Using Hypertext in Instructional Material: Helping Students Link Accounting Concept Knowledge to Case Applications
Posted: 25 Apr 2001
Date Written: March 31, 2001
We study whether the linking facility that is enabled in hypertext can enhance students' ability to link accounting concepts to practical case situations. We expected that by linking accounting concepts to related case facts in instructional material, hypertext will allow students to more readily understand how accounting concepts apply to practical case situations. We predicted that this understanding would be apparent when students later attempt to apply accounting concepts to new accounting cases.
To test our predictions, we conducted a laboratory experiment in which accounting students studied instructional materials that showed how concepts involving asset characteristics are used to determine whether expenditures are appropriately classified as assets (or expenses). The experimental design comprised three learning conditions: the student-generated condition in which the instructional materials required students to generate hypertext links between concepts and cases, the instructor-provided condition in which the instructional materials required students to explore hypertext links already inserted between concepts and cases, and the control condition in which students studied the same instructional materials without generating or being provided hypertext links. After spending equal amounts of time working with the concepts and cases in the instructional material, all participants analyzed new test cases by identifying appropriate links between specific case facts and the applicable concepts (i.e., asset characteristics). Our analyses focus on these subsequent applications of concepts to test cases.
Results revealed that the application of accounting concepts to test cases was greater in the instructor-provided condition than the control condition. Results also indicated that the application of accounting concepts to test cases was greater in the student-generated condition than the instructor-provided condition, but only when students were able to generate appropriate links when learning with hypertext. When inappropriate hypertext links were generated, the application of accounting concepts to test cases in the student-generated condition was similar to that in the control condition.
Keywords: Hypertext; Elaboration; Concept knowledge application
JEL Classification: M40, A22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation