The importance of understanding student learning styles in accounting degree programs

Cameron, Robyn and Clark, Pat and de Zwaan, Laura and English, Diane and Lamminmaki, Dawne and O'Leary, Conor and Rae, Kirsten and Sands, John (2015) The importance of understanding student learning styles in accounting degree programs. Australian Accounting Review, 25 (3). pp. 218-231. ISSN 1035-6908

Abstract

Improvements in the tertiary education of accounting students benefit the profession. Analysis of the interaction
of learning styles and teaching methodologies in accounting degree programs revealed that when learning styles matched teaching methods used, usefulness was assessed as high. When they differed, usefulness deteriorated.
To maximise educational benefit this interaction should be considered, but this has resource implications. Accounting education is critical and any improvements in the tertiary education of accounting students should result in better prepared graduates entering the profession. This study evaluates accounting students’ learning styles and the interaction of learning styles and teaching methodologies in degree programs. Nine classes of accounting students (648 students) spread across four years and two degree programs were evaluated. Students self-evaluated their learning styles, pre-instruction. They were then subject to two separate teaching techniques (one active and one passive) in each course. Learning styles were then re-assessed and teaching techniques evaluated. Accounting students displayed a preference for passive learning, even those far advanced in their degrees. Furthermore, when learning stylesmatched teaching methods used, usefulness was assessed as high but
when learning styles and teachingmethods differed, usefulness deteriorated.Overall, active learners rather than
passive learners deemed the teachingmethods to be more effective. The implications are significant. Tomaximise
educational benefit for the accounting profession, student learning styles should be assessed before designing
appropriate teaching methodologies. This has resource implications, which would have to be considered.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Commerce
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2016 06:43
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2018 05:09
Uncontrolled Keywords: tertiary education; accounting; learning styles
Fields of Research : 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability > 150199 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1111/auar.12065
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/27945

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