Student learning approaches in the UAE: the case for the achieving domain
Higher Education Research and Development
Taylor & Francis for Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia
Reason for embargo
The deep versus surface learning approach dichotomy has dominated recent research in student learning approach dimensions. However, the achievement dimension may differ in importance in non-Western and vocational tertiary settings. The aim was to assess how Emirati tertiary students could be characterized in terms of their learning approaches. The study looked into emergent learning factors that may be important in Emirati students. The students were Emirati men in a first year English for academic purposes program at a tertiary college (N=252). The students completed the Revised Study Process Questionnaire (R-SPQ-2F) to determine learning orientation along the deep and surface approach dimensions. A factor analysis was carried out to assess emergent dimensions in the data. The results on the deep and surface dimensions were inconclusive. However, the factor analysis suggested a disposition towards a construct that we characterize as ‘attainment of satisfaction from learning.’ In addition, the factor analysis suggested the possibility of the achieving domain emerging as a separate construct from the surface domain in this context, contrasting with previous research employing the R-SPQ-2F. The results suggest that the deep versus surface learning approach model may not sufficiently represent the complexity of student motivations and strategies in the current context. In addition, student affect tied to outcomes is discussed as an important though perhaps overlooked dimension in non-Western contexts. The implications of the results to future research are considered.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Taylor & Francis via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 36 (1), pp. 158-170