Case Study: Connect Accounting - American River College

Digital Product in Use:

Connect® Accounting

Course Name:

Managerial Accounting

Course Type:


Credit Hours:


Textbook in Use:

Introduction to Managerial Accounting by Brewer, 5e

Instructor Name:

Meg Pollard


44-88/year (instructor total)

300/year(university total)

Case Study Term:

Spring 2011

Connect Accounting causes students to fully engage with the course material. It also changes the nature of my review. Instead of spending time with the mechanics of grading, I can review scores and analyze individual assignment items and individual student scores to best decide what follow-up is appropriate

-Professor Meg Pollard​

Digital Course Solution Improves Student Success and Increases Engagement

Students in Professor Meg Pollard’s Managerial Accounting classes struggled with concerns about how they were performing on homework assignments. She implemented Connect Accounting to allow her students to review automatic feedback and work with confidence. Assignment completion rates greatly increased with Connect Accounting, indicating that students had the assurance they needed to fully engage with course learning objectives. In addition, student pass rates increased by five points

Institution Profile

American River College is a state-funded, two-year community college that is part of the Los Rios Community College District. Located in Sacramento, California, it offers associate’s degrees in 10 programs of study spanning 76 disciplines to more than 35,000 students each year.


Course Description:

Managerial Accounting continues the study of accounting with coverage of accounting information used by managers, sources of this information, and how this information is used by managers in making business decisions. Topics include cost concepts and reporting of costs, costing systems, the analysis and use of cost information in decision-making, cost-volume-profit analysis, contribution margin, profit planning and capital budgeting, standard costs, and financial statement analysis.

Course Grade:

  • 72% of the final grade based on exams
  • 14% of the final grade based on quizzes
  • 7% based on homework assignments within Connect Accounting
  • 7% based on financial statement analysis project

Implementation of McGraw-Hill Connect

Professor Pollard uses the static end-of-chapter items in Connect Accounting to assign homework in all of her classes. These assignments are chapter-specific and contain approximately 10 questions each. Because she believes that success in an accounting course requires that the students work through the problems multiple times, she gives her students access to parallel practice assignments containing algorithmic problems for unlimited practice. She also creates practice quizzes, drawing questions from the test bank, which give students meaningful practice with the material in a multiple-choice format. The exercises and problems in Connect Accounting also help her to prepare for her lecture. After determining which problems she wishes to demonstrate in class, she solves them first and then reviews the format used by Connect to ensure that she delivers a consistent learning experience to students.

Results Achieved

Connect Accounting has led to a five point increase in pass rates in Professor Pollard’s Managerial Accounting course.

Professor Pollard says that Connect Accounting helps her to ensure that student homework is geared to the required course learning objectives so that students are fully engaged in the right material and can assess their own performance throughout the course. Using Connect Accounting in her Managerial Accounting course has led to improved student performance, with a five point increase in pass rates!

Professor Pollard also reports that students find Connect Accounting less intimidating than the traditional hard-copy method of solving problems. Because Connect Accounting gives students immediate feedback on their work, student confidence increases with each right answer. “Connect Accounting provides students with meaningful practice opportunity with the accompanying feedback to close the loop of learning,” she says. “Students often struggle with concerns about how to get started with their homework and whether their work is correct. Connect Accounting offers a structure that would allow them to engage with assignments and work with confidence.”

“My students love the ‘check my work’ function,” she continues, “and they like that I allow them to do their homework assignments twice, recording the highest score. They also like that they have lots of practice through parallel, algorithmically-generated practice assignments and multiple choice quizzes.” One student says, “I really like using Connect - it is easy to use. I found the practice assignments to be very helpful, especially when studying for exams. I also like that they are graded in real time, and that the homework references the section in the textbook, so you can go back and read that section again if you didn’t understand that particular material.”


Professor Pollard is pleased with the positive results she and her students have seen with Connect Accounting. “My office hours are packed, and I believe this is because more students are engaging in the material,” she says. Her students’ completion rates on assignments have also increased. “Students are less likely to give up before completing an assignment,” she reports. Professor Pollard continues to use Connect and recommend it to others, and she has implemented it in both her Financial Accounting and Cost Accounting courses.