Browsing by Subject "approaches to learning"

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  • Tuononen, Tarja; Parpala, Anna; Lindblom-Ylänne, Sari (2020)
    Students are expected to develop academic competences during their studies. However, research regarding the relation between academic competences and student learning is scarce. The present mixed-methods study aims to investigate the complex interrelations between academic competences and approaches to learning using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The data included 1023 graduates' survey answers and 83 interviews. The results showed that academic competences correlated positively with a deep approach to learning as well as with organised studying, and negatively with a surface approach. The qualitative analysis, however, revealed that descriptions of a deep approach were also found among graduates who evaluated academic competences less highly. Further, the results showed that putting effort into studying and seeing various competences as transferable were also positively related to academic competences and greater satisfaction with the degree obtained. The present study also showed that approaches to learning are closely intertwined with academic competences. The study suggests that the development of academic competences and an ability to identify them can be supported by emphasising deep-level learning and organised studying.
  • Asikainen, Henna; Katajavuori, Nina (2021)
    Background: The decline in the well-being among university students well as increasing dropouts has become a serious issue in universities around the world. Thus, effective ways to support students' well-being and their ability to study are highly needed. Objective: The purpose of this study was to build an intervention course for university students, which promotes both students' well-being as well as their learning and study skills, and to describe the experimental study design that explores the effects of this intervention course. Methods: Research has shown that psychological flexibility has a great effect on the well-being as well as the study skills of students pursuing higher education. The basis of our intervention course was to promote psychological flexibility and students' study skills with the help of peer support and reflection. Results: This course was offered as a voluntary course to all the students at the University of Helsinki twice during the academic year 2020-2021. The first course was from October to December and the second course was from January to March. This course was advertised in fall 2020 through social media and by different student organizations and program leaders at different faculties of the University of Helsinki. As of October 2020, we enrolled 566 students comprising 310 students for the course in fall 2020 and 256 students for the course in spring 2021. Of the 256 students who enrolled in the second course, 170 students voluntarily participated in this study and they answered the questionnaires, including all the measures, simultaneously with the participants in the first group and thus served as the control group. The effect of this course will be measured with multiple data, including questionnaire data, reflective journals, and physiological data of well-being with a longitudinal experimental design. This research very strictly follows the ethical guidelines drawn up by the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity. We expect to publish the results of this study in fall 2021 at the latest. Conclusions: We argue that a web-based, 8-week intervention course, which promotes both student well-being and their study skills, is a good way to support students pursuing higher education, and both aspects should be considered when supporting university students.
  • Kyrklund, Paulina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Objectives: The objective of this study was to find out what kinds of approaches to learning can be found among first year medical students and how approaches to learning are affecting study success. In addition, to find out how stressed or exhausted students are in their studies. The aim was also determine how approaches to learning and stress and exhaustion are related to study success. Previous studies have shown approaches to learning can be considered as central factors affecting students learning. Student's approaches to learning can be divided to three: surface approach, deep approach and strategic approach. Based on previous studies, it has been indicated that approaches to learning and study success are related to each other. Surface approaches has been associated with poor study success and deep approaches has been associated with qualitatively better learning outcomes and study success. In addition, student learning approaches have been shown to be related to perceived workload. The conclusion has been that high perceived workload can induce students to employ a surface approach. Method: The participants (n=93) were first-year students of medicine at the University of Helsinki. The data were collected during spring 2011 by using a web based questionnaire. Study success information was included in the data. Correlations, regression analysis and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to examine the interconnections of approaches to learning, heavy workload, stress and and their effects on the study success. Results and conclusions: Three different approaches to learning were recognized: surface approach, Deep approach and strategic approach. The highest average was found from student using strategic approach and the lowest average was from student using surface approach. Study success among medical students was extremely high. Students, who showed a surface approach to learning, felt exhausted. Medical students stress and perceived workload weren't high. The only predictor for study success was deep approach.
  • Nieminen, Juuso Henrik; Asikainen, Henna; Rämö, Johanna (2021)
    Self-assessment has been portrayed as a way to promote lifelong learning in higher education. While most of the previous literature builds on the idea of self-assessment as a formative tool for learning, some scholars have suggested using it in a summative way. In the present study, we have empirically compared formative and summative models for self-assessment, based on different educational purposes (N = 299). Latent profile analysis was used to observe student subgroups in terms of deep and surface approaches to learning. The results show that the student profiles varied between the self-assessment models. The students taking part in the summative self-assessment group were overrepresented amongst the profile with high level of deep approach to learning. Also, summative self-assessment was related to an increased level of self-efficacy. The study implies that summative self-assessment can be used to foster students' studying; however, this requires a context where aligning self-assessment with future-driven pedagogical purposes is possible.
  • Hailikari, Telle; Tuononen, Tarja; Parpala, Anna (2018)
    Many factors influence students’ progress in higher education. However, the students’ own voices are seldom heard. Using a qualitative approach, the study explored students’ own experiences of the factors that have influenced their studying. Research has indicated that students’ experiences are often related to their approaches to learning. Therefore, experiences of enhancing and impeding factors were explored here in relation to different study profiles. Altogether 736 open-ended answers were analysed by qualitative context analysis. After establishing the categories of enhancing and impeding factors and creating the student profiles, the differences between the profiles were examined using chi-square tests. The results revealed that the students had experienced a broad variety of factors that influenced their studying. These experiences varied widely with regard to the students’ study profiles. In particular, those in the Students applying a surface approach and Unorganised students applying a deep approach profiles appeared to experience more obstacles in their studies than the students in other profiles. Characteristic of these two profiles was the students’ low ability to organise their studies, that is, manage their time and effort. The study suggests that at least part of the variation in students’ experiences of the factors influencing their progress is explainable by the students’ learning profiles. Whether it would be useful to identify different student profiles rather than concentrate on asking the students directly about their experiences of enhancing and impeding factors is discussed.
  • Aarnio, Anna (Helsingfors universitet, 2009)
    The starting point for this study was university teaching and teachers and specifically their changing role when confronting the Finnish University Reform and the student-focused theories of learning. Teachers' pedagogical thinking and pedagogical content knowledge were also part of the theoretical framework. In the research of conceptions of and approaches to learning and teaching, the qualitative classifications of Säljö and Marton (1976; 1997), Ramsden (1992), Kember (1997) and Trigwell and Prosser (1999) were utilised. Two study questions were raised (1) What kind of conceptions of and approaches to learning do engineering science teachers have? and (2) What kind of conceptions of and approaches to teaching do engineering science teachers have? The relationship between teachers' conceptions and teaching was also examined. The research material was collected in autumn 2008 by interviewing teachers and by observing teaching in the Department of Energy Technology at Helsinki University of Technology. Altogether two tutorials and ten lectures were observed. Each teacher of the observed lectures was interviewed once. The interviews were carried out as semi-structured theme interviews. In the analysis of the research material phenomenographical approach was adapted. The study revealed many kinds of conceptions of and approaches to learning and teaching in the teachers' speech. On the basis of the research material, the conceptions and approaches that the teachers declare do not always reflect their actions in the teaching situation. The surface approaches to learning and teacher-focused approaches to teaching and conceptions of receiving and transmission of knowledge were parallel. Instead the teachers' declarations of the deep approaches to learning and student-focused approaches to teaching were partly in conflict with how the teacher taught. When striving towards student-centered teaching culture attention should be paid to the development of teachers' pedagogical thinking and pedagogical content knowledge. The culture and the structures of the educational institution should also be considered.