RMIT International University (VIETNAM)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN13 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Page: 4841 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Over the past years, there has been a clear change in the opinion of professionals concerning learning strategies, moving from a focus on just the outcome to the learning process itself and this has influenced how learning strategies are classified. The major categories of learning strategies include: cognitive information acquisition and processing strategies, motivational strategies, self-regulation and monitoring, affect regulation strategies, and behavioural strategies (Weinstein and Jung, 2010). For a student to succeed, it is important that they become more strategic and self-regulated learners. The primary purpose of this study is to try and identify students’ knowledge and use of learning strategies in order to identify 1) what strategies they are/are not using, 2)students’ strengths and weaknesses in different areas of learning, 3)provide information to specialist support educators so they can provide specific workshops to address gaps in students’ knowledge 4) to provide information to developmental educators at RMIT (LSU), student advisers, career counselors and health and well-being counselors who work with at-risk students.

This is an exploratory piece of research to investigate the learning strategies employed by two groups of students at a transnational university in South East Asia. The primary research question is 1) what underlying variable(s) can explain the difference in academic performance between Student Learning Advice Mentors (SLAMs) and Students at Risk (SARs). More specifically, 2) do SLAMs use a wider range of learning strategies than SAR’s students? 3) Do SLAMs use learning strategies more frequently than SARs students?

To measure participants’ use of different learning strategies, the Motivating Strategies Learning Questionnaire MSLQ (Pintrich et al, 1991) was used. Nine constructs are divided under three broad areas – cognitive and meta-cognitive strategies, meta-cognitive self-regulation and resource management strategies. The sample size was 114 students comprising 33 SLAMs and 81 SARs. For the purpose of this research, the MSLQ has been adapted so it is linguistically appropriate and culturally relevant to students.

To answer the primary research question, an Independent t-test was used to check whether or not the ratings given by the two groups (SLAMs and SAR’s) on these underlying factors were significantly different from each other. Regarding research questions 2 and 3, the hypotheses are that the SLAMs group will report a wider range of learning strategies and use them more frequently than the SAR’s group.
The test showed a significant difference between SLAMs and SARs in relation to the following strategies: elaboration, organisation, critical thinking, meta-cognitive self-regulation and time and study environment management. There was no significant difference between SLAMs and SARs in relation to the following strategies: rehearsal, peer learning, effort regulation and help seeking strategies.

Interview data will be collected to validate the quantitative findings and provide more insights on the mutual relationships between participants’ use of learning strategies and their academic performances. To be more specific, based on participants’ agreement, this study will invite several students from SLAMs and SARs groups. The main purpose of the interviews is to explore the participants’ perceptions on the findings from the quantitative analysis.
Learning strategies, students, university.