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Teaching Basic Accounting To Engineering Economy Students: Are Computer Tutorials More Effective Than Traditional Classroom Lectures?

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Engineering Economy Education Research

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1062.1 - 7.1062.7



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Paper Authors

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Donald Merino

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Teaching Basic Accounting to Engineering Economy Students: Are Computer Tutorials More Effective than Traditional Classroom Lectures?

Donald N. Merino, Ph.D. P.E., and Kate D. Abel, Ph.D.

Stevens Institute of Technology


Many colleges and universities are making an effort to incorporate computers and technology into their teaching environments and grappling with the effectiveness of using such technologies. This article addresses the effectiveness of using a computer –based tutorial as a method of learning versus traditional lecturing. This paper is based on a study that compared student’s test scores using computer mediated accounting tutorials alone with those of students who received traditional lectures and computer mediated tutorials in the same topic. The students sampled were junior and senior undergraduate engineering students taking a required Engineering Economics core course that contained computer tutorials for basic accounting. Based on previous research (Merino, 1989 and McNaught 1995) it was anticipated that both methods would be satisfactory instructional tools and yield similar educational results.

The results of the research indicate that there is no statistically significant difference between the two methods. This study concludes that computer based tutorials could be substituted for traditional lectures without impacting what a student learns- at least for teaching accounting fundamentals. For both groups, a major improvement in learning occurred as evidenced by the final mean scores.


There are various methods students use to solve problems in the classroom. Pitman, Gosper and Rich (1999) report that different students use different course related materials (paper vs. computer) in differing ways and to different degrees. Use of varied teaching resources is very important to match individual student learning styles and thus could have important implications for future educational programs and curriculum contents Holman (2000).

There are different methods used in teaching accounting. This study was set up to determine if a computer mediated tutorial was as effective a method of teaching as a classically taught college course. To accomplish this, two groups of students were examined: those who already took a traditional accounting course vs. those who had never taken an accounting course. Both groups of students went through computer-mediated tutorials on aspects of accounting used in Engineering Economy. (It should be noted that the accounting subject matter, was covered only in the computer tutorials and was not taught in lecture format in the Engineering Economy class.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Merino, D. (2002, June), Teaching Basic Accounting To Engineering Economy Students: Are Computer Tutorials More Effective Than Traditional Classroom Lectures? Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10935

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