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ERIC Number: EJ1069763
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2368-4526
The Road Less Travelled? Pathways from Passivity to Agency in Student Learning
Frost, Gail; Connolly, Maureen
Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, v8 p47-54 2015
This qualitative study examined fourth-year undergraduate students' responses to reflective writing prompts and journal entries related to their practical experiences in two capstone courses, both based in SBL/PBL pedagogies. We examined their "strategic" approaches to learning that make engagement with subject matter and learning processes more instrumental than meaningfully grasped and applied. Three levels of analysis were used in a recursive process of description, reduction, and interpretation, and the results were added to our previous work examining student responses to reflective activities that foster deep learning. Our provisional conclusions are that strategic learners are invested in a mastery relationship with subject matter that makes grade procurement the evidence of this mastery and this shifts their focus to product over process as an obvious consequence. This disconnect from process leads students to an unhelpful relationship with formative assessment and feedback. They tend to wrestle with the formative elements and see them as mini summative assessments or quasi final products, rather than the necessarily perplexing engagement that leads to the imaginative generation of possibilities and recursive building and refining of ideas and processes. Our future research will focus on environments that encourage more comfort with mistakes and contingencies as learning opportunities.
Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 1280 Main Street West, Mills Library Room 504, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L6, Canada. Tel: 905-525-9140; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A