Improving Student Learning Outcomes in a First Year Business Subject: Embedding Teaching and Learning Strategies

Sebastian, Dipu (2008) Improving Student Learning Outcomes in a First Year Business Subject: Embedding Teaching and Learning Strategies. The International Journal of Learning, 15(7), pp. 91-96.


The aim of this research was to investigate whether teaching and learning strategies that encourage students to adopt a deep approach to learning can improve their learning outcomes on a written task. This research was conducted within a first year business course offered at a major Australian university. Staff teaching the course were concerned about students' written communication abilities and observed that academic performance on written tasks did not necessarily reflect their level of knowledge articulated through other methods. The study was conducted across two phases. In the first phase, students completed and discussed the results of the Study Process Questionnaire (SPQ) which identified their approach to learning in the particular context. The second phase involved implementing a teaching and learning activity that aimed to improve student learning outcomes on a written task by developing a shared understanding of the expectations of the task. This activity was based on the Structure of Learning Outcomes (SOLO) taxonomy (Biggs, 1991). Self peer and teacher feedback was integrated throughout this process. The results indicated that the majority of the participants made considerable gains. Student success, however, was not uniform. The general pattern of results indicated that students with an expressed desire to learning made greater improvement across the course of the study. These results are consistent with other studies. The analysis of the results also revealed that students who did not demonstrate a strong preference to either surface or deep approaches to learning (as measured by the SPQ) in this context also made considerable gains. The overall results of this study were very encouraging and have given valuable feedback about the process of developing and embedding teaching and learning strategies in the curriculum. Further, this study provided impetus for policy development and restructuring of the entire first year of the undergraduate degree program.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 15048
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal's website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Teaching and Learning Strategies, SOLO Taxonomy, Improving Student Learning Outcomes
ISSN: 1447-9494
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Vocational Education and Training Curriculum and Pedagogy (130213)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Dipu Sebastian
Deposited On: 09 Oct 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2011 13:38

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page