Article

Does Reading Case Responses and Using Argument Maps Enhance Accounting Students’ Case Analyses?

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Abstract

This study investigates whether reading case responses and using argument maps can assist students in developing case analysis skills, such as identifying supporting arguments and counterarguments in analyses of financial accounting policy choices. The results of an experiment indicate that students who studied an exemplar case response were better able to identify supporting arguments in a subsequent case analysis. In contrast, students who used an argument map to visualize elements of the exemplar case response were better able to identify the absence of counterarguments, which provide support for alternative accounting choices, in a subsequent case analysis. The effects of these pedagogical tools were apparent not only when students evaluated others’ case analyses but also when they generated their own analyses of a subsequent case. These results are significant because they suggest that short (11-minute) instructional interventions can help students perform key steps in critical thinking: identifying and generating relevant arguments and counterarguments.

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