The relationship between students' approaches to learning and their perceptions of what helps and hinders their learning

Year: 1994

Author: Clarke, John A., Hart, Barry C.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This multi-method paper examines the relationship between tertiary students' self-reported deep, surface and achieving approaches to learning and their perceptions of those classroom-based activities and lecturer/tutor behaviours that they claim help or hinder their learning.

Nine hundred and eighty-four students from 10 Schools in five Faculties at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia, completed the Study Process Questionnaire (SPQ), a 42-item forced-choice Likert scale inventory that can be used to classify respondents as having a predominantly deep, surface or achieving approach to learning, and the Perceptions of Learning Environments Questionnaire (PLEQ), a semi-structured but open-ended questionnaire designed to gather students' views about what helps or hinders their learning and why. The findings are related to existing research, including a variety of beliefs of how students go about learning, and their implications for tertiary teaching and the construction of learning environments which facilitate the development of meaningful approaches to learning by students are discussed.