22 SES 05 B, Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Higher Education
In higher education research, there is a lack of approaches to modeling and measuring the skills and knowledge of students in various fields. This is especially true for the field of business and economics (Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia & Kuhn 2010). So there is no model in the literature that explains how economic competence develops over the course of study and which (individual) personal and (systemic) structural influence factors are particularly relevant for the development. In the context of the Bologna reform and the enormous changes associated with it, it would be of particular interest to know which competencies the students acquire at their respective stage of study and in their respective study model (bachelor / master vs. diploma). This information could be used to evaluate the change processes, which are primarily policy-driven, also from an empirical point of view.
In Germany, there are only few approaches geared towards operationalization and measurement of economic competence. Given the very small number of empirical approaches, the national state of research on operationalization, measurement, and particularly development of economic competence is still unsatisfactory. On an international level, there are slightly more approaches to measuring economic competence, albeit only few employ longitudinal analyses. Even so, in view of both, the national and the international state of research, it can be maintained that until today, there exists no systematical analysis of the development of students’ economic competence over the course of their studies.
The study addresses the following key question:
How does the economic competence of business education students and business and economics students develop over the course of their studies?
This research question can be subdivided into a range of more specific sub-questions, which will be presented in the following. In business and economics courses of study in particular, students have different knowledge levels at the beginning of their studies. For this reason, the following question needs to be investigated: To what extent does students’ previous knowledge influence their knowledge development during the studies? Furthermore, since the initiation of the Bologna reform in particular, the student body has been described as an extremely heterogeneous group. Thus, it is important to know the relevance of influences that are already predetermined at the beginning of the studies: Which personal factors (mother tongue, gender, school leaving degree, intelligence, etc.) have a decisive influence on knowledge development over the course of the studies? In the current public debate in Germany, the discussion often turns to structural influence factors (such as differences between the Bachelor / Master. and the diploma study models). From the perspective of empirical educational research, we urgently need to examine these policy-driven change processes in detail and evaluate them in the light of empirical results. To which extent is the students’ knowledge development influenced by structural factors in particular (such as study model, degree course, etc.)? Furthermore, it is likely that students develop differently over the course of their studies. This assumption leads to the last sub-question: In which ways does the development process differ between students?
Beck, K.; Krumm, V.; Dubs, R. (1998). Wirtschaftskundlicher Bildungstest (WBT). Göttingen: Hogrefe. Muthén, L. K. & Muthén, B.O. (1998-2012). Mplus Users's Guide. Los Angeles: Muthén & Muthén. StataCorp. (2011). Stata Statistical Software: Release 12. College Station, TX: StataCorp LP. Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia, O. & Kuhn, C. (2010). Messung akademisch vermittelter Fertigkeiten und Kenntnisse von Studierenden bzw. Hochschulabsolventen. Analyse zum Forschungsstand. In K. Beck, K. Breuer & O. Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia (Hrsg.), Arbeitspapiere Wirtschaftspädagogik, 56, Mainz: Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftspädagogik, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität.
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