Perceptions about learning outcomes and outcome differences among different grade expectants in an undergraduate group essay writing assessment: an exploratory study of an Australian regional university
Ahmed, Rafiuddin (2008) Perceptions about learning outcomes and outcome differences among different grade expectants in an undergraduate group essay writing assessment: an exploratory study of an Australian regional university. Review of Higher Education and Self-Learning, 1 (2). pp. 33-46.
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Assessment practices in tertiary education sector have been widely researched in different countries. This Australian study examines undergraduate students? perceptions about learning outcomes and outcome (or grade) differences among different grade expectants. In particular the study aims to investigate the impact of a group essay writing project on the students? expected grades, their abilities to develop embedded skills through the group work, and the reasons for the possible perception differences among different grade expectants. A questionnaire survey on 33 students is used to undertake this exploratory study as part of a larger project of the institution where the subject is offered to third year management accounting students. Social Loafing Theory (SLT) is used to supplement the statistical analysis and to add rigour to the analysis of the evidence. The data were analysed by a factor analysis, and a discriminant analysis using the SPSS statistical package. The study finds that there is no significant association between students? group efforts and their expected grades. The study also finds mixed perceptions about four dimensions of intrinsic learning outcomes, namely, perceptions about group work, perceptions about learning approaches, perceptions about teacher support, and perceptions about an essay versus an alternative assessment. The essay also finds that learning outcomes and expected grade differences between the Pass category (P) and Distinction category (D) students were attributable to two factors: perceptions about teacher support and perceptions about the value of group work. Over all, the students perceived that this group work have had insignificant impact on their learning outcomes or on their skill bases. Lessons learned from this study offers some explanations for the students? apparent disliking of a group work despite their preferences for improved grades, through group work, due to social loafing opportunities, and the instructor's incorrect belief that group work fosters students? skills development and prepares the students for their future jobs. The implications of this study for the students, the academics, and the university administrators are discussed followed by some directions for further research.
|Item Type:||Article (Refereed Research - C1)|
|Keywords:||group essay; Social Loafing theory; learning outcomes; skills development; factor analysis|
|FoR Codes:||15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability > 150105 Management Accounting @ 50%|
15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability > 150199 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability not elsewhere classified @ 50%
|SEO Codes:||91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9199 Other Economic Framework > 919999 Economic Framework not elsewhere classified @ 100%|
|Deposited On:||16 Feb 2010 12:00|
|Last Modified:||12 Feb 2011 03:03|
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