About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5618-5625
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-2661-8
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain

WHY BUSINESS STUDENTS SUCCEED IN THEIR FIRST YEAR OF HIGHER EDUCATION STUDIES

B. Fuhrmann

Vienna University of Economics and Business (AUSTRIA)
It would seem reasonable to assume that students who have decided to study at a university have acquired appropriate learning strategies after (at least) twelve years of schooling, are motivated to study and interested in the field of studies that they have chosen. Nevertheless, about 50% of the students at Vienna University of Economics and Business (“Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien”, short “WU”) drop out during their first year.
In order to understand the reasons for the high drop out rate, we studied the students’ prerequisites – mainly their interests, motivation and learning strategies – as well as their development during the first year, and examined their influence on student learning achievement.
This paper presents and discusses the results of a multiple regression model for the explanation of student learning achievement in the first year of studies at WU. It is based on a longitudinal research design that combines data collected at the beginning of the first semester (t0) with corresponding data that was collected about one year later (t1). Student learning achievement was measured by combining the number of exams that students had passed during their first year of studies as well as the grades that they received. Students‘ learning strategies, their interests, motivational orientations and their self-efficacy were measured at t0 and t1 and were entered into the model as independent explanatory variables. As the grades which students achieved at their school-leaving (A-level) exams have often been shown to be good predictors of student achievement in higher education, these grades were also used as independent variables.
The results reveal that very few students have previously applied learning strategies that may be considered indispensable for successfully studying at a university, and they apply them even less during their first year of studies. Even many successful students do not always take notes in class, neither do they summarize the most important information. Furthermore, most students have not yet tried to apply what they had to learn to real-life problems, to relate it to their prior knowledge of the subject and their experience or to find their own illustrative examples. Hence, it is understandable that the students’ fear of failing at exams which is already fairly high on the first day of their studies becomes even stronger after one year.
The final multiple regression model explains 35.5% of the variance of student achievement in the first year of studies at WU. The A-level grades turn out to be the strongest predictor of student achievement at WU, followed by the students‘ ability to cope with their fear of failing at exams, their self-efficacy and their motivational orientiation to suceed in their studies and to improve their competences. All other explanatory variables in the model (like all other learning strategies and the students‘ interest in business) have very low beta weights and are not statistically significant.
The discussion of the results are highly relevant for students who want to study successfully, as well as teachers and administrators in higher education who need to make decisions on designs of introductory courses and the format of exams.
@InProceedings{FUHRMANN2013WHY,
author = {Fuhrmann, B.},
title = {WHY BUSINESS STUDENTS SUCCEED IN THEIR FIRST YEAR OF HIGHER EDUCATION STUDIES},
series = {7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-2661-8},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {4-5 March, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {5618-5625}}
TY - CONF
AU - B. Fuhrmann
TI - WHY BUSINESS STUDENTS SUCCEED IN THEIR FIRST YEAR OF HIGHER EDUCATION STUDIES
SN - 978-84-616-2661-8/2340-1079
PY - 2013
Y1 - 4-5 March, 2013
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2013 Proceedings
SP - 5618
EP - 5625
ER -
B. Fuhrmann (2013) WHY BUSINESS STUDENTS SUCCEED IN THEIR FIRST YEAR OF HIGHER EDUCATION STUDIES, INTED2013 Proceedings, pp. 5618-5625.
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