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  Principles of Financial Investment Design Team

"Principles of Financial Investment"


Design Team
  Team: Susan Stoney, Brian Ducey and Ron Oliver


  Focus: Concept/Procedure Development
  Discipline: Business & Law
  Target: Undergraduate (early)
  ICT used: Interactive multimedia on CD-ROM
  Scope: Over several learning sessions

Designer's Summary


The use of ICT in this learning design implementation aimed to replace a three-week component in an Introductory Finance class. The students learn about wealth maximisation, as well as general financial theory and financial formulae.

In a face-to-face setting, the theory is discussed, but the students are not able to transfer their knowledge to a real world situation. The use of an interactive multimedia program on CD-ROM provided an instructional landscape in the form of a microworld which incorporates eight learner effects identified in the literature as being the most likely to enhance motivation and engagement. The microworld situated students in a physical setting allowing them to acquire knowledge in context, whilst having control over the pace, direction and timing of their learning.

The learning environment is centred around a virtual “Investment House” containing a library, an office, a broker, the stock exchange, a learning institute and a viewing room. Each of these areas contains the same information, in different formats, so that students can learn in a manner sympathetic to their learning styles. They are given a sum of money upon registering with the environment, which they can spend on education (at the Institute) or use to buy stocks (6 stocks were available), or both. Students are presented with ethical dilemmas via the telephone, and are able to use video clips and newspaper reports to watch the effect of world events on the prices of their stocks. The overall learning objective is to provide students with the ability to value shares and accurately forecast prices.

The program encompasses not only an environment that is realistic and authentic, but also all the theory, in a variety of forms, required to make good investment decisions. This allows the students to confidently invest based on their understanding of the theory while they watch the effect of variable market forces on the share prices. It is the ability to interpret world events in order to make 'buy and sell' decisions that maximise the value of an individual’s share portfolio.

The program was planned to provide the ability to build on the students’ intellectual skills by allowing them to apply basic rules, generate their own rules based on experience, and identify concrete concepts not specifically outlined in the theory. The program also needed to develop cognitive strategies to help students to remember the tutorial information presented in The Institute. Cognitive strategies can be developed through the problem-solving approach taken in the program.

Rationale for Inclusion


This exemplar has been selected for inclusion for the following reason:

  • The use of ICT is aimed to situate students in a real world setting, allowing them to acquire knowledge in context, whilst having control over the pace, direction and timing of their learning.

Please Cite As:

  Stoney, S., Ducey, B. & Oliver, R. (2002). Description of Principles of Financial Investment. Retrieved , from Learning Designs Web site:
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