University students' epistemic profiles, conceptions of learning, and academic performance

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Lonka , K , Ketonen , E & Vermunt , J D 2021 , ' University students' epistemic profiles, conceptions of learning, and academic performance ' , Higher Education , vol. 81 , no. 4 , pp. 775-793 .

Title: University students' epistemic profiles, conceptions of learning, and academic performance
Author: Lonka, Kirsti; Ketonen, Elina; Vermunt, Jan D.
Contributor organization: Department of Education
Teachers' Academy
Research Group for Educational Psychology
Mind and Matter
Date: 2021-04
Language: eng
Number of pages: 19
Belongs to series: Higher Education
ISSN: 0018-1560
Abstract: University students' epistemic beliefs may have practical consequences for studying and success in higher education. Such beliefs constitute epistemic theories that may empirically manifest themselves as epistemic profiles. This study examined university students' epistemic profiles and their relations to conceptions of learning, age, gender, discipline, and academic achievement. The participants were 1515 students from five faculties who completed questionnaires about epistemic beliefs, including a subsample who also completed a questionnaire that included conceptions of learning. We measured epistemic beliefs: reflective learning, collaborative knowledge-building, valuing metacognition, certain knowledge, and practical value. First, we analyzed structural validity by using confirmatory factor analysis. Second, we conducted latent profile analysis that revealed three epistemic profiles:Pragmatic(49%),reflective-collaborative(26%) andfact-oriented(25%). Then, we compared the conceptions of learning across the profiles as well as demographic information, credits, and grades. The profiles' conceptions of learning varied: Thereflective-collaborativegroup scored high on conception of learning named "construction of knowledge." Its members were more likely to be females, teachers, and mature students, and they had the highest academic achievement. Thefact-orientedgroup (mostly engineering/science students) scored highest on "intake of knowledge." Thepragmaticgroup scored highest on "use of knowledge:" During the second year, their academic achievement improved. In sum, the epistemic profiles were closely related to conceptions of learning and also associated with academic achievement.
Subject: Epistemic beliefs
Epistemic profiles
Epistemic cognition
Approaches to learning
Conceptions of learning
Academic performance
Academic achievement
Cluster analysis
Latent profile analysis
Confirmatory factor analysis
University students
Teacher education
Engineering education
Higher education
516 Educational sciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion
Funder: Suomen Akatemia Projektilaskutus
Grant number: 327242

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