Authentic Learning – Does It Improve Pass Rates and Student Satisfaction?


  • Justine Simpson Leeds Beckett University



Authentic learning, higher education, student satisfaction, pass rates, real world


Learning by doing is thought to be one of the most effective ways to learn (Lombardi, 2007). This article explores the findings of a small scale study on one module about whether pass rates and student satisfaction can be improved by introducing authentic learning methods into the classroom by changing the teaching and assessment methods used on a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) module (Accounting and Finance for Decision Making). The pass rates pre and post the changes were monitored and also the student satisfaction scores. Comparisons were made between the results three semesters prior and three semesters post the changes, reviewing quantitative and qualitative data from 180 students.

Leeds Beckett University has undertaken reviews of its undergraduate and postgraduate curricula and one of the key messages underlying university education at the Business School is that it needs to enhance employability. Therefore the consideration of using ‘authentic learning’ methods wherever appropriate would appear to fit in well with this strategy.

The findings suggest that the introduction of authentic learning techniques make student learning from this sample more effective in terms of better pass rates and also that the students enjoy the learning experience more.

The findings therefore bode well for the further use of authentic learning techniques in future teaching and learning activities and also support current literature in this area. The module continues to use the changes introduced and has experienced much higher pass rates and student satisfaction as a result.

Author Biography

Justine Simpson, Leeds Beckett University

Principal LecturerSchool of Accounting, Finance and Economics


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