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Investigation of qualitative differences in university students' learning goals, based on an unfolding model of stage development

Volet, S.E. and Chalmers, D. (1992) Investigation of qualitative differences in university students' learning goals, based on an unfolding model of stage development. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 62 (1). pp. 17-34.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8279.1992.tb00996...
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Abstract

The significance of students' goals on their management of study has been emphasised in theories of self-regulation of learning and empirical research on student learning, but little empirical attention has been given to the issue of adaptation and change in students' goals. The lack of attention given to the malleable and adaptive nature of goals may be related to researchers' reliance on discrete categories for describing student learning. In this paper, it is proposed that, since qualitatively distinct goals involve different levels of content processing to achieve them, they can be conceptualised as a hierarchy reflecting a developmental continuum, with surface and deep processing orientations as the two opposing poles of that continuum. It is also argued that students' endorsements of goals reflect an unfolding principle of stage development. Empirical evidence is provided to support the conceptual usefulness of the unfolding model for describing qualitative differences in students' goals and investigating their significance in management of study. Significant relationships were found between students' learning goals, as measured on the unfolding scale, their perceptions of the learning situation and their course performance.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Publisher: British Psychological Society
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/8378
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