It's a mix

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  aditya_vadali 6 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #17756

    James Kerr

    Source: Marton, F., Hounsell, D. and Entwistle, N., (eds.) The Experience of Learning: Implications for teaching and studying in higher education. 3rd (Internet) edition. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh.

    Considering learners’ thoughts at the onset of a course, don’t the majority start with a strategic approach, wanting to succeed in the course? This likely morphs into or incorporates then characteristics of the surface approach, as course requirements and assignments begin to challenge the learner. Hopefully, at some point, the approach then models the deep approach, but not always. In this context, I am referring to students in formal learning environments (school, college, university).

    Adult learners may begin with a deep approach when they enter a learning environment by choice out of personal interest, such as joining a MOOC. Even so, there would still be a mix of strategic and surface approach characteristics involved,  to meet course requirements and succeed.

    Myself, when taking university coursework that is required for my program but not personally of great interest to me, my approach is a blend of strategic and surface. I start out strategically strong, but then work to deal with the course requirements. This frequently does not lead to deep learning, just enough to ‘get by’. Sometimes a personal interest is awakened and leads to a deeper appreciation and approach, but not always. When I sign up for a MOOC that interests me (ocTEL, Blendkit) I begin and usually stay very firmly rooted in the deep approach, but also strategic (wanting to succeed and get high marks, as such) and surface (not every task is spot on enjoyable) and the experience of the course stays very close and relevant for me.

    These approaches are not mutually exclusive-every learner in every learning situation would incorporate some combination of these approaches when beginning a course. It’s an interesting concept, these styles of approach. Like so many other characteristics of learning (and of learners) there is a mix and a balance for each person and each situation.

  • #18522


    Great post James. Very relevant to my current situation on this course – which is that I see myself moving through the 3 learning approaches. Here is my post if you are interested. Feedback and comments welcome.

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