Developing and enhancing
independent learning skills
Using video tutorials as a means of helping
students help themselves
Belinda Luke and Kate Hogarth
Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the use of short video tutorials in a post-graduate
accounting subject, as a means of helping students develop and enhance independent learning skills.
Design/methodology/approach – In total, ﬁve short (approximately ﬁve to 10 minutes) video
tutorials were introduced in an effort to shift the reliance for learning from the lecturer to the student.
Data on students’ usage of online video tutorials, and comments by students in university questionnaires
were collated over three semesters from 2008 to 2009. Interviews with students were then conducted in
late 2009 to more comprehensively evaluate the use and perceived beneﬁts of video tutorials.
Findings – Findings reveal preliminary but positive outcomes in terms of both more efﬁcient and
effective teaching and learning.
Research limitations/implications – The shift towards more independent learning through the
use of video tutorials has positive implications for educators, employers, and professional accounting
bodies; each of whom has identiﬁed the need for this skill in accounting graduates.
Practical implications – The use of video tutorials has the potential for more rewarding teaching
and more effective learning.
Originality/value – This study is one of the ﬁrst to examine the use and beneﬁts of video tutorials
as a means of developing independent learning skills in accountancy students – addressing a key
concern within the profession.
Keywords Postgraduates, Self managed learning, Tutorials, Video, Independent learning skills
Paper type Case study
The growing emphasis on education as a business has made the academic environment
increasingly complex (Kirp, 2003). Expectations on staff to publish, teach, and manage
growing class sizes present various challenges (Strickland, 1985). In the context of
teaching, these challenges are often compounded due to the increasing diversity among
students (Biggs, 1999; Brownlee et al., 2009; Guthrie, 2010), in terms of the different
knowledge bases they bring to class (Lucas and Mladenovic, 2009), and the different skills
students individually develop throughout their studies (Zapalska and Dabb, 2002).
Such diversity is commonly reﬂected in the range of styles through which students learn,
but also in the increased needs of some students in terms of individual assistance required
outside of class time. A review of various university web sites and promotional
documents (Australian National University, 2010; Deakin University, 2010;
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
Thanks to both reviewers, as well as Associate Professor Helen Irvine, for their guidance with
Accounting Research Journal
Vol. 24 No. 3, 2011
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited