Different subject areas, different self-regulated learning strategies?

Year: 1999

Author: Andrew, Sharon, Vialle, Wilma

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Academic disciplines may have widely varying subjects that require students to employ general and subject-specific learning strategies to be academically successful in that discipline. It has been increasingly recognised that more research is required on the subject-specific nature of self-regulation.

The purpose of this study was threefold: to determine whether students report using different learning strategies to study for two subject areas of a nursing program; to examine these differences in relation to academic performance; and to explore the changes in students' strategy use, in the two subject areas, over the academic year. The study focused on first and second semester science and nursing practice courses of first year nursing programs.

The study involved semi-structured telephone interviews of first year students, from three university campuses, which were conducted early in the first semester and late in the second semester of a first year nursing program. In both interviews, students were asked questions pertaining to the learning strategies they used when studying for their science and nursing practice courses. Students were divided into the high and low achiever categories based on their academic grades for these courses. Results for the study are presented in the paper, and may increase our understanding of students' self-regulatory behaviours for two subject areas of a tertiary program.