Illustrations in Financial Accounting Textbooks: Function and Placement Interact to Affect Student Learning

Posted: 23 Dec 2011

See all articles by Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips

University of Saskatchewan

Sarah Alford

Hergott Duval Stack

Sarah Guina

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

Date Written: December 23, 2011

Abstract

Prior research has documented that text readability varies among introductory accounting textbooks, but few studies in any discipline have documented the extent to which illustrations vary, and even fewer studies have explored how these variations might impact student learning. We report results of a content analysis of introductory financial accounting textbooks that reveal diversity in how illustrations are used, in ways that depart from normative recommendations in the education literature. We then conduct an experiment to test whether two of these variations, illustration function and placement, interact to affect student learning. We find that students learn more when decorational images precede rather than follow corresponding text and when organizational images follow rather than precede corresponding text. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Phillips, Fred and Alford, Sarah and Guina, Sarah, Illustrations in Financial Accounting Textbooks: Function and Placement Interact to Affect Student Learning (December 23, 2011). CAAA Annual Conference 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1976234 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1976234

Fred Phillips (Contact Author)

University of Saskatchewan ( email )

Edwards School of Business
25 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5A7
Canada
306-966-8401 (Phone)
306-966-2514 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://edwards.usask.ca/faculty/Fred%20Phillips/index.html

Sarah Alford

Hergott Duval Stack ( email )

410-22nd St East
Saskatoon, SK
Canada

Sarah Guina

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu ( email )

850 - 2nd St SW
Calgary, AB
Canada

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
945
PlumX Metrics