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Determinants of Student Performance in an Undergraduate Financial Accounting Class

Author

Listed:
  • Harrington, Donna Ramirez
  • Kulasekera, Kumuduni
  • Bates, Rick
  • Bredahl, Maury E.

Abstract

This study investigates the effects of class size, high school accounting, aptitude and attitude on learning , measured by the difference between post-test and pre-test scores, in an undergraduate financial accounting class, after controlling for students' major and semester level. Statistical analysis showed that scores of students in small classes improved by 48%, while scores of students in the large classes improved by 6% percent, implying a decline in learning by 88% by shifting to larger classes. High school accounting was found to improve pre- and post-test scores but the improvement on their post-test scores was significantly lower, implying a diminishing effect of high school accounting on performance as the complexity of the course material increases. We also found that midterm grade (aptitude) and changes in perception about the relevance of the class on business-related issues (attitude) motivate learning.

Suggested Citation

  • Harrington, Donna Ramirez & Kulasekera, Kumuduni & Bates, Rick & Bredahl, Maury E., 2006. "Determinants of Student Performance in an Undergraduate Financial Accounting Class," Working Papers 34117, University of Guelph, Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uguewp:34117
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/34117/files/wp060001.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kennedy, Peter E. & Siegfried, John J., 1997. "Class size and achievement in introductory economics: Evidence from the TUCE III data," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 385-394, October.
    2. Louise Gracia & Ellis Jenkins, 2003. "A quantitative exploration of student performance on an undergraduate accounting programme of study," Accounting Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 15-32.
    3. Kamal Naser & Michael Peel, 1998. "An exploratory study of the impact of intervening variables on student performance in a Principles of Accounting course," Accounting Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(3), pages 209-223.
    4. Becker, William E. & Powers, John R., 2001. "Student performance, attrition, and class size given missing student data," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 377-388, August.
    5. Louise Gracia & Ellis Jenkins, 2002. "An exploration of student failure on an undergraduate accounting programme of study," Accounting Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 93-107.
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