Business professors win ‘Best Paper Award’ at Academy of Finance conference
Three faculty in Fredonia’s School of Business – Professor Mojtaba (Moj) Seyedian, Associate Professor Taihyeup (Tai) Yi and Associate Professor Julie Fitzpatrick – received the Best Paper Award in the field of financial education for their research document, “Measuring Readability levels of Undergraduate Investment Textbooks,” at the Academy of Finance’s 2021 International Virtual Conference held in March.
"Selecting a textbook is one of the most important decisions a faculty member can make in designing a course. As more courses are taught remotely, the decision carries even greater importance since the textbook is a key resource to facilitate online learners’ understanding of course material,” the authors stated in their summary.
Readability is one factor that can be useful in textbook selection. Using MS-Word to calculate the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, the three faculty members evaluated the readability of five widely used introductory investment textbooks.
Their results indicate that the Jordan/Miller/Dolvin textbook is the most readable, with a MGL (Mean Grade Level) of 10.3, significantly lower than the MGLs of the other textbooks examined. The authors found the Jones/Jensen textbook, with a MGL of 13.5, to be the least readable among their sample. The MGL is related to K-12 education.
These results can be useful to instructors when making textbook adoption decisions for Investment courses, according to the authors.
Editors of introductory finance texts can also use these findings. Long, complicated sentences, while sometimes necessary, may hinder a student’s comprehension when used extensively, the authors concluded. Textbook editors may use these findings to set their expectations of authors of future introductory finance textbooks.
The Academy of Finance, a non-profit organization that develops and recognizes individual efforts in the field of finance and insurance, is an affiliated organization of the MBAA International.