Educational Research Review vol:5 issue:3 pages:243-260
This review outlines encouraging and discouraging factors in stimulating the adoption of deep approaches to learning in student-centred learning environments. Both encouraging and discouraging factors can be situated in the context of the learning environment, in students’ perceptions of that context and in characteristics of the students themselves. Results show that students in different disciplines differ in the approach to learning they adopt, with students in human sciences in general showing the deepest approach. Moreover, teachers play a role; if they are involved and oriented towards students and changing their conceptions, students are inclined to use a deep approach. With regard to perceived contextual factors, results indicate that students who are satisfied with the course quality (e.g. appropriateness of workload/assessment, teaching, clarity of goals, …) employ a deep approach. Concerning the student factors, older students and students whose personality is characterised by openness to experience, extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness and emotional stability use a deeper approach. In addition, if students are intrinsically motivated, feel self-confident and self-efficacious and prefer teaching methods that support learning and understanding, a deep approach will be more frequently adopted.