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Multimedia computer-based instruction effect on enhancing graduate introductory accounting

, American University, United States

American University . Awarded


The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of utilizing multimedia computer-based instruction in a graduate introductory accounting course. The course is designed to increase student understanding of accounting transaction cycles, which are a series of basic financial procedures to record transactions and prepare statements. Accounting education is a sequential process which builds upon previously taught subjects, and the fundamentals of transaction cycles are traditionally covered in introductory classes. Therefore, a thorough understanding of transaction cycles is critical to success in later courses.

Factors which affect this instruction include the need to teach graduate introductory accounting in one semester (compared to its undergraduate counterpart in two). The field of accounting procedures has also been expanding rapidly to accommodate basic shifts in the economy, so the number of topics has expanded while course time remains constant. Accounting educators and practitioners have recognized that their students, particularly those in introductory courses, must be taught in innovative ways to maintain interest and to cover required materials.

The American Accounting Association, the largest and most influential scholarly organization representing college accounting faculty and researchers, has issued a call for research on such innovative methods. Much of the current research involves computer-based instruction to supplement traditional lecture classes, with several projects using older text-based mainframe technology, which has shown to be only marginally effective. Multimedia instruction combining video, sound, animation and user-interaction, however, has proven more effective in other disciplines.

The objective of this study is to determine if newer methodologies can successfully increase student understanding of transaction cycles in the graduate introductory course. This study was conducted in two parts: a treatment group employing multimedia instruction to supplement regular lectures and a control group without such technology. Both groups attended identical classes covering accounting transaction cycles in the same sequence during the first five weeks of class. Then a standard multiple-choice exam measured student understanding of the material and the analytical application of these procedures to accounting problems.

As anticipated, the treatment group obtained a higher average score, as well as a higher score in the exam's analytical section. Furthermore, less score variability, indicated by a significantly smaller standard deviation on the exam, was shown by these students than by those in the control group. Success of this study, as measured by improved performance, may encourage accounting faculty to use multimedia computer-based instruction to enhance student understanding of the accounting transaction cycles.


Atiyah, W. Multimedia computer-based instruction effect on enhancing graduate introductory accounting. Ph.D. thesis, American University. Retrieved February 6, 2023 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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