Title: Learning and study strategies of incoming science and engineering students. A comparative study between three institutions in Belgium, Slovakia, and Hungary
Authors: Pinxten, Maarten ×
Van Soom, Carolien
Peeters, Christine
De Laet, Tinne
Pacher, Pal
Hockicko, Peter
Langie, Greet #
Issue Date: Sep-2016
Host Document: Proceedings of the 44rd Annual SEFI Conference pages:1-8
Conference: Annual Conference of European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) edition:44 location:Tampere (Finland) date:12-15 September 2016
Article number: 10
Abstract: The transition from secondary school to university still is a quantum leap for a substantial number of science and engineering students. This paper explores differences in the learning and study skills of 3,391 incoming science and engineering students in the STEM faculties of three European universities: Budapest Institute of Economics and Technology (BME [Hungary]), University of Leuven (KU Leuven [Belgium]), and University of Žilina (UniZa [Slovakia]). In particular, the paper examines how differences can be explained by institutional characteristics (for example, differences in admission criteria). The results show that there are significant differences between the three universities regarding the learning and study strategies of incoming students. In general, incoming students at BME show substantially higher scores on 9 out the 10 measured scales. Especially for the Attitude, Motivation, and Test Strategies scales, there are clear differences: Incoming first year students at UniZa display significantly lower levels on both scales. Furthermore, there are interesting significant differences between male and female students entering these universities for all LASSI scales (except for Information Processing and Selecting Main Ideas). In general, female students display significantly higher levels of attitudes, motivation, time management and other study strategies. In summary, the learning and study strategies of incoming first-year students in different European STEM differ significantly. Different admission criteria at these universities might partially explain these differences. For example, incoming students at BME, a prestigious engineering institution in Hungary, enter university with a different set of attitudes and values compared to students from UniZa: going to university clearly plays a more important role in their lives compared to their Slovak colleagues. The paper will provide an extensive overview of all results together with a detailed discussion of alternative explanations and measurement difficulties associated with assessing students’ learning and study skills. In future work, students’ individual score on each of the LASSI scales will be linked to their actual exam results (when available) in order to gauge their predictive power in explaining first-year success.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IC
Appears in Collections:Technologiecluster Werktuigkundige Industriële Ingenieurstechnieken
Mechanical Engineering Technology TC, Technology Campus De Nayer Sint-Katelijne-Waver
Tutorial services, Faculty of Engineering
Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis
Tutorial services, Faculty of Science
Educational Support Services, Faculty of Engineering Technology
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

Files in This Item:
File Description Status SizeFormat
SEFI16 Maarten_readySTEMgo_05082016.pdf Published 251KbAdobe PDFView/Open Request a copy

These files are only available to some KU Leuven Association staff members


All items in Lirias are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved.