Spreadsheet Software as a Teaching and Learning Tool: Perspectives from an Undergraduate Financial Modelling Subject
James Cook University, Townsville
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Keywords: Microsoft Excel, Cognitive Thinking, Constructivism, Financial Models, Accounting Education
JEL Classification: M40, M41, M53, L86, I20, G39
Date posted: March 12, 2008 ; Last revised: November 7, 2014