ERIC Number: EJ906968
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Conceptions of Learning and Approaches to Studying among White and Ethnic Minority Students in Distance Education
Richardson, John T. E.
British Journal of Educational Psychology, v80 n4 p535-556 Dec 2010
Background: The attainment of White students at UK institutions of higher education tends to be higher than that of students from other ethnic groups, but the causes of this are unclear. Aims: This study compared White students and students from other ethnic groups in their conceptions of learning, their approaches to studying, and their academic attainment. Sample: A stratified sample of 1,146 White students and 1,146 students from other ethnic groups taking courses by distance learning with the UK Open University. Methods: The Mental Models section of the Inventory of Learning Styles and the Revised Approaches to Studying Inventory were administered in a postal survey. Results: The students' questionnaire scores were contaminated by response bias, which varied across different ethnic groups. When adjusted to control for response bias, the scores on the two questionnaires shared 37.2% of their variance and made a significant contribution to predicting the students' attainment. White students were more likely to exhibit a meaning-directed learning pattern, whereas Asian and Black students were more likely to exhibit a reproduction-directed learning pattern. However, the variation in attainment across different ethnic groups remained significant when their questionnaire scores and prior qualifications were taken into account. Conclusions: There is a strong relationship between students' conceptions of learning and their approaches to studying, and variations in conceptions of learning in different ethnic groups give rise to variations in approaches to studying. However, factors other than prior qualifications and conceptions of learning are responsible for variation in attainment across different ethnic groups.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Open Universities, Student Attitudes, Distance Education, Response Style (Tests), Measures (Individuals), White Students, Racial Differences, Cognitive Style, Academic Achievement, Mail Surveys, Comparative Analysis, Predictor Variables, Minority Group Students, Student Surveys
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Approaches to Studying Inventory