Student Learning Preferences: International Students in Comparative Perspective

By Shirley Anne Gillett and Rachel Baskerville.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper examines the methods that students find most valuable for their learning by comparing home and international students. The quantitative data is derived from an online survey administered to undergraduate accounting students in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. There were 273 useable responses to this survey, conducted from October 2008–June 2009 together with qualitative discursive transcribed material from six focus groups, comprising two at each of the same universities. Analysis of the survey data indicated that both home and international students similarly ranked factors that they regarded as important in learning, regardless of ethnicity and the country in which they studied. Of the choices offered listening to the lecture, note taking and textbooks were most valuable. The focus groups also indicated that PowerPoints were unpopular as a learning medium, and that Asian students did not like group learning. These findings support current scholarship, which suggests revising the stereotypes of international learners. This study, therefore, contributes to building a clearer understanding of learning expectations and perceptions of the fast developing and ethnically-diverse international student cohort.

Keywords: Learning, International Students, Teaching Practices

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 11, pp.155-176. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.921MB).

Dr. Shirley Anne Gillett

Teaching Fellow, College of Education, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Shirley Anne Gillett is a New Zealand born and trained primary school teacher who, as well as teaching in various New Zealand cities, also taught for some years in a number of schools in the UK. Currently, she is a Teaching Fellow in the University of Otago College of Education (UOCE). One aspect of the job involves working with Malaysian Students as Academic Support. Her research interests include the cultural aspects of learning and also gender studies.

Dr. Rachel Baskerville

Professor, School of Accounting and Commercial Law, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

Rachel Baskerville teaches financial reporting and compliance, and in addition to her interest in research on teaching in accounting, her other interests address the nexus between accounting and anthropology, as well as regulation of international accounting standards and researching not for profit entities. She has recently undertaken a range of studies on issues arising in translation of accounting standards.


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