Relationships between students' approaches to learning, perceptions of the teaching-learning environment, and study success: a case study of third-year veterinary students.J Vet Med Educ. 2010 Fall; 37(3):282-8.JV
The relationships among veterinary students' approaches to learning, perceptions of the teaching-learning environment, and study success were evaluated in a demanding, discipline-based curriculum. The aim was to elicit elements for improving student counseling. As part of a large multidisciplinary survey, 36 third-year students (74% response rate) answered a modified version of the Experiences of Teaching and Learning Questionnaire in 2006. In this study, the authors used students' responses to questions regarding examinations and the progress of studies. In addition, students were classified in the large survey into four clusters according to their approaches to studying. Study success was evaluated by exploring the number of study credits students had earned and their grade point averages. The differences in study success between the clusters were not statistically significant, but, in general, students applying a deep approach were most successful, whereas unorganized students applying a deep approach showed the largest variation in study progress. The most commonly mentioned factors for enhancing or impeding study progress were related to the curriculum and to the students' actions or experiences. Unorganized students applying a deep approach seemed to suffer the most from the workload and pressure of progressing in their studies according to a predetermined timetable. These students were also most unaware of the examinations' demands. The findings suggested that, in addition to curriculum development, there is a need to explicitly make students aware of their approaches to learning and to support the development of their study practices.