Perceptions of academic quality and approaches to studying among technology students in distance education

Richardson, John T. E. (2006). Perceptions of academic quality and approaches to studying among technology students in distance education. European Journal of Engineering Education, 31(4) pp. 421–433.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03043790600676307

Abstract

Primary objective. To examine perceptions of academic quality and approaches to studying in students taking six technology courses by distance education.

Research design. Students taking four courses received an end-of-course questionnaire. The following year, students taking all six courses received a mid-course questionnaire.

Method. The Course Experience Questionnaire and the Revised Approaches to Studying Inventory were administered in a postal survey to 3539 students of the UK Open University.

Outcomes and results. Across successive levels of study, students were progressively less likely to adopt a deep approach, were more likely to adopt a surface approach and rated their courses less favourably, especially with regard to the workload and materials. Between the middle and end of a course, students were more likely to adopt a deep approach and gave more positive ratings with regard to the materials and amount of choice.

Conclusions. The survey instruments can be recommended as useful tools for monitoring the experiences of engineering and technology students.

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