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The Effects of Presentation Formats on Understanding Financial Accounting: an Experimental Study


Sithole, STM, The Effects of Presentation Formats on Understanding Financial Accounting: an Experimental Study, Australasian Accounting Business & Finance Journal, 10, (2) Article 5. ISSN 1834-2000 (2016) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2016 Australasian Accounting Business and Finance Journal and Authors

DOI: doi:10.14453/aabfj.v10i2.5


Most financial accounting presentations consist of graphs and tables with subtle variations in the way that the associated text is presented. While alternative presentations of tables versus graphs have been widely researched, the impact of text proximity to a graph or table has received little attention. This study experimentally examines the effects of two instructional design formats on studentís understanding of financial accounting. Graphical presentation effectiveness was operationalised as accuracy and mental effort in answering questions of different levels of complexity. Using financial accounting instructional material presented either as a graph and separate text or text embedded in the graph, participants responded to recall and transfer questions. The results of an experiment suggest a strong relation between presentation format and understanding of financial accounting. Accounting students understand an integrated graph more than a separate graph and text. We conclude that there is value accruing from close proximity of text to the graph, but suggest additional benefits may be reaped from presenting text and diagrams in an integrated form.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:accounting, accounting education, graphs, learning, presentation formats, recall, self-management, split-attention, tables, teaching accounting, transfer
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Accounting, auditing and accountability
Research Field:Financial accounting
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Learner and learning
Objective Field:Learner and learning not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Sithole, STM (Dr Seedwell Sithole)
ID Code:123549
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2018-01-11
Last Modified:2018-01-23
Downloads:128 View Download Statistics

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