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ERIC Number: ED548071
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 313
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2673-6972-7
Growth as Product and as Process: Student Learning Outcomes Attained through College Experiences in China
Cen, Yuhao
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University
Little empirical research has been done on student learning outcomes and college experiences in China, where the gross enrollment rate in higher education reached 26.5 percent and the undergraduate population exceeded 22 million in 2010. This study seeks to describe, explain, and interpret student learning as perceived from students in Chinese colleges and universities. Connecting two theoretical perspectives in college impact models and student development theories, this dissertation constructs a pyramid model of student growth, in which four layers of participation, engagement, learning and development are identified and connected. In its core, the study proposes a taxonomy of student learning outcomes in the third layer of the model. The taxonomy consists of four domains: knowledge, skills, personal awareness, and social competence. The study also supports the strong relationships between student learning and student engagement depicted in the second layer of the model. Six engagement scales--student-teacher interaction, peer interaction, perception of campus support, challenge in higher-order thinking, time preparing for class, and amount of reading and writing--explain 37 percent of the variance in perceived Knowledge-skill Gains and 26 percent of the variance in perceived Personal-social Gains. In addition, six learning contexts equally important for learning and development are depicted in the ground layer of the model. College students participate in the curricular, co-curricular, extra-curricular, work, recreational and relational contexts. Lastly, the top layer of the pyramid identifies three dimensions that reflect the epistemological, intrapersonal, and interpersonal development of college students transforming from late adolescents into young adults. It is found that college experiences that stimulate changes and encourage internal voices on these three dimensions are the most notable and memorable growing moments in undergraduate years. This study employs a mixed methods research design. The quantitative data came from National Survey of Student Engagement-China (NSSE-China) 2009, and the qualitative data came from individual and focus group interviews with 64 college seniors in five universities in China. This study sets the foundational work for empirical research on college student learning and experiences in China, and the pyramid model suggests a framework for future investigation on its layers and components. This study serves as a guiding framework for administrators and practitioners working in undergraduate teaching and learning. It also carries a broad implication for defining higher education quality and informs a student-centered and learning-focused policy change in Chinese higher education. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China