Integrating Student-Centered Learning in Finance Courses: The Case of a Malaysian Research University

  •  Hawati Janor    
  •  Ruzita Rahim    
  •  Aisyah Rahman    
  •  Noor Auzairy    
  •  Noor Hashim    
  •  Muhamad Yusof    


The student-centered learning (SCL) approach is an approach to education that focuses on learners and their needs, rather than relying upon the input of the teacher's. The present paper examines how the SCL approach is integrated as a learner-centered paradigm into finance courses offered at a business school in a research university in Malaysia. Specifically, this paper identifies how a learner-centered environment is integrated into teaching methods, learning activities and evaluation tools. Since the adoption of the SCL approach is partly to cater for the needs of the research university, the analysis of the courses is supported with responses from the respective lecturers. This study finds that the lecturers of the five courses examined have used active/interactive learning and group project approaches as standard teaching methods under the SCL approach which includes projects, class discussion and presentation. Alongside these standard methods, some of the courses use additional methods under the SCL approach, including real life experiential learning and case studies. For example, students of the Investment and Portfolio Analysis course are exposed to the real world investment decision making by investing funds in selected stocks listed on Bursa Malaysia. In terms of course evaluations, the courses place greater weight on continuous assessment based on group projects and presentations, while reduce the emphasis on examinations. Overall, implementing the SCL approach requires a careful design of the learning process, which includes the classroom setting; flexibility of the curriculum; teaching methods; evaluation policies; and course content. In general, the study demonstrates that SCL has great potential to function as an effective learning tool in an environment where the labor market demands generically skilled job candidates and in which universities are demanding further resources to be devoted to efforts relating to research and publications.

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