|dc.description.abstract||While a deep understanding of basic accounting concepts is fundamental for students to fully comprehend the discipline, research has consistently found that students struggle with understanding accounting concepts and tend to achieve lower-order learning outcomes. New approaches are therefore needed to provide educational interventions that help students achieve learning outcomes that reflect a deep understanding of concepts and retention of them for a long period of time. Simulation games have been proven as an effective approach for promoting higher-order thinking and knowledge retention. To date, however, there has been no reliable evidence that the game approaches are effective at enhancing students’ higher-order thinking skills and knowledge retention in the accounting learning domain.
The aim of this study is to modify a popular business simulation game, Monopoly™, to facilitate the acquisition of concept application skills and to investigate its effectiveness in the accounting domain. The ability to apply conceptual knowledge is classified as higher-order thinking in the revised Bloom’s taxonomy. This study uses situated learning theory, whereby a cognitive apprenticeship approach is utilised to develop a Modified Monopoly game that emphasizes 1) the use of accounting concepts in an authentic context, 2) the use of a variety of business contexts, and 3) the clarity of the game tasks. Additionally, the teacher’s role is to provide coaching, scaffolding, and fading support to students. These modifications and the active nature of the game’s activities are expected to facilitate the acquisition of concept application skills and the retention of the skills for a long period of time.
To examine the effectiveness of the Modified Monopoly game developed by the author, this study involved a total of 200 accounting students from eight high schools in one of the largest cities in New Zealand. A quasi-experimental non-equivalent group design was employed, with a random assignment based on school/class and two control groups. These control groups, in which students learned the same accounting concepts, were defined as ‘the Extended Problem’ and ‘computer assisted instruction’ (CAI) groups. The Extended Problem group used a traditional paper-based approach in solving accounting scenarios, while the CAI group used computers for the given accounting scenarios. This study therefore employed three approaches: Modified Monopoly game, Extended Problem, and CAI. All the students were assessed for their cognitive ability to apply the accounting concepts at three stages. For the purposes of the assessment of conceptual knowledge, two assessment sets were developed. Each of the sets included 28 items with the same difficulty level. Prior to the application of the Modified Monopoly game, the Extended Problem, or the CAI, each student in each group was subjected to an assessment pre-test. Then a second set of assessment questions, a post-test, was given to the students in each group after they experienced learning through the three approaches. To capture the learning retention, all the students in each group were subjected to the second set of assessment questions again after a three- to six-month period (delayed post-test). The improvement scores (post-test – pre-test) and the deterioration scores (delayed post-test – post-test) were used to analyse the data of 144 students completing all the tests. The former assessed higher-order thinking skills, while the latter assessed knowledge retention. Additionally, a self-reported questionnaire asking students’ perception of the assigned approach was collected.
Results showed that both the Modified Monopoly and the Extended Problem group, but not the CAI group, demonstrated significant improvement in higher-order thinking skills. The improvement scores of the Modified Monopoly group were significantly higher than the CAI group but lower than the Extended Problem group. However, students from the Modified Monopoly group did not demonstrate the level of knowledge deterioration compared with those from the Extended Problem group, suggesting that the game resulted in better knowledge retention than the Extended Problem approach. Additionally, the game groups demonstrated a significantly higher level of enjoyment and enthusiasm to continue the use of the Modified Monopoly approach than those using the Extended Problem. This study concludes that the Modified Monopoly approach is more effective for promoting higher-order thinking skills than the CAI approach and more effective than the Extended Problem for students’ knowledge retention.||