Implications of Pre-Lecture Material on Cognitive Load and Instructional Effectiveness in Cross-Disciplinary IS Education: The Nexus of Benford's Law and SQL

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Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education






Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.

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For some time, there has been a call for cross-disciplinary teaching within the business disciplines. With the rise of data and analytics, there is an opportunity for cross-disciplinary teaching by integrating technology throughout the business curriculum. However, many business professors have little experience in cross-disciplinary teaching. We hope to rectify this by introducing an approach that uses prelecture material to prepare students for learning concepts and terms that are not core to the focal class. In a study that combines Structured Query Language (SQL) coding with an audit principle called Benford's Law, we analyze the impact of adding prelecture material about Benford's Law on student's cognitive load, knowledge gained, and instructional efficiency. Results indicate that students who received a prelecture on Benford's Law outperformed the control group in performance measures related to Benford's Law, and that the instructional efficiency on Bendford's Law was also higher for the treatment group. We did not find any significant differences in cognitive load between the two groups, nor did the treatment group perform significantly better when tested on the SQL concepts. We conclude that cross-discipline teaching is a fine balance between each discipline and communicating to students the importance of both disciplines is key.