Freedom to Fail: The Impact of Giving Accounting Students the Chance to Fail at Questions

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Prior research demonstrates that student learning can be enhanced through
self-guided reflection. In particular, promoting students’ metacognition and
self-efficacy beliefs requires educators to provide students with opportunities to
‘be confused’, ask questions of themselves and build the resilience fundamental
to their future professional lives. However, students cannot be expected to learn
to learn; they must be taught how to learn. Additionally, they need to be assisted
in identifying what learning strategies are available to them. Having outlined
the rationale behind strategies such as student-led learning and student-driven
assessment, this paper presents an analysis of student reflections, module evaluations and exam marks, and a comparison of final exam marks before and after a method known as freedom to fail (F2F) was introduced. It was found that the introduction of this approach led to a greater student awareness of learning strategies and improved results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-28
Number of pages24
JournalAccounting, Finance & Governance Review
Issue number1
Early online date31 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished online - 31 Dec 2019


  • audit education
  • assessment
  • freedom to fail
  • metacognition
  • student-led learning
  • reflection
  • accounting education
  • self assessment


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