Exploring differences between international business undergraduates’ conceptual understanding

Authors Sue Ashley , Harmen Schaap , Elly de Bruijn
Published in Studies in Higher Education
Publication date October 2019
Research groups Vocational Education
Type Article

Summary

Higher education providers need to deliver graduates with the conceptual understanding required for professional life. Conceptual understanding entails a synthesis of relevant facts, theories and practices that influence occupational performance. To help align curricula with individual student differences, this study investigates differences in international business undergraduates’ conceptual understanding with regard to study progress. Seventy-four international business students of a bachelor’s programme in the Netherlands participated. Students were presented with a complex business problem. They then wrote essays in which they explicated their conceptual understanding of the case. Using a rubric, six components of conceptual understanding were graded on a 5-point scale ranging from negligible to extraordinary. Results indicated three types of conceptual understanding: limited, developing and extensive. Their relationship with study progress was nonlinear, indicating that effects other than curriculum may account for differences between students. Suggestions are made to account for differences, and recommendations are made regarding curriculum development.

researchcomponents.publicationcontent.personslist.publicationauthors

  • Sue Ashley | Researcher | Research group Vocational Education
    Sue Ashley
    • Researcher
    • Research groups: Vocational Education

Language English
Published in Studies in Higher Education
Key words Higher education, conceptual understanding, international business undergraduates, cross-sectional study, international education
Digital Object Identifier https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2019.1672642

Sue Ashley

Sue Ashley | Researcher | Research group Vocational Education

Sue Ashley

  • Researcher
  • Research group: Vocational Education