Self-regulated learning skills have been shown to have a positive impact on achievement in the academic setting, enabling graduates to become lifelong learners in professional settings. Although the importance of lifelong learning skills is well articulated in the accounting education literature, this study is the first to address concerns that class time devoted to developing such skills might impair students' acquisition of content knowledge.
This study uses a quasi-experimental design within the context of the introductory accounting course. The treatment group received self-regulated learning interventions designed by the researcher and based on Zimmerman's model of the academic learning cycle.
Results of this study were obtained using multiple regressions and suggest that students' acquisition of technical knowledge, as measured by conventional exam scores, was not compromised when class time was allocated between self-regulated learning interventions and content instruction. Although benefits of the treatment were not immediate, the treatment group outperformed the control group in terms of scores on exams administered near the end of the course. This study found no evidence of a “ceiling effect” but does provide limited support for the “Matthew effect,” whereby higher ability students often reap the greatest benefit from interventions.