Student Think-Aloud Protocols

Young man sitting at table with laptop. Collage drawing

We ran a number of Student Think-Aloud Protocols with students currently enrolled in an introductory accounting unit. Think-aloud protocols can be defined as an approach to be used by researchers to have students verbalise what they are thinking and doing as they work through a given task. It can be used to identify concepts students struggle with and the factors that they find frustrating , but also to see which concepts the students do not have any difficulty in answering.

We selected a sample of transactions from the adaptive learning resource and presented this as a paper-based version to the participating students. The students were asked to read through each transaction and verbalise their thought processes. After this they were requested to record their version of a possible journal entry. These sessions turned out to be extremely useful in enabling us to identify the common errors made by students. Incorrect entries were subsequently included as distractors in the adaptive learning resource. We were encouraged by the enthusiasm with which students participated in the exercise. A second round of Student Think Aloud protocols will be undertaken to obtain feedback from participating students on adjusting and closing journal entries. Students expressed a keen interest to be involved in the extension to this study.

Designing realistic distractors for the different business transactions proved to be quite challenging, delaying our finalisation of the different scenarios within the resource.

Ongoing work has been undertaken on completing the template to be used in Articulate.

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