Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

8-2011

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Terrence A. Tollefson

Committee Members

Pamela H. Scott, Karen A. Tarnoff, James H. Lampley

Abstract

Self-regulated learning skills have been shown to positively impact academic achievement in educational settings. This same set of skills becomes critically important as graduates enter today‟s dynamic work environment. That environment increasingly requires accountants and other professionals to be lifelong learners. This study is a response to the call of the Accounting Education Change Commission (AECC) to make "learning to learn" a priority in the accounting classroom. This study used a quantitative, quasi-experimental design within the context of a beginning accounting course. The course is characterized by high failure rates, highly conceptual content, and a population of novice learners.

Study participants were stratified according to ACT level, prior GPA level, and academic major. The control group received instruction based on course content only. The treatment group received an intervention in which instruction focused on the process of learning as well as on regular course content. The purpose of the study was to determine whether academic performance differed between the 2 groups. The study further examined whether differences in the means on exam scores varied as a function of ACT level, prior GPA level, or academic major.

A MANOVA indicated a significant difference in exam scores between the control and treatment groups with the treatment group outperforming the control group on 4 of the 5 exams. Follow-up ANOVAS were used to determine on which exams statistical significance was found. Two-way ANOVAS revealed no significant interaction between classroom method and prior GPA or academic major. Although statistical significance was not found in the interaction between classroom method and ACT level, descriptive statistics revealed that the greatest differences (between the mean exam scores of the control and treatment groups) occurred among the high-ACT group.

The researcher did not attempt to trace causal paths, or changes in the mediating variables that may have linked changes in the learning environment to changes in academic performance. This study provided evidence that instruction related to the process of learning did not diminish academic performance on content-based exams and for most groups of students who received such instruction performance on exams was enhanced. This study casts doubt on the presence of a "ceiling effect," which is often associated with high-ACT students.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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