Understanding student diversity and the factors that influence academic success: a preliminary study

Burton, Lorelle J. and Dowling, David and Dorman, Marilyn and Brodie, Lyn (2005) Understanding student diversity and the factors that influence academic success: a preliminary study. In: Focus on curriculum. Research on Sociocultural Influences on Motivation and Learning (5). Information Age Publishing, Greenwich, Connecticut, United States, pp. 275-298. ISBN 1-59311-207-6


Students have always had individual differences in learning preferences and strategies, influenced by sociocultural factors such as ethnicity, culture, educational background, gender, geographical location, and socioeconomic status. The more culturally homogenous student bodies of the past tended to mask this fact. However, the increasing diversity of today’s students has brought those differences more clearly into focus. So too has the increase in off-campus - sometimes even offshore - enrolments. Educators therefore need to respond to diversity in abilities, experiences, and learning strategies if they are to support students to become confident, self-directed, and independent learners (Venter, 2003). The challenge, then, is how to achieve that goal.
What are the individual and sociocultural factors that influence how individual students perform? How can teachers recognise the impact those factors can have on student learning? What changes can be made to the teaching and learning environments they provide to cater for these factors and ensure that all students have the optimum chance to succeed?
This chapter will describe how a research team from USQ has taken up this challenge. We are studying a group of first-year engineering students to identify the key individual differences and sociocultural factors that influence their academic performance.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Chapter 12. Permanent restricted access due to publisher copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:28
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2016 01:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: student diversity; learning profile; higher education research
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160801 Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939903 Equity and Access to Education
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/755

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