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Unformatted text preview: foournal of Accounting Educar~o~ Vol. 2, No. I Spring 1984 FACTORS INFLUENCING FINAL EXAMINATION PERFORMANCE IN LARGE VERSUS SMALL SECTONS OF ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES David M. Buehlmann UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA AT OMAHA and Joseph V, Techavichit BANGKOK, THAILAND Absrract: This study examines the relationship between certain student characteristics and final examination performance in small and large sections of Accounting Principles. Some of the analyses indicated that successful students in the large section had higher GPAs, were further along in their education, and had more experience with and a preference for large sections. Students in the large section, however, sought more outside assistance and believed the large section was detrimental to their learning. No significant success factors could be identified for the small sections. These results suggest that small sections met the needs of a greater variety of students, thus contributing to a lower withdrawal rate - but equal examination performance -of the small section students. The reIationship between section size and learning is a sensitive issue because, as Laughlin  notes, both faculty and students believe that small sections provide superior learning opportunities as compared to large sections. He also states, however, that most research does not completely support this belief. Close examination ofavailable research indicates that the section size issue has many facets, most important of which is its role in different types of learning. McKeachie [ 19691 reports no difference in student performance on achievement tests between large and small sections. But, he also concludes that small sections are superior in developing students’ critical thinking, and stimulating attitudinal change. Contrary to McKeachie’s initial finding, Glass and his associates [I9791 identified over 80 studies indicating that student achievement increases as section size decreases. These studies, however, only reported significant achievement gains in section sizes under IS which, in today’s environment, are probably not economically feasible. Additional section size facets to consider are student characteristics [McKeachie, 19801 and teaching style [Weber & Hunt, 19771. Although characteristics of students who succeed in a particular section size has not been adequately identified in the literature, Siegel and Siegel [ 19641 did report The editorial assistance of Nancy Carpenter is gratefully acknowledged 12K personal contact with the instructor was particularly important for three types of students: (1) those with low motivation; (2) those with limited exposure to the subject; and (3) those who readily grasp factual learning but are weak at applying or synthesizing concepts....
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This note was uploaded on 05/06/2011 for the course BANKING 254 taught by Professor Kumar during the Spring '11 term at Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani - Hyderabad.
- Spring '11