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Title: Improving student engagement in a financial accounting first year course
Authors: Dix, Suanne 
Issue Date: 2018
This study was conducted to assess and improve, where necessary, the level of engagement in a financial accounting first year course. It explored the current level of engagement by students in Financial Accounting 1 at the Durban University of Technology. Further, the study examined what the reasons were for students engaging / not engaging with subject material and then sought to identify ways that engagement could be improved in areas where improvement was needed. The target population of the study was Financial Accounting 1 students registered for the National Diploma: Accounting. The study used a mixed methods approach. A questionnaire was used to collect data. Quantitative data was analysed statistically while qualitative data, collected from the open-ended section of the questionnaire, was analysed using thematic analysis. The data showed that many students do attend lectures and are motivated to succeed – however, attendance at tutorials is not given priority and attempting homework exercises even less so. Lectures are held in large groups but as the students were required to participate in the smaller environment of tutorials, and further, as their lack of understanding would be further exposed if they were required to complete an exercise on their own, it appeared that the less the students were willing to participate. The pass rate for Financial Accounting 1 is consistently above 80% however, the data showed that some areas of engagement were lacking. This may show a lack of alignment between the level of engagement required and the level of the assessments. The qualitative answers gave insight into the reasons why students engage / do not engage. Students tend to arrive on campus feeling motivated to improve their lives, however, they face challenges such as overcoming socio-economic problems as well as transport issues, lack of confidence, poor time management skills and some logistical challenges associated with tutorials. Their lack of confidence is shown when they are less willing to engage in environments where they may feel more vulnerable. There is scope for high impact practices to be used in Financial Accounting 1 at DUT. Conclusions drawn and recommendations made include teaching and learning policies that will embed engagement.
Submitted in fulfilment of the requirements of the Degree of Master of Accounting (Financial Accounting), Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2018.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Accounting and Informatics)

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