The importance of understanding student learning styles in accounting degree programs

Article


Cameron, Robyn, Clark, Pat, de Zwaan, Laura, English, Diane, Lamminmaki, Dawne, O'Leary, Conor, 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. https://doi.org/10.1111/auar.12065
Article Title

The importance of understanding student learning styles in
accounting degree programs

ERA Journal ID19074
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsCameron, Robyn (Author), Clark, Pat (Author), de Zwaan, Laura (Author), English, Diane (Author), Lamminmaki, Dawne (Author), O'Leary, Conor (Author), Rae, Kirsten (Author) and Sands, John (Author)
Journal TitleAustralian Accounting Review
Journal Citation25 (3), pp. 218-231
Number of Pages14
Year2015
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
ISSN1035-6908
1835-2561
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/auar.12065
Web Address (URL)http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/auar.12065/abstract
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.

Keywordstertiary education; accounting; learning styles
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350199. Accounting, auditing and accountability not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsGriffith University
Southern Cross University
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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