For the past two semesters I have analyzed the accountancy research participation of students in my ACCY 301 courses. My goal is to provide relevant statistics to students so that they can make a more-informed decision about whether to participate in these studies. Here are some statistics I generated from Fall 2022 and Spring 2023.
Fall 2022 analysis
At the end of the fall semester in 2022, I ran my first analysis for accountancy research participation for all students in my courses (n=63). I discovered the following:
- 25% participated in research
- 19% would have leveled-up their letter grades had they participated in one or both studies (12 students). Of those, nine students needed to participate in one study (five points). The remaining three needed to participate in both studies (ten points).
I thought that 19% was a significant number and so included the following language in my syllabus in the spring of 2023 in the section for extra credit:
Last semester, after all the final letter grades were calculated, I ran an analysis and determined that 19% of my students would have leveled-up their letter grade had they participated in one or both research studies. For example, if they received a B+ as their final letter grade, they would have received an A- if they had participated in one or both studies. About three-quarters of that 19% only needed to participate in one study to level-up. Most studies require an hour or less of your time. Keep this in mind as you consider whether to participate in them.
I reviewed this section with my students at the beginning of the semester, and made the entire syllabus required reading.
Spring 2023 analysis
I just completed my second analysis (n=112). Here are the results:
- 41% participated in research
- 20% would have leveled-up their letter grades had they participated in one or both studies. Of those, 8 needed to participate in one study (five points). The remaining 14 needed to participate in both studies (ten points).
As you can see, this semester there was a 16% increase in participation over last semester. Did the language in my syllabus contribute to it? I don’t have enough information to say. Here are some other variables I considered:
- Did the accountancy research lab change their outreach efforts over last semester? I contacted them to ask.
- Were there other, new university-wide initiatives to encourage students to participate in research?
- Did other professors encourage participation more than in the fall?
- Was the participation in the fall lacking in some way? Was it abnormally low while spring was normal?
- Perhaps there is some other seasonal effect that impacts fall participation more or less than it does spring participation.
Even if the language in my syllabus did not contribute in a significant way, it can’t hurt to include it. I will continue to do so, and will continue making the analysis in future semesters. Perhaps a pattern will emerge or other information will become evident to explain increases or decreases in participation.