Understanding Student Learning
The purpose of the research program described here was to investigate college students' approaches to learning, and to determine the extent to which these reflected the effects of teaching and assessment demands rather than representing relatively stable characteristics of the individual learners. There were six main areas within the program: (1) the measurement of approaches to and styles of studying; (2) the exploration of the cognitive skills, cognitive styles, and personality characteristics underlying different approaches to studying; (3) the extension of Marton's work on reading academic articles; (4) the identification of students' perceptions of the academic 'climate' of departments; (5) the use of interviews to investigate students' strategies in carrying out particular types of academic task; and (6) an investigation of how contrasting academic contexts appear to affect the approaches to studying adopted by students in those departments. Details of each of these areas of research are presented. (BW)
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