ERIC Number: EJ924373
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 54
Influence of Redesigning a Learning Environment on Student Perceptions and Learning Strategies
Nijhuis, Jan F. H.; Segers, Mien S. R.; Gijselaers, Wim H.
Learning Environments Research, v8 n1 p67-93 Jan 2005
In society, there is a growing need for graduates who possess competencies consistent with deep learning. This means that, amongst other competencies, graduates should be capable of dealing with the complexity of the tasks in which they will engage in professional situations. We tried to increase the depth of students' learning by changing the format of a so-called assignment-based learning to a problem-based learning course. The goals of this research were to determine if students, firstly, perceived the redesigned course as being more challenging and, secondly, adjusted their learning strategies towards deeper learning. Participants were two groups of second-year International Business Studies students attending the International Business Strategy course in consecutive years. Students' perceptions of the learning environment and their learning strategies were measured in both the original (n = 406 students) and the redesigned course (n = 312 students) using the Ramsden Course Experiences Questionnaire and the Biggs Study Processes Questionnaire. In contrast to our expectations, the results indicated that the students from the redesigned course showed a higher degree of surface learning and a lower level of deep learning than the students from the assignment-based learning course. Additionally, the students perceived the new learning environment to be less positive in terms of the clarity of its goals, the usefulness of the textbook and the workload. Improvement in terms of students' perceptions of the learning environment and their learning strategies could be expected to be fostered by the implementation of a more advanced staff development program, focusing the curricular assessment system on problem-solving skills, supporting the students in the development of the skills necessary to cope with the demands of the redesigned course, and giving them more opportunities to experience this instructional approach.
Descriptors: Student Attitudes, Learning Strategies, Problem Based Learning, Graduates, Educational Environment, Teaching Methods, Academic Achievement, Problem Solving, Foreign Students, Business Administration Education, Assignments, Curriculum Evaluation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Study Process Questionnaire