This study examines the factors affecting students' performance on an introductory UK undergraduate financial accounting course and changes in students' attitudes and perceptions towards Computer Aided Learning (CAL) and accounting. It differs from previous research in that non-specialist accounting students taught using CAL are studied here. Questionnaire data was collected at the beginning and end of the module and is statistically analysed. Multiple regression analysis on student performance shows that age and attitude towards accounting are significant influences, but that attitude towards CAL and students' entry qualifications are not. Students' perceptions of CAL appear to be affected negatively by its use. The study shows that students are significantly more likely to perceive CAL as easy to use, but significantly less likely to view it as flexible, helpful or useful in improving computer literacy. Students' perceptions of accounting as a subject are also negatively affected. They are shown to be significantly less likely to choose to study accounting and significantly more likely to view accounting as a boring subject, following the completion of a CAL course. The negative impact on students' perceptions and attitudes towards CAL and accounting has implications for extending the use of CAL in order to efficiently redirect limited staff resources. However, given that there is no significant effect on performance this may warrant further consideration by higher education institutions.
- computer-aided learning
- non-specialist Accounting students
- Factors affecting performance