DETERMINANTS OF STUDENT SUCCESS IN FINANCE COURSES
In the competitive landscape of higher education, student success is becoming an ever more important element in achieving and maintaining university reputation, accreditation and quality of teaching. Investigating the determinants of student success can help with better course design, adaptation of teaching techniques and program improvements.
In this paper, we investigate what is the use of the existing strategies by the students, i.e. how many face-to-face classes are attended, lecture slides and tutorial exercises downloaded, recorded lectures streamed. Also, we investigate which of the existing resources/strategies have a significant contribution to the student success in the course. We also compare the use and effectiveness of face-to-face and online strategies and make some conclusions about their complementarity and substitutability. Research in the area of student success has revealed that previous finance knowledge and quantitative skills, demographics, effort, and GPA score have an impact on student performance. Although student human capital has been known to have a positive effect on performance, other factors like student inputs in the form of lecture attendance and study time influence students’ academic results as well.
In this study, we examine students’ use of the learning resources available to them and whether these have a significant impact on students’ success in an undergraduate finance course. To address the research questions, a core second-year course in Bachelor of Commerce program with Finance major has been selected. The assessment strategy consisted of mid-semester exam, group assignment and final examination. As per university policy requirements, all lectures were recorded and made available to the students immediately after the class. Tutorials were not recorded. Students have had an online access to all lecture slides, tutorial questions and answers in advance of their classes.
To undertake the quantitative analysis, the following data was collected: attendance roll for face-to-face classes, record for students’ access to lecture slides, tutorial questions and answers, data, time and duration of the access to recorded videos of the lectures. Students have also asked to fill in a short survey on the use of textbook for the course. To measure the impact of the various learning aids students might have used in the studies, we regressed all the above variables against the overall scores (from zero to 100) that were achieved by students in the course. There are other important variables, which may affect students’ performance in the course. We incorporate data for two such variables - students’ cognitive and analytical ability, and English language ability - and use them as control in our regressions. We find that class attendance, the online streaming of recorded classes, and reading the relevant textbooks all remain important strategies to achieve course success even after controlling for students’ cognitive and English language abilities.
In this paper we show that face-to-face interactions remains a valuable teaching and learning resource. The student’s active participation should be continuously encouraged by various means, including the application of various active learning strategies. It appears that the availability and use of online resources represent a valuable resource for students who are unable or unwilling to engage in face-to-face interaction with their instructors.