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Peer Effects on Undergraduate Business Student Performance

Salvador Contreras (), Frank Badua () and Mitchell Adrian ()
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Frank Badua: Lamar University
Mitchell Adrian: McNeese State University

International Review of Economic Education, 2012, vol. 11, issue 1, 57-66

Abstract: In this study we investigated the effects of two forms of instruction: strengthening concepts and strengthening the ability to connect context with concepts. Although students may have acquired a reasonable amount of conceptual knowledge as a result of economics courses, two obstacles may prevent them from achieving transfer. One obstacle is a lack of a rich conceptual network; another is the inability to make connections between the conceptual network and realistic problems. The aim of this study was to find out what contributes most to the ability to transfer: strengthening conceptual knowledge or strengthening the making of connections. Some 139 students of the pre-final year of pre-university education participated in an experiment with two conditions and with a pre-test and a post-test. All students performed significantly better on the post-test in which conceptual knowledge was measured compared to the pre-test. No significant differences were measured between the two instructions on the post-test on transfer.

Date: 2012
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