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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1997

Michael John Jones

The cloze procedure has been seen by accounting researchers as a useful tool for investigating the communicative effectiveness of accounting narratives. Compared with…

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Abstract

The cloze procedure has been seen by accounting researchers as a useful tool for investigating the communicative effectiveness of accounting narratives. Compared with text‐based readability measures, such as the Flesch test, the cloze procedure has often been viewed as an alternative and superior method of measuring understandability. Provides a critical review of the accounting and educational cloze‐based literature. In particular, questions the validity of the cloze procedure, the cloze procedure’s measurement of understandability, and the correctness of the criterion reference scores traditionally used to interpret cloze scores. Concludes that these legitimate concerns about the cloze procedure must be taken into account when the results of cloze‐based accounting research studies are evaluated. Repeats calls for further research to establish the validity of the cloze procedure in the accounting domain and to support the results of existing studies.

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Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2012

Karen Bargate

University Accountancy faculty need criteria to assist with the selection of textbooks, to ensure that the subject matter is congruent with the level at which students are…

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1110

Abstract

Purpose

University Accountancy faculty need criteria to assist with the selection of textbooks, to ensure that the subject matter is congruent with the level at which students are taught. Readability is one such criterion. The purpose of this study is to assess the readability of two Managerial Accounting and two Financial Management textbooks, using three different readability evaluation methods.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample for the study included 281 Accounting students from an Eastern seaboard university. Each student was requested to complete two passages – one from a Management Accounting textbook and one from a Financial Management textbook. The Gunning Fog Index, Flesch Reading Ease and Cloze Procedure readability evaluation methods were used to measure readability.

Findings

The findings suggest varying levels of readability among the textbooks. Results from the Cloze Procedure reveal that three of the four textbooks were being read at the Frustration Level and the fourth marginally above the Frustration Level. The readability formulae returned varying results demonstrating that some of the textbooks were at a level that the students ought to be able to read.

Research limitations/implications

Only two Managerial Accounting and two Financial Management textbooks of many published were assessed, and only three readability evaluation methods were used.

Social implications

The findings have implications for university faculty, authors, publishers, editors and students.

Originality/value

The readability of Managerial Accounting and Financial Management textbooks used at South African universities, has received scant attention in the literature. The analysis of the readability of the accounting textbooks, presents a synthesis that adds important knowledge in this under‐researched topic.

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Book part
Publication date: 28 March 2012

Evan Ortlieb, Earl H. Cheek, Erica Bowers and Gerlinde Grandstaff-Beckers

Purpose – To provide classroom teachers with an overview of a range of assessments that can be administered either individually or to a group.Design/methodology/approach …

Abstract

Purpose – To provide classroom teachers with an overview of a range of assessments that can be administered either individually or to a group.

Design/methodology/approach – The chapter is organized from early literacy skill assessments (both individual and group based) to comprehension and standardized tests.

Findings – Provides detailed information on skills required for each element of reading, design of assessment, intended purpose, and process of administration.

Research limitations/implications – This is not an exhaustive list, the authors strove to highlight the most reliable and practical assessments from a large body of possible choices.

Practical implications – This is a valuable source for classroom teachers who are provided with a wide-range of assessment choices covering the breadth of reading skills with extensive details on each.

Originality/value of paper – Teachers need a range of assessments to choose from to make decisions at the individual, class and school level.

Details

Using Informative Assessments towards Effective Literacy Instruction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-630-0

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Article
Publication date: 2 January 2014

Michael Jones and Malcolm Smith

The study aims to explore the use of alternative measures of “understandability” on accounting texts. This includes the meaning identification test (MIT) and the sentence…

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2582

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to explore the use of alternative measures of “understandability” on accounting texts. This includes the meaning identification test (MIT) and the sentence verification technique (SVT), which have not previously been used by accounting researchers, as well as variants on the traditional Cloze tests such as the C-Test.

Design/methodology/approach

This study focuses on the understandability of accounting texts and evaluates how reliable the Cloze test is as a measure of comprehension. An experiment was designed and conducted to measure users' performance with a variety of comprehension measures (MIT, SVT, Cloze, C-Test).

Findings

The study concludes that the outcomes from the MIT and SVT comprehension tests are not significantly associated with those from the Cloze tests. This implies that while the Cloze test is a good measure of the predictability of accounting narratives, and of textual redundancy, it does not necessarily measure the understandability of the text.

Originality/value

These measures of understandability, which have not previously been used in accounting, would enable researchers to test the communicational effectiveness of using different accounting narratives such as annual reports or prospectuses. Such a measure could be used to improve the understandability of accounting narratives. The strengths and weaknesses of the various tests are assessed. It is suggested that there is a need for further experimentation especially with the MIT test.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 24 August 2010

Sharif Moghaddam

The purpose of this paper is to report on a study to determine the possible effects of cultural schemata on Iranian students' test‐taking processes for cloze tests.

