The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Evaluation of Students' Approaches to Learning: The Case of a Group of Students in Online Education

Maria de Fátima Goulão, Universidade Aberta (Portugal)


Learning implies understanding and transforming information so that it can be incorporated into existing knowledge. Studies on the interaction between students and a defined learning task have concluded that the approach that is taken determines the level of students' involvement with the task and this affects the quality of the results. It was our aim to characterize the behavior of a group of adults’ students in online education, according to their approach to study. As an instrument to collect data, we used the reduced version of the ASSIST questionnaire, composed of 21 questions, seven related to each of the 3 approaches. We included 153 adult students, who were attending university in a 1st cycle course. Of these, 79.1% were female and 20.9% male, whose average age was 38 years. The results point to a prevalence of the strategic approach, followed by a deep one. The superficial approach is one that has lower values compared to the others. In conclusion, these students show care with time management, the organization of the study being attentive to the requirements of the evaluation. We have, therefore, that the absence of guidelines in terms of time, relevance or clarity of the task can constitute obstacles to their determination to succeed.

Keywords: adults, approach to learning, e-students, online learning.


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  • Wankel,C & Blessinger,P. (2013). Increasing student engagement and retention in e-learning environments: Web 2.0 and blended learning technologies: Bingley:Emerald

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