Teaching Economics Using Cooperative Learning Approach: Accounting Students' Performance and Attitude/ENSEIGNEMENT DE L'ÉCONOMIE EN UTILISANT L'APPROCHE DE L'APPRENTISSAGE COOPÉRATIF: LA PERFORMANCE ET L'ATTITUDE DES ÉTUDIANTS EN COMPTABILITÉ

Article excerpt

Abstract:

Using experimental and post experimental setting, this study examines whether different learning approach influence students' behaviour. Specifically, this study examines whether using cooperative learning approach could improve students' performance in economics course better than the conventional approach. This study also examines the students' attitude towards economics subject, communication skill and social skill upon reliance on the learning approach used in the experiment. Sixty one undergraduate accounting students in a public university in Malaysia participated in this study. The results show that although there is a difference in performance between students using cooperative learning approach and students using conventional approach, the result is not significant. However, the students' attitude toward economic subject, communication skill and social skill is more positive among the cooperation learning approach group compared to the conventional approach group. The findings of this study provide some understanding to academics and universities on the use of different learning approaches in teaching economics subject to accounting students.

Key words: economics; undergraduate students; cooperative learning approach

Résumé: En utilisant des mécanismes expérimentaux et post-expérimentaux, cette étude tente d'examiner si les approches d'apprentissage différentes peuvent influencer sur le comportement des élèves. Plus précisément, cette étude examine si l'utilisation de l'approche de l'apprentissage coopératif pourrait améliorer la performance des élèves dans les cours d'économie, plutôt que l'approche conventionnelle. Cette étude examine également l'attitude des élèves envers les sujets économiques, les compétences de communication et les apptitudes sociale en cas de recours à l'approche d'apprentissage utilisée dans cet essai. 61 étudiants de premier cycle en comptabilité dans une université publique en Malaisie ont participé à cette étude. Les résultats montrent que bien qu'il existe une différence de performance entre les étudiants qui utilisent la méthode d'apprentissage coopératif et ceux qui utilisent l'approche classique, l'écart n'est pas significatif. Cependant, l'attitude des étudiants face aux sujets économiques, les compétences de communication et des aptitudes sociales sont plus positives chez le groupe de l'approche de l'apprentissage coopératif par rapport à celui de l'approche conventionnelle. Le résultat de cette étude montre une certaine compréhension vis à vis des universités qui utilisent des approches d'apprentissage différentes dans l'enseignement de l'économie pour les étudiants en comptabilité.

Mots-clés: économie; étudiants de premier cycle; approche de l'apprentissage coopératif

1. INTRODUCTION

A common practice in the education system is the way knowledge being taught. Students often have the expectation that their role in the knowledge transmission process is to sit passively in class and waiting for their lecturers to impart the knowledge to them. Such attitude, however, led the students to come to class unprepared, reluctant to do reasoning and discussion and failure in providing two-way communication. Consequently, such attitude has led the students to become more assisted learners rather than self-directed learners which impair their ability in the survival of the competitive world. To overcome such limitation, there have been calls by practitioners and universities for changes in the learning approach from teacher-centeredness to student-centeredness. One of the approaches suggested to improving students' performance is the cooperative learning approach.

Cooperative learning approach is an instructional strategy focusing on small groups to allow the members within a group to work together in maximising their goals and learning capabilities. This approach ensures that students would actively participate in the learning process rather than passively listening to their lecturers (Johnson et al. …