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The Effect of Randomized versus Nonrandomized Data on Accounting Students' Academic Performance

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Document pages: 11 pages

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of randomized versus nonrandomized data using an Excel case study project to measure students academic performance. Specifically, the study examines whether randomized data strengthens students analytical, problem-solving, and Excel skills while manipulating and analyzing accounting data. The participants in the study are 149 undergraduate accounting students enrolled in four intermediate accounting courses over two semesters and taught by the same professor. The students are partitioned into randomized and nonrandomized groups and complete The Case of the Grizzly Sports Highlighted, Inc.: analyzing accounting data using Excel. Students assume the role of an external accountant hired to analyze, record and adjust financial data stored in Excel spreadsheets to prepare year-end financial reports in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The t-test results show significant differences between the randomized versus nonrandomized groups. Students in the randomized group spent more hours completing the project, scored higher on the post-assignment Excel quiz, had a better understanding of accounting as a whole system versus a set of unconnected parts, and experienced greater satisfaction completing the project. Students in the nonrandomized group scored higher on analyzing the data and spending less time completing the project. The implications of this study can benefit accounting faculty to better prepare accounting graduates with the required skills to enter the competitive 21st century workforce.

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