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318

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on a study to determine the possible effects of cultural schemata on Iranian students' test‐taking processes for cloze tests.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 116 students were selected as the participants. They were divided into two groups. One group completed a culturally familiar version of a cloze test, while the other did culturally unfamiliar version of the test. A number of unfamiliar words in the original cloze passage were changed to more familiar ones in the modified version. The participants were interviewed, and their retrospective protocols on the test‐taking processes and the information they could recall from the passage after they had completed the test were documented. The two groups' test‐taking activities were compared in terms of: demonstrating appropriate meaning making of the key terms while finding missing data and recalling, item performance, the amount of text information they had benefited from to fill in the blanks and the quantities and qualities of the final recalls.

Findings

The findings suggest that the students, who read the culturally familiar cloze text, generally understood the text to a greater extent which resulted in a higher score in comparison with those who read the original text. These results support the findings of some previous studies that cloze tests can measure higher order processing abilities.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature on effects of cultural schemata on students' test‐taking processes for cloze tests and is original in that it is one of the few conducted in the Middle East.

Details

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2002

Don T. Johnson, Ronald J. Bauerly and Doug Waggle

Notes US efforts to make documents easier to read and reviews previous research on readability. Presents a study of the readability of the investment objective sections of…

Abstract

Notes US efforts to make documents easier to read and reviews previous research on readability. Presents a study of the readability of the investment objective sections of two mutual fund prospectuses, using a sample of college students, the Cloze Readability Procedure and the Flesch readability analysis. Finds the Cloze test scores well below the “moderately readable” level of the Flesch assessment “difficult”. Analyses the relationships between students’ understanding and their training, investment experience, financial information, gender etc.; and notes that they misjudged their ability to read the prospectuses accurately. Calls for pressure to make the mutual funds improve their literature and for universities to provide training impersonal finance.

Details

Managerial Finance, vol. 28 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4358

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Article
Publication date: 21 May 2021

Yuqian Zhang, Anura De Zoysa and Kalinga Jagoda

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between the understandability of an accounting textbooks written in English and the language learning motivation…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between the understandability of an accounting textbooks written in English and the language learning motivation of international students. Previous research assumed that native speakers of a language and second-language speakers would understand a given accounting text similarly and little attempt has been made to ascertain any individual differences in users’ capacity to read and understand a foreign language.

Design/methodology/approach

The 107 participants in this study comprised of full-time English as a Second Language postgraduate commerce students studying at a major Australian university. The authors used two-part questionnaire to examine the motivation of participants and the understandability of an accounting textbook using the Cloze test.

Findings

The results suggest that most international students have difficulty in understanding the textbook narratives used in this study. Furthermore, the results show that students’ motivation to learn a foreign language impacts on the understandability of an accounting textbook.

Practical implications

This study will help the educators, textbook publishers and students to understand the needs of ESL students. It is expected to provide guidance for authors and instructors to enhance the effectiveness of the accounting courses.

Originality/value

The accounting literature shows that there have been efforts by accounting researchers to measure the understandability of accounting texts or narratives. This research provided valuable insights of the learning challenges of international students and valuable recommendations to educators and publishers to enhance the delivery.

Details

Accounting Research Journal, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1030-9616

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Article
Publication date: 18 April 2016

Brian A. Rutherford

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the accounting research project concerned with accounting narrative obfuscation, focusing on the translation of the concept of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the accounting research project concerned with accounting narrative obfuscation, focusing on the translation of the concept of readability from educational psychology via an earlier literature concerned with the readability of accounting narratives per se.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses actor-network theory and examines, in particular, the need for a network to accommodate the interests of its actors and the consequent risk of failure.

Findings

The analysis shows that the project is failing because the network seeking to support it is failing, and failing because of its inability to adapt sufficiently to accommodate the interests of its constituents. This failure is contrasted with the earlier concern with readability per se, which did see a successful reconfiguration of actors’ interests.

Research limitations/implications

The puzzle of the maladjustment of the network concerned with obfuscation is examined and it is suggested that it is a consequence of interests prevailing in the wider academic research network within which the relevant human actors are embedded.

Social implications

The reasons for the failure of the project are bound up in the wider circumstances of the contemporary accounting research community and may affect scholars’ capacity to pursue knowledge effectively.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to a modest stream of actor–network analysis directed at accounting research itself.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1987

CHAFFAI TEKFI

The aim of this paper is to review some of the findings in the field of readability research. First, the differences in meaning between the terms ‘readability’ and…

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to review some of the findings in the field of readability research. First, the differences in meaning between the terms ‘readability’ and ‘legibility’ are discussed. Next, the origins and developments of readability formulas are examined in detail. Then, the best‐known formulas for English language material are described so as to give the reader a brief overview of what has been achieved in this field of research. Finally, the principal applications of these formulas are described.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 43 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Book part
Publication date: 8 June 2007

Thomas J. Phillips, Cynthia M. Daily and Michael S. Luehlfing

Recent changes in professional examinations have generated much debate concerning various issues. One specific debate relates to the consistency of readability levels…

Abstract

Recent changes in professional examinations have generated much debate concerning various issues. One specific debate relates to the consistency of readability levels before and after the changes. While no significant differences in examination readability were found with respect to consistency across the entire time horizon of the study, comparisons with respect to the readability of other professional materials generate questions on whether the exam is testing at an appropriate level and whether other materials such as those produced for continuing education are written at a level commensurate to practice.

Details

Advances in Management Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1387-7

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