About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1910-1919
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain

WHAT ARE THE BARRIERS TO INDEPENDENT STUDY AND LEARNING IN FIRST YEAR UNDERGRADUATE ENGINEERING STUDENTS?

R. Morris

Dublin Institute of Technology (IRELAND)
This mixed method case study was carried out in the Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland and was conducted with the co-operation of four experienced lecturers of engineering and three groups of first year undergraduate engineering students.
The main aim of the research was to identify factors which represent barriers to the independent study and learning of first year engineering students.
Many first year engineering students do not return to college for the second year of their programmes. Many reasons for this are identified in the research, including the failure of students to pass assessments and exams as a result of the lack of independent study and learning. For this research qualitative interviews were carried out with four experienced lecturers to capture their views and experiences of the study and learning habits of first year students. The data gathered during these interviews, in conjunction with my own personal experiences, and knowledge gathered from the research literature on the subject, served to guide and inform the selection of the questions which were used in a student survey.
The Quantitative student survey consisted of two parts, the first included questions relating to the profile and study habits of the students, the second employed a set of questions titled “a brief measure of leaner autonomy”. This resource provides a numeric value for the student’s learner autonomy which provided the mechanism used to explore the relationship between the level of autonomy of some students and their profile and study habits.
The analysis of the data gathered provides a detailed insight into the views of the engineering lecturers and the factors which represent barriers to the first year students study and learning.

Analysis of the Qualitative data.
A thematic approach to the analysis of the qualitative data was adopted for this research. The recordings of the four interviews were transcribed and the responses to each individual question were extracted and grouped together in a separate document generated specifically for analysis of the data. This facilitated the analysis of the data one question at a time. This document was then printed with the line spacing adjusted to double to allow sections of text to be circled and identified with common key words which when grouped became the codes. These codes were subjected to further scrutiny and were assembled under the four main emerging themes.
These themes were,
1. The Students Profile,
2. The students level of study skills,
3. The students approach to individual assessments,
4. The students level of learner autonomy,

It became clear that the questions in the student survey needed to closely follow these themes. As was the intention at the outset of this research the emerging data combined with the research question itself guided and informed the selection of the questions which formed the online student survey. This research will be presented as a work in progress.
@InProceedings{MORRIS2011WHA,
author = {Morris, R.},
title = {WHAT ARE THE BARRIERS TO INDEPENDENT STUDY AND LEARNING IN FIRST YEAR UNDERGRADUATE ENGINEERING STUDENTS?},
series = {3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN11 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-0441-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {1910-1919}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Morris
TI - WHAT ARE THE BARRIERS TO INDEPENDENT STUDY AND LEARNING IN FIRST YEAR UNDERGRADUATE ENGINEERING STUDENTS?
SN - 978-84-615-0441-1/2340-1117
PY - 2011
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2011
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN11 Proceedings
SP - 1910
EP - 1919
ER -
R. Morris (2011) WHAT ARE THE BARRIERS TO INDEPENDENT STUDY AND LEARNING IN FIRST YEAR UNDERGRADUATE ENGINEERING STUDENTS?, EDULEARN11 Proceedings, pp. 1910-1919.
User:
Pass: