly distributed across the cohort of students. A quartile-based analysis was subsequently completed. Quartiles were constructed by ranking the students according to their combined average homework completion rates from the first two manual self-study courses, Accounting I and II. The quartile-based homework completion rates for the manual self-study courses Accounting I and II were subsequently compared to the results these same quartiles of students achieved in the web-based self-study within Accounting III. While the first two courses demonstrated significantly uneven homework completion rates across the quartiles ranging from 31% to 91% homework completion rates, the differences among the four quartiles within the web-enhanced module, with an average homework completion rate of 93%, were statistically insignificant. Congruent with the positive academic results observed in the third, web-enhanced course, through the corresponding survey, students expressed a strong attitude in favor of the online self-study environment. This research was designed to add to the existing research that studies the implementation of learning in an online setting. Specifically, the research was designed to explore a middle ground of online learning – a web-enhanced course – a context that supplements the classroom experience rather than replacing it. The web-enhanced accounting course demonstrated impressive favorable results, both academically and in terms of students' perception of the system; these results suggest that a web-enhanced environment can provide learning tools that facilitate the self-study process while providing a structured learning environment that can help developing learners reach their potential.
- Éducation – Essais