Communication apprehension and maths anxiety as barriers to communication and numeracy skills development in accounting and business education
Purpose ? To establish the existence of barriers to communication and numeracy skills development and to establish the levels of these exhibited by accounting and business students at the commencement of their courses in higher education. Design/methodology/approach ? Uses questionnaires to establish the levels of communication apprehension (CA) and maths anxiety (MA) in students at the commencement of their accounting and business courses in higher education. Establishes the underlying factors that are influential in determining the levels of apprehension and anxiety in individual students. An analysis of the underlying demographic variables such as age, previous educational background, etc. is also undertaken. Findings ? Identifies the existence of high levels of CA in accounting students and MA in business studies students at the beginning of their courses. Practical implications ? Where high levels of CA in accounting students and MA in business studies students are shown to exist consideration must be given to relevant curriculum design and delivery, and the use of techniques designed to reduce apprehension/anxiety in the students concerned. Because the apprehension/anxiety is present on entry to higher education it may be that specific courses appear to be recruiting students whose perception of their longer term vocational skills requirements may be inappropriate to their chosen career area. Originality/value ? Identifies specific differences in the areas of CA and MA between differently focused vocational courses, which have syllabus overlap, within a business school.
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