The Open UniversitySkip to content

Conceptions of learning in adult students embarking on distance education

Makoe, Mpine; Richardson, John T. E. and Price, Linda (2008). Conceptions of learning in adult students embarking on distance education. Higher Education, 55(3) pp. 303–320.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


A 60-item questionnaire on conceptions of learning was mailed to students taking preparatory courses by distance learning with The Open University in the United Kingdom. Complete data were provided by 372 respondents. Their scores on six factor-based scales showed satisfactory internal consistency, cluster analysis identified five groups of students with distinct patterns of scores, and discriminant analysis identified the scales that served to distinguish among the clusters. Three groups had conceptions of learning based on critical thinking, personal development, and personal change, but the other groups had conceptions that were defined in largely negative terms. Adult learners embarking on distance education seem to hold distinctive conceptions of learning, which suggests that conceptions of learning are culturally and contextually dependent.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 0018-1560
Keywords: Adult students; Conceptions of learning; Critical thinking; Distance education; Personal change; Personal development;
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Learning and Teaching Innovation (LTI) > Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
Learning and Teaching Innovation (LTI)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 11492
Depositing User: Users 9 not found.
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2008 05:04
Last Modified: 08 May 2019 13:37
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU