This study, exploring term length and class time of day on students’ academic performance, was motivated by questions of whether (1) student learning differs in shorter terms, and (2) student learning differs in night classes. The purpose was to identify if differences exist that can inform pedagogy improvements for compressed terms and night classes.

Results show that final exam performance of Principles of Accounting I students in compressed terms is significantly better than those in traditional 16-week terms. Further, there was no difference in the performance of students in night and day classes. The results hold after controlling for factors expected to impact student performance and various demographics-based partitions of the sample. Results support effectiveness of night classes and short semesters for student learning in accounting classes. Relatively better performance by traditional-college-age students on comprehensive final exams during short semesters raises questions regarding students’ long-term retention of accounting course content.


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