ERIC Number: ED209992
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Heuristics for Planning University Study at a Distance.
Dodds, Agnes E.; Lawrence, Jeanette A.
A model to describe how adults work on university courses at a distance from campus was developed at an Australian university. The model was designed to describe how students define the task/goal and plan their study, based on G. Ploya's (1957) Heuristic and A. Newell's and H. A. Simon's (1972) General Problem Solver. Verbal reports were obtained from four female students enrolled in an advanced educational psychology course as external students. Each student gave a clear account of her aims for studying the course. Goals were expressed in terms of: credit and assessment requirements, information in the course materials, both new information and that which was a followup to information from previous courses, interest, and application for both practical and vocational purposes. When students opened course materials, the interviewer asked the student to think out loud while she examined the study guide, course materials booklet, and other written information and directions. Two of the students expressed their goals more in terms of credit and assessment requirements, while the other two students were concerned with the interest level of the course. While the students differed in their primary goals, each showed a strong tendency to organize the course materials around assignments. It was found that students' aims were different from those of the course coordinator. It is suggested that the study demonstrates the possibility of describing distance students' patterns of study. The heuristic for studying a new course involved: defining the task/goal, devising a plan, carrying out the plan, checking, and achieving the task/goal. A bibliography is appended. (SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A