This study analyses learning approaches, course perceptions and learning outcomes of a group of second year accounting students at an Australian university using qualitative data analysis techniques. The research method involves the development of a series of matrices linking types of motives and strategies used by students in their study, together with their perceptions of the learning context associated with learning outcomes. The study focuses on assessing the links between learning approaches and a qualitative assessment of students' conceptual understanding of aspects of financial accounting studied at the undergraduate level. The results confirm how individual differences in the perceptions of the learning context relate to study motives and strategies. The findings show how different forms of memorisation relate to study strategies and how the completion of accounting tasks link to students' perceptions of course requirements. There was also some evidence that, in terms of learning outcomes, students with sophisticated levels of understanding of concepts, tended to have consistent deep and achieving approaches to learning. This result was compared with students' academic performance as a measure of learning outcome. Discrepancies between these two measures of learning outcome are highlighted in the conclusions. The findings strengthen the case for further investigation of the use of measures other than academic performance in examining relationships between learning approaches and learning outcomes.
Field of Research
150199 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability not elsewhere classified