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Changing the learning environment to promote deep learning approaches in first year accounting students

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Developing deep approaches to learning is claimed to enhance students' engagement with their subject material and result in improved analytical and conceptual thinking skills. Numerous calls have been made for accounting educators to adopt strategies that produce such results. This paper reports on changes to the learning environment centring on the introduction of group learning activities that were designed to improve the quality of students' learning outcomes. The impact of changes in the learning environment on students' approaches to learning, as measured by the Study Process Questionnaire (SPQ) (Biggs, 1987b), was then assessed. Results indicate that, across the semester, accounting students exhibited a small but statistically significant increase in their deep learning approach, and a small but statistically significant reduction in their surface learning approach. The results suggest that accounting educators, through changes in the learning environment, may be able to influence the learning approaches adopted by accounting students.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/2956/

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