Spreadsheet Software as a Teaching and Learning Tool: Perspectives from an Undergraduate Financial Modelling Subject

16 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2008 Last revised: 7 Nov 2014

See all articles by Rafiuddin Ahmed

Rafiuddin Ahmed

James Cook University, Townsville

Date Written: March 2008


Technology based teaching of accounting curriculum is widely researched by accounting educators. This paper reports the findings of the use of computers and Microsoft Excel spreadsheet program as a means to reflect on, and to enhance prior learning, of financial accounting, managerial accounting and finance concepts and problems, through a financial modelling subject, in an undergraduate program in an Australian regional university. Data were collected from the researched university's formal feedback systems, Student Feedback on Subjects (SFS), and archived course materials, over a three year period (2003-2005). Using pattern matching approach (Yin, 2003), data were analyzed for making generalizations about the effectiveness of spreadsheet software usage as a pedagogical and educational tool. The study finds that spreadsheet based teaching and learning equip students with computer literacy, and spreadsheet application skills in the areas of management accounting and finance. The study also finds that the students with a few years of work experience outperform the students without any work experience, and appreciation of the course among the students without work experience is lower than their counterpart with five years of work experience. The study has implications for accounting educators, in that difficult to learn accounting and finance concepts can be taught using a spreadsheet based modelling subject; this can provide significant insight into the relationships among numerous variables, which are difficult to manipulate and solve manually, in a traditional chalk and talk teaching environment.

Keywords: Microsoft Excel, Cognitive Thinking, Constructivism, Financial Models, Accounting Education

JEL Classification: M40, M41, M53, L86, I20, G39

Suggested Citation

Ahmed, Rafiuddin, Spreadsheet Software as a Teaching and Learning Tool: Perspectives from an Undergraduate Financial Modelling Subject (March 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1101208 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1101208

Rafiuddin Ahmed (Contact Author)

James Cook University, Townsville ( email )

College of Business, Law and Governance
Townsville, Queensland 4811
61747814230 (Phone)
61747814019 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://research.jcu.edu.au/portfolio/rafiuddin.ahmed/

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