Student perspectives on the development of group process skills in introductory accounting

Nick McGuigan, Sidney Weil, Baiding Hu, Thomas Kern

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


Accounting educators have, in recent years, responded to calls from the accounting profession to embrace innovative means of teaching and assessment design which challenge student preconceptions of the discipline and which facilitate the development of ‘strong interpersonal and analytical skills’ in order to promote sustainable learning outcomes amongst accounting students. Drawing on cooperative learning theory, this paper describes the introduction of a group-based project within an introductory accounting course in order to increase student engagement with course related material and to assist in the development of transferable learning skills, such as, communication, problem solving and interpersonal skills. The paper describes the context in which the research takes place, the nature of the course, its learning objectives and educational philosophy, as well as the group assessment task. The questionnaire-based study measures students’ perceptions of the relative usefulness of study groups in developing key learning competencies. The findings of the study show that students perceive the major benefit of study groups to be that they enable students to learn from other group members. Furthermore, the students rated the use of study groups highly as a learning method in the course. These findings suggest that accounting educators can use study groups within a structured project, based on cooperative learning principles, to engage learners and to assist in the development of transferable skills, such as communication and interpersonal skills, conflict resolution and problem solving.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Global Accounting, Finance And Economics Conference
EditorsNuha Jahan
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
PublisherWorld Business Institute, Australia
Number of pages36
ISBN (Print)9780980455748
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventGlobal Accounting, Finance And Economics Conference (2011) - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 14 Feb 201115 Feb 2011


ConferenceGlobal Accounting, Finance And Economics Conference (2011)
CityMelbourne, Australia


  • study groups
  • introductory accounting education
  • cooperative learning
  • transferable skills development
  • student perceptions


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