Variations in student learning and perceptions of academic quality

Richardson, John T. E. (2007). Variations in student learning and perceptions of academic quality. In: Entwistle, Noel; Tomlinson, Peter and Dockrell, Julie eds. Student Learning and University Teaching. British Journal of Educational Psychology Monograph Series II (4). UK: British Psychological Society, pp. 61–71.



It is commonly assumed that there is a link between students' approaches to studying in higher education and their perceptions of their academic environment. However, initial attempts to demonstrate this link were not convincing. I describe the results of five studies in which students were asked to complete an inventory on approaches to studying as well as the Course Experience Questionnaire. All five studies showed an intimate relationship between students' approaches to studying and their perceptions of the academic quality of their courses. Nevertheless, strictly speaking, these results are purely correlational in nature, and they tell one nothing about the existence or the direction of any causal relationship between students' perceptions of academic quality and their approaches to studying. The application of path analysis to the results from two of the five studies suggests that the relationship is in fact a bi-directional one.

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