Testing the Potential for Improving Student Mastery of Complex Financial Concepts Online

By Carol Barry and Julie Gerstman.

Published by The International Journal of Technologies in Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 11, 2015 $US5.00

This study is the first stage of investigation into the impact of online learning resources (OLRs) on student skills and confidence in tackling complex financial concepts taught in an undergraduate economics subject. A modified version of Keller’s Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (Keller 1983) was used as the framework for investigation into students’ levels of confidence after use of the OLRs. Confidence is a key factor in student motivation and has been shown to influence student attitude to learning, learning effectiveness and capacity to learn. The OLRs comprise short video clips with audio narration demonstrating complex financial concepts, combined with skills-testing tools that provide supportive targeted feedback. Student surveys were conducted to assess the impact of the intervention on student confidence and performance. Analysis of the survey data suggests students were enthusiastic adopters of the resources, and regarded them as effective in promoting understanding and raising confidence levels when learning difficult concepts. In topics where OLRs were available students achieved higher grades. The study therefore provides a useful test to assess potential advancements in learning using OLRs. The paper concludes with suggestions for the next phase in developing OLRs to promote efficiencies in teaching and learning without compromising depth of student learning.

Keywords: Online Learning, Resources, Confidence, Effective Learning

The International Journal of Technologies in Learning, Volume 21, Issue 3-4, March 2015, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 11, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 534.262KB)).

Carol Barry

Lecturer in Economics, Faculty of Business and Enterprise, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia

Carol Barry is an economics lecturer in the Faculty of Business and Enterprise at Swinburne University of Technology. She specialises in teaching in the areas of International Finance, Macroeconomics and Microeconomics at both postgraduate and undergraduate levels. The scholarship of teaching and learning is currently her main area of research but in the past she has published articles on the resource based view of the firm and the Australian superannuation industry.

Julie Gerstman

Lecturer, Economics, Faculty of Business & Enterprise, Swinburne University, Hawthorn, VIC, Australia

Julie Gerstman is an economics lecturer in the Faculty of Business and Enterprise at Swinburne University of Technology. Her teaching specialty is Macroeconomics and International Finance, at undergraduate level. Interactive learning using current on-line sources and data to promote evidence based analysis is currently her main area of research. She has published articles on peer learning, innovating in large tertiary classes, the European Monetary System, and the resource based view of the firm.