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In his free learning tasks, analogous to everyday studying, some students would persist with their initial strategy without using the opposite style. Her interpretation involves distinctions between global and local levels, as well as between comprehension and operation learning. With some tasks, particularly in science, memorization or at least concentration on details and logical relationships may be an essential first step towards understanding.

In some subject areas, the initial stages of building up a knowledge base of, say, scientific terms or case law, will require some low-level operation learning. But elsewhere there is also evidence pf individual prefereircwr HI lBIst where the task demands are not overriding. If the work load is excessive , help on research papers then time will prevent a thorough learning strategy and the help on research cheap essay services papers pattyptogM learning will show clearly.

Some students will mm 220 , THE EXPERIENCE OF LEARNING present work rich in ideas but light in evidence.

In contrast others will submit work replete with detail but with little indication of a personal reformulation of ideas presented.

In the original Gothenburg experiment, where the students were not under time pressure, there was less evidence of incomplete learning.

In Lancaster, where a variant of the original experiment was carried out which put the students under time pressure (Entwistle et al. Both these approaches were quite distinct from the surface approach in which a low level of understanding was associated with memorization of discrete elements itf the text.

Their strategy was adapted to the perceived task requirements. Both she and Paul Ramsden also found students shifting between deep and surface approaches from task to task.

Reasons for such variations were found in the nature and perceived purpose of the task, in relationships with the tutor, and in the degree of interest or importance the task held for the student. But both in Gothenburg and in Lancaster there was also evidence of stability in the approach to studying. Indeed the evidence shows clearly that the CHANGING CONCEPTIONS OF LEARNING AND RESEARCH 221 approach to learning can show both consistency and variability, depending on the questions asked and the conditions of learning investigated (see Entwistle, 1979).

If the research concentrates on comparisons between distinct tasks, evidence of variability will be seen most strongly.

If more general questions are asked, or a more general context is considered, then evidence of consistency will be accepted as more salient.

In several of the studies reported here there is evidence of both consistency and variability, and so it seems essential to include this additional complexity in our understanding of student learning.

It is, of course, quite understandable that students may develop habitual ways of approaching everyday studying, and yet that certain tasks, courses or lecturers, will cause students to vary their approach or style.

For example, the perception of a task as particularly relevant or important may well create a temporary change in an otherwise relatively stable surface approach.

Orientations and Conceptions The emphasis on consistency and generality in some of the studies has also led to additional concepts. In the research programme at Lancaster, the term study orientation was used to characterize differences in the ways in help on research papers which students customarily approached the tasks of everyday studying (Entwistle et al.

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Chapter 9 introduced the two main study orientations which describe the relatively consistent adoption of deep or surface approaches to learning. These orientations are also associated with characteristic forms of motivation. Meaning orientation is closely linked to intrinsic motivation, while extrinsic motivation or fear of failure is generally associated with the reproducing orientation. This relationship between motivation and approach had already been found in Gothenburg by Anders Fransson and was reported independently by John Biggs in Australia (Biggs, 1978). The four orientations identified — academic, vocational, personal and social — parallel the generally accepted func- tions of education. But the importance of this concept in research on student learning lies in the explicit recognition that students have individual purposes in embarking on their courses. They decide what they want to get from their university experience and their courses, and direct their studying towards these personal goals. It is all too easy for lecturers to ignore the existence of valid individual purposes among the students and believe that they should all be channelling their energies towards the goals which are valued most hi ghl y by the academic staff.

Roger SJLljd introduced another more general way of viewing studying.

V- The identification of the more general concepts of orientation to education and conceptions of learning or essay- writing, together with the evidence of developmental change, allow us to extend the temporal sequence mentioned earlier. But such a description both oversimplifies and begins to suggest something akin to mechanistic causality. This temporal chain could lead us to ignore the fact that each link depends on a personal interpretation of context and content. The reactions of each student will, to some extent, be different, and yet the general relationships derived by Paul Ramsden invite the conclusion that there are general effects. This is yet another facet of the complexity pointed out earlier in relation to variability and consistency. Departments influence the approaches to studying adopted by their students — but the reactions of individual students depend on their own purposes in studying, research paper writing service uk on their previous knowledge and study skill, on their perceptions of course requirements and assessment demands, recommended essay writing service and so on. The identification of this network of concepts, although representing an important advance in research on teaching and learning in higher education, should not be seen as, help on research papers help on research papers in any sense, a completed research programme.

It provides a set of accurate descriptions about the way students tackle certain everyday academic tasks, and indicates some of the ways in which course design, assessment demands, and teaching methods may influence the quality of student learning. But the realization of the effects of context on learning strategies poses an enormous challenge to researchers and lecturers alike.

Although the findings are not intended to be prescriptive, they have to be specific enough to provide lecturers and students with sufficient parallels with their own circumstances to enable them to reinterpret the conclusions effectively. At the moment there is still a substantial gap between the range of situations investigated by the researchers and those faced by lecturers and students.

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