Teaching for the future: a transnational university practice

Qian Wang*, Jiajun Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore an innovative teaching design to teach accounting management that aims to foster students’ technical and soft skills. The effectiveness of this new teaching design addresses current concerns for universities preparing students for the future. Design/methodology/approach: The paper deploys the qualitative research methodology and applies multiple methods to gather data in a case study. The researchers collected data through pre- and post-surveys of individual students, three half-day observations on the five project teams and a one-hour long semi-structured interview with a focus group. Findings: Five themes emerged in the research to support the effectiveness of the new teaching design. The study also showed that students’ abilities in self-directed learning (SDL) link to their learning experiences. When students were more capable of initiating learning, such ability enriched their practices of soft skills in the team setting. Research limitations/implications: This one-shot study had a small group of homogeneous participants and had no baseline comparison to identify the increment of students’ soft skills. Practical implications: The findings provide valuable insights into the course design and implementation of the teaching approach for the future. The paper suggests that fostering students’ SDL will increase the effectiveness of soft skills development. Originality/value: This empirical research extends current knowledge of teaching soft skills and calls for action on the development of students’ SDL abilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
JournalOn the Horizon
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2020


  • Accounting education
  • Self-directed learning
  • Soft skills
  • Transnational higher education

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