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Factors influencing academic performance in quantitative courses among undergraduate business students of a public higher education institution

Darwish Abdulrahamn Yousef (Department of Business Administration, UAE University , Al Ain, UAE)

Journal of International Education in Business

ISSN: 2046-469X

Article publication date: 2 May 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the impacts of teaching style, English language and communication and assessment methods on the academic performance of undergraduate business students in introductory quantitative courses such as Statistics for Business 1 and 2, Quantitative Methods for Business, Operations and Production Management and Operations Research in a non-Western setting.

Design/methodology/approach

Data was collected from 750 undergraduate business students in third- and fourth-year classes at the UAE University (UAEU). Descriptive statistics were used to gain some insights into the demographic and educational characteristics of respondents and their opinions regarding the importance of the three factors of concern to their understanding of quantitative courses material, along with multiple regression analysis that was used to test the hypotheses of the study.

Findings

The results of the present study indicate the importance of the teaching style in terms of the way the lecturer speaks and the pace of presenting the material, in addition to the structure of the lecture in understanding quantitative course material. Additionally, availability and contents of the material on the course website play an important role in helping undergraduate business students understand the subjects of quantitative courses. The study revealed that the UAEU undergraduate business students are, to some extent, uncomfortable in reading printed textbooks and writing reports on quantitative topics in English. The results of multiple regression analysis revealed that both teaching style and English language and communication have a great influence on the academic performance of UAEU undergraduate business students.

Research limitations/implications

The paper has a number of limitations. For instance, the sample was taken only from students in a single university. Moreover, this study focuses on the business students and in turn, it excludes students of other colleges. On the other hand, it has a number of implications for administrators, instructors and researchers. Administrators should pay special attention when setting admission standards. Instructors teaching quantitative courses should prepare well-structured lectures and deliver them at a reasonable pace to allow students the time to understand them. They should also pay attention to the way they speak. For researchers, this study will indicate the need for further research to confirm or refute the results of the present study.

Originality/value

The present study is the first attempt to investigate the impacts of the three factors of concern on the academic performance of undergraduate business students in introductory quantitative courses in a public university setting in the UAE context.

Keywords

Citation

Yousef, D.A. (2017), "Factors influencing academic performance in quantitative courses among undergraduate business students of a public higher education institution", Journal of International Education in Business, Vol. 10 No. 01, pp. 12-30. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIEB-07-2016-0016

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited