Learning approaches, personality and concepts of knowledge of first-year students: mature-age versus school leaver

Burton, Lorelle J. and Taylor, Janet A. and Dowling, David G. and Lawrence, Jill (2009) Learning approaches, personality and concepts of knowledge of first-year students: mature-age versus school leaver. Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development, 6 (1). pp. 65-81. ISSN 1832-2050

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There is considerable interest in how students study and what skills best facilitate their academic performance. This paper reports on some of the key outcomes of a large individual differences study of student learning profiles at a regional Australian university. It examines how students’ conceptions of knowledge, approaches to learning, and personality relate to academic success measured using grade point average (GPA). A total of 1078 students, 706 mature-age and 372 school leaver students, completed an online survey during their first semester of study at the University of Southern Queensland. The data were summarised using multivariate techniques (e.g., correlation and regression analyses) and first-year student profiles were built using standard descriptive statistics. Univariate analyses showed that mature-age students obtained higher GPAs and scored higher on the Deep and Strategic learning approaches than did school leavers. Conversely, school leavers scored higher on the Surface approach to learning. Regression analyses indicated that the Strategic approach positively predicted GPA. Intellect and Conscientiousness were each found to positively predict the Deep approach to learning; Conscientiousness was found to positively predict the Strategic approach to learning; and Emotional Stability and Intellect were each found to negatively predict the Surface approach to learning. These findings provide implications for curriculum design and delivery and for transition programs for both school leaver and mature-age students.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: '© Copyright of articles is retained by authors. As an open access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings. ISSN 1832-2050.'
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - No Department
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2009 05:47
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2012 03:43
Uncontrolled Keywords: learning approaches; personality; concepts of knowledge; first-year students; mature-age students; school leavers
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939902 Education and Training Theory and Methodology
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/5463

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