Student Learning in Higher Education: a Commentary

Richardson, John T. E. (2017). Student Learning in Higher Education: a Commentary. Educational Psychology Review, 29(2) pp. 353–362.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-017-9410-x

Abstract

This commentary begins by summarizing the five contributions to this special issue and briefly recapping the background to the topic of student learning in higher education. Narrative and systematic reviews are compared, and the relative value of different bibliographic databases in the context of systematic reviews is assessed. The importance of measures of effect size is stressed. The relationship of the five contributions to early research on levels of processing and approaches to learning is discussed, along with the presage–process–product model of student learning and historical discussions that are relevant to the current theoretical discussions. This field has benefited from the development of more robust instrumentation, but researchers must continue to develop new kinds of measure, including online measures of students’ strategy use. Researchers need to consider ways of enhancing the quality of student learning through the use of problem-based curricula and other student-centered approaches. Finally, it is suggested that researchers into student learning need to evaluate whether their concepts, methods, theories, and findings are valid in online environments and to investigate how curricula in higher education can build upon those in secondary education.

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