Enhancing Business Students' Learning Experiences Through a Hands-On Research Project Using Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS)

Date

2024-03-07

Authors

McKee, Eric
Macy, Anne
Solis, Oscar

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Abstract

Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) is a widely used database by researchers in finance, economics, and many other areas, and it also offers materials suitable for the classroom. In the fall 2022 semester, we implemented a WRDS research project in four FIN 3320 Business Finance sections. Students gathered financial statements for a publicly traded company using the WRDS database, calculated and analyzed financial ratios for the company and industry, and wrote a 3- to 5-page report. The finance project supports the Amarillo National Bank School of Accounting, Economics, and Finance's initiative to engage students with hands-on research activities by utilizing a professional national dataset. We developed the Student Perception of WRDS Research in Finance Courses online survey to examine business students' perceptions toward using WRDS and the research project. In addition to student perceptions, we examined students' knowledge of financial ratios, a first step in financial data analysis, and developed a pre and post-test to measure business majors' aptitude levels using and analyzing financial ratios. We address students' benefits and challenges of utilizing the WRDS platform and a hands-on research project in F2F and online introductory finance courses. The results show that online and face-to-face (F2F) students' general perceptions of using WRDS and hands-on projects were positive. Both groups of students substantially improved their performance on the post-test relative to their results on the pre-test. The poster also provides implications for business school administrators and faculty teaching undergraduate courses and working with business students.

Description

Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) is a widely used database by researchers in finance, economics, and many other areas, and it also offers materials suitable for the classroom. In the fall 2022 semester, we implemented a WRDS research project in four FIN 3320 Business Finance sections. Students gathered financial statements for a publicly traded company using the WRDS database, calculated and analyzed financial ratios for the company and industry, and wrote a 3- to 5-page report. The finance project supports the Amarillo National Bank School of Accounting, Economics, and Finance's initiative to engage students with hands-on research activities by utilizing a professional national dataset. We surveyed face-to-face and online students enrolled in FIN 3320. IRB approved.

Keywords

2024 Faculty and Student Research Poster Session and Research Fair, West Texas A&M University, College of Business, Poster, Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS), Economics

Citation