Accounting and business students’ approaches to learning: a longitudinal study

Joan A. Ballantine, Angus Duff, Patricia McCourt Larres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)


This study reports the results of an investigation into the learning approaches of undergraduate accounting and business students from three universities in Ireland who were exposed to a learning environment, namely the case study method, which aimed to encourage a deep approach to learning. In order to assess the effectiveness of the intervention, the ASSIST research instrument was used to investigate changes in students’ approaches to learning over time. Consistent with previous research, this study considers whether gender is related to students’ approaches to learning over time and if there are differences between students majoring in accounting or business in their approaches to learning. The results of the study indicate that the case study intervention was successful in some respects. However, contrary to expectations, an overall statistically significant increase in students’ surface approach to learning was found. Additionally, it is reported that changes in students’ approaches to learning over time are not associated with gender or degree program. The results of this study offer insights to accounting educators developing educational interventions to encourage deep approaches to learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-201
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Accounting Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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