Students' approaches to learning and their experiences of the teaching-learning environment in different disciplines.Br J Educ Psychol. 2010 Jun; 80(Pt 2):269-82.BJ
There is evidence of disciplinary variation in students' approaches to learning. Furthermore, previous research has shown that students' approaches are related to their perceptions of the learning environment.
The overall objective of the study was to analyse combinations of approaches to learning among undergraduates in different disciplines. More precisely, the aim was to cluster students on the basis of their scores on different items measuring approaches to learning, and to explore the relationship between the clusters and both the disciplines of the students and their perceptions of the teaching-learning environment.
A total of 2,509 students participated in the study.
The students were asked to complete an on-line questionnaire, which was a revised version of the Experience of Teaching and Learning Questionnaire. It included items covering approaches to learning and perceptions of the teaching-learning environment.
The students were classified in four clusters. There were significant differences in how the respondents from the 10 faculties were represented in these clusters. There were also differences in their perceptions of the teaching-learning environment in the different faculties.
It appears that there is disciplinary variation in approaches to learning. Furthermore, the results indicate that both approaches to learning and the discipline have an effect on students' experiences of the teaching-learning environment.