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Evaluating Web-Based Learning Systems

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Document pages: 17 pages

Abstract: Accounting educators continuously seek ways to effectively integrate instructional technology into accounting coursework as a means to facilitate active learning environments and address the technology-driven learning preferences of the current generation of students. Most accounting textbook publishers now provide interactive, web-based learning systems as a supplement to their textbooks. However, there are critical differences across publishers with respect to the system s interface, functions, content, features, and support. These differences directly impact the effectiveness of a web-based learning system as an instructional tool and as a corollary, may impact the ultimate utility of the associated textbook as a pedagogical resource. As such, an evaluation of available web-based learning systems is an essential component of the textbook review process and should consist of a meticulous evaluation of the system s functionality and features in light of instructor and student needs and preferences. Unfortunately, given the functional intricacies and disparity in features across web-based learning systems, this can be a daunting task. The purpose of this paper is to offer accounting educators some practical guidance on evaluating web-based learning systems prior to adoption. This guidance is presented in the form of a framework based on key processes underlying the systems development life cycle (SDLC), a logical process model used by systems professionals to guide the acquisition and or development of information systems.

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