The purpose of this chapter is to investigate students’ qualitatively different ways of understanding the learning object in three undergraduate courses in the discipline of accounting. The theoretical framework of variation theory, a general learning theory, is applied. The lecturers chose a learning object which is investigated under two different teaching conditions – the conventional lecture model and the variational method. Two student groups were identified as a comparison group and a target group, comparable in various relevant parameters. All students took three required accounting courses. In the comparison group, the lecturers used the conventional lecture model and in the target group the variational model. The results indicated significant differences between the two groups’ examination results in the three courses, with students in the target group performing much better. The educational implications and limitations of the study, and areas for further research, are discussed.
The author gratefully acknowledges the funding for this research from the Söderberg Research Foundation. For their participation in this project the author thanks Marie Lumsden, Inga-Lill Johansson, Johan Åkesson and the students in the two groups. The author also acknowledges the support from Professor Ference Marton and Professor Sten Jönsson for their valuable comments during the project’s various phases. Thanks also to Marcia Halvorsen who edited this chapter.
Rovio-Johansson, A. (2013), "An Application of Variation Theory of Learning in Higher Education", Theory and Method in Higher Education Research (International Perspectives on Higher Education Research, Vol. 9), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 261-279. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-3628(2013)0000009017Download as .RIS
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