Expert Systems versus Traditional Methods for Teaching Accounting Issues

Marcus D. Odom, David S. Murphy


"The use of expert systems as pedagogical devices has received little attention in the accounting literature. This study reports on an experiment that was designed to assess the effects of expert system use on student learning. The cognitive theories of learning were drawn on to develop a framework for measuring learning when expert systems are used as pedagogical aids. Two components of leaning, declarative knowledge and procedural knowledge were measured. Treatment groups used either an expert system, received instruction, or used an expert system and received instruction. The results indicate that instruction facilitated the development of declarative knowledge to a greater extent than the use of an expert system. Further, the results indicate that expert system use facilitated the development of procedural knowledge to a greater extent than the use of instruction. Thus, although students who learned transfer pricing using an expert system outperformed students who had learned the same subject matter through instruction in a procedural test, the expert system users did not appear to understand why the procedures they followed were effective. "

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