USINGA~1 - Using an Online Homework System to Submit...

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May/June 2009 263 ducators in every discipline are constantly searching for effective educational technologies that help stu- dents learn. Accounting educators are no exception. One technology that has evolved recently is the online homework system. The online homework system allows professors to use Internet tech- nology to implement homework prob- lems that students are able to complete online. Because this system is automat- ic, students may receive their graded homework almost instantly and master the materials through repetitive practice. Some advantages of the online home- work system include “help[ing] students practice accounting in an interactive and engaging manner, confront[ing] their deficiencies in course prerequisites, and ensur[ing] they grasp the skills and con- cepts presented in their textbooks—all without increasing professors’ work- load” (Aplia Inc., 2007, ¶ 3). One of the most acclaimed features of the online homework system is its interactivity. For example, a student can click a link to receive instant feed- back from the system. If allowed by the instructor, students can update their answers and resubmit the homework for a better grade. Furthermore, if the instructor accepts multiple submissions, students can work on homework prob- lems repeatedly until they are satis- fied with the grade they receive. Each attempt by the student can come from a different set of numbers if the instructor chooses to apply a built-in algorism to change problems. The online homework system allows students to manage their homework by exerting as much effort at a time as is convenient for them. One reason that an educational tech- nology such as the online homework system is developed is to help students learn. However, the hidden assumption that whichever information technology is implemented in a college classroom contributes to student learning receives little or no challenge from educators. The current research fills this gap by investigating the effects of some indi- vidual differences on student effort in doing homework when the online home- work system is used in class. In the present study, I tried to deter- mine whether students’ different cog- nitive needs, their perception of the system’s features, and their computer abilities can explain their effort to do homework by using the online home- work system. Students from an account- ing principles course volunteered to participate in the present study by com- pleting a survey at the end of the semes- ter. The results suggest that students with low motivation, measured by low need for cognition (NFC), exerted more effort in doing homework because of the online homework system. For stu- dents with high motivation, measured by a high NFC, it is possible that the Using an Online Homework System to Submit Accounting Homework: Role of Cognitive Need, Computer Efficacy, and Perception JACOB C. PENG UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN–FLINT FLINT, MICHIGAN E ABSTRACT. The author investigated
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USINGA~1 - Using an Online Homework System to Submit...

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