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Analysis of Performance Factors for Accounting and Finance Related Business Courses in a Distance Education Environment

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Document pages: 31 pages

Abstract: The objective of this study is to explore business courses performance factors with a focus on accounting and finance. Course score interrelations are assumed to represent interpretable constructs of these factors. Factor analysis is proposed to identify the constructs that explain the correlations. Factor analysis results identify three sub-groups of business core courses. The first group is labeled as management-oriented courses. Accounting, finance and economics courses are separated in two groups: the prior courses group and the subsequent courses group. The clustering order of these three groups was attributed to underlying performance factor similarities. Then, the groups are compared by the pre-assessed ratings of course specific skills and knowledge. The comparison suggests that course requirements for skills and knowledge were the latent variables for the factor analysis. Moreover, multivariate regression analyses are employed to reveal the required level of verbal and quantitative skills for the groups. Management-oriented courses are differentiated from others with requiring verbal skills, managerial skills and knowledge more. Introductory courses require quantitative and analytical reasoning skills more than the subsequent courses in accounting, finance and economics. Mathematics course score fails to be a suitable proxy of numerical processing skills as an accounting course performance factor.

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