White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

Contemporary students’ approaches to learning: a case study of the relationship between assessment and approaches to learning of education students at two English universities.

Holmes, Andrew G D (2018) Contemporary students’ approaches to learning: a case study of the relationship between assessment and approaches to learning of education students at two English universities. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

[img]
Preview
Text
AGDHolmes thesis final May 21 2018.pdf
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales.

Download (1612Kb) | Preview

Abstract

This research explores the approaches to learning of contemporary students at two northern English universities through a qualitative case study using data collected from individual semi-structured interviews with twenty undergraduates studying in the field of educational studies. The research found that although students were unaware of the terms ‘surface’ and ‘deep’ approaches to learning they recognized differences between the two. They valued personal understanding, with their general intention being to use a deep approach, that is, an intention to understand for themselves what they are studying. Students’ general approach to learning did not change as they progressed through a degree programme, yet engagement with assessment feedback, study practices and use of learning outcomes typically did. Students’ perception of assessment requirements was confirmed as being the key determinant of their approach to learning. Despite a desire to understand what they learn, contemporary students are instrumental in their approaches to learning and study practices, and where assessment does not count toward their degree classification are less likely to use a deep approach. An original contribution to knowledge is the finding that instrumentalism combines with students’ interest in, and enjoyment of, the topic studied. These are crucially important factors in their approaches to learning, and students preface the term ‘understanding’ with certain authoritative adjectives. In the light of these findings the thesis offers recommendations for improving practice to better encourage a deep approach to learning.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr Andrew G D Holmes
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2018 14:41
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2018 14:41
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21950

You do not need to contact us to get a copy of this thesis. Please use the 'Download' link(s) above to get a copy.
You can contact us about this thesis. If you need to make a general enquiry, please see the Contact us page.

Actions (repository staff only: login required)