A study on the effect of a web-based teaching module and gender on accounting studentsí ethical judgements
James, W and McManus, L and Subramaniam, N, A study on the effect of a web-based teaching module and gender on accounting students' ethical judgements, AFAANZ Conference, 1-3 July, Gold Coast, QLD (2007) [Conference Extract]
Accounting educators face the increasingly important task of teaching ethics. Yet, there is little empirical evidence on the effectiveness of different ethics instructional methods on accounting studentsí ethical judgements. This study examines whether the ethical decision making of accounting students differs (1) between those instructed through a web-based teaching module and those adopting a more traditional textbook-focused approach, and (2) between gender. A total of 156 students from a second-year financial accounting course participated in the study, with 90 students utilising the web-based module which was designed based on Restís (1979) model on ethics development. The other 66 students were instructed through a more traditional teaching approach based on regular class discussions using the ethical problems presented in the textbook. Subsequently, when presented with a whistle-blowing situation, the results of the study suggest that the attitudes and judgements of students instructed through the web-based module were more ethical than those utilising the traditional textbook module. Further, gender was found to impact ethical judgements but only among students who were exposed to the web-based module. The implications of the findings on accounting ethics education are discussed.
business ethics, web based teaching, traditional teaching, university, accounting