Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The Experience of Deep Learning by Accounting Students in a University Accounting Course

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posted on 2021-11-10, 23:18 authored by Turner, Martin Craig

Higher education in accounting faces a challenge to shift its emphasis from reproducing technical knowledge to developing personal capabilities such as critical thinking, creative thinking, problem-solving, communication and teamwork. The educational psychology literature suggests students will not make the cognitive effort to develop personal capabilities unless they frrst experience a deep approach to learning; and the experience of high-level relevance structure, high-level conception of learning and intrinsic motivation strongly support deep learning. This study examines how accounting students can be supported to experience high-level relevance structure, high-level conception of learning, intrinsic motivation and deep learning in the context of a university accounting course. Phenomenography is used to study the experience of learning of students in a third year undergraduate accounting course into which an integrated set of interventions involving Assessment, Teamwork, Teacher-Student Relationship and Instruction was introduced. An assignment in five stages and five session preparation assignments, supplemented with a focus group and surveys of students, identified and captured the ways students experience key aspects of how they learn. A key fmding of this study is that it is possible to transform the design and delivery of a single university course to support a large proportion of students to experience change in how they learn accounting (and, in particular, to experience deep learning) through the careful adaptation of education theory. An implication of this study is the need to support students to experience change in how they learn in frrst year courses to enable them to develop personal capabilities in their later university studies.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Accounting and Commercial Law


Baskerville, Rachel F; Angelo, Tom