Please enter verification code
Student Approaches to Learning Among University Students
American Journal of Applied Psychology
Volume 4, Issue 3-1, June 2015, Pages: 15-20
Received: Feb. 26, 2015; Accepted: Feb. 26, 2015; Published: Mar. 9, 2015
Views 3379      Downloads 209
Hee Chong Teoh, Faculty of Educational Studies, University Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia
Teng Teng Yap, Faculty of Social Science, Arts and Humanities, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Article Tools
Follow on us
This study evaluated the learning characteristics of university students based on three learning approaches (surface approach, deep approach and achieving approach) and six subscales, namely three learning motives (LM) and three learning strategies (LS). A survey form adapted from Biggs’s study process questionnaire (SPQ) was distributed to a total of 193 students at a private university college in Malaysia. This study employed descriptive correlation research design to address the research questions. Results of the study indicated that students were more prone to apply deep approach. Further analysis revealed a combination of “achieving strategy and deep motive” was the most popular approach among students. The pattern of surface and achieving approaches showed significant differences across subject variable. Proposed teaching methods were introduced to suit the needs of these major learning characteristics among university students.
Approaches to Learning, Learning Motives, learning Strategies, Disciplines
To cite this article
Hee Chong Teoh, Teng Teng Yap, Student Approaches to Learning Among University Students, American Journal of Applied Psychology. Special Issue: Psychology of University Students. Vol. 4, No. 3-1, 2015, pp. 15-20. doi: 10.11648/j.ajap.s.2015040301.13
Y. C. Kek, I. G. N. Darmawan, and Y. S. Chen, “Family, learning environments, learning approaches, and student outcomes in a Malaysian private university,” International Education Journal, vol. 8(2), pp. 318-336, 2007.
C. M. Rodriguez, “The impact of academic self-concept, expectations and the choice of learning strategy on academic achievement: the case of business students,” Higher Education Research & Development, vol. 28(5), pp. 523–539, 2009.
M. Rollnick, B. Davidowitz, M. Keane, A. Bapoo, and L. Magadla, “Students’ learning-approach profiles in relation to their university experience and success,” Teaching in Higher Education, vol. 13(1), pp. 29-42, 2008.
A. B. Swanberg and Ø. L. Martinsen, “Personality, approaches to learning and achievement,” Educational Psychology, vol. 30(1), pp. 75–88, 2010.
F. Marton and R. Säljö, “On qualitative differences in learning I. Outcome and process,” British Journal of Educational Psychology, vol. 46, pp. 4-11, 1976.
B. Dasari, “Hong Kong students’ approaches to learning: Cross-cultural comparisons,” US-China Education Review, vol 6(12), pp. 46-58, 2009.
J. B. Biggs, Student approaches to learning and studying. Hawthorn, Vic: Australia Council for Edu. Research, 1987.
J. B. Biggs and P. J. Moore, The process of learning (3rd edition). Australia: Prentice Hall, 1993.
N. J. Entwistle, “Approaches to learning and perceptions of the learning environment: Introduction to the special issue,” Higher Education, vol. 22, pp. 201-204, 1991.
Hanin Naziha Hasnor, Zaiton Ahmad and Norshidah Nordin, “The relationship between learning approaches and academic achievement among INTEC students, UiTM Shah Alam,” Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 90, pp. 178 – 186, 2013.
M. Y. Leung, Y. Wang, and K. K. David Chan, “Structural Surface-Achieving model in the teaching and learning process for construction engineering students,” Journal of professional issues in engineering education and practice, pp. 327-339, 2007.
M. Tani, “Quiet, but only in class: reviewing the in-class participation of Asian students,” retrieved from Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Incorporated (HERDSA) website: 2005.
C. Ziguras, “Educational technology in transnational higher education in South East Asia: The cultural politics of flexible learning,” Educational Technology & Society, vol. 4 (4), retrieved from 2001.
D. Kember, “Misconceptions about the learning approaches, motivation and study practices of Asian students,” Higher Education, vol. 40(1), pp. 99-121, doi: 10.1023/A:1004036826490. 2000.
L. Y. Fung, “A study on the learning approaches of Malaysian students in relation to English language acquisition,” American Journal of Scientific Research, vol. 9, pp. 5-11, 2010.
S. M. Thang, “Investigating autonomy of Malaysian ESL learners: a comparison between public and private universities,” 3L; Language,Linguistics and Literature,The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, vol. 15, pp. 97-124, 2009.
S. C. Pauline Goh, “Perceptions of learning environments, learning approaches, and learning outcomes a study of private higher education students in Malaysia from twinning programmes,” Doctoral dissertation, University of Adelaide, Australia, retrieved from 2005.
P. Ling, G. Arger, I. Filonenko, H. Chua, and C. Yin, “Approaches to study: A comparison of Malaysian and Australian students, in Higher education in a changing world,” Proceedings of the 28th HERDSA Annual Conference, pp. 276-286, retrieved from HERDSA website: 2005.
S. M. Thang, “Comparing approaches to studying of Malaysian distance learners and on-campus learners: implication to distance education,” Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education-TOJDE, vol. 6(2), pp. 70-86, 2005.
Zahariah Mohd Zain, Irfah Najihah Basir Malan, Fauziah Noordin and Zaini Abdullah, “Assessing student approaches to learning: A case of business students at the Faculty of Business Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA,” Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 90, pp. 904 – 913, 2013.
H. C. Teoh, Maria Chong Abdullah, Samsilah Roslan, and Shaffe Daud, “Assessing students approaches to learning using a matrix framework in a Malaysian public university,” SpringerPlus, vol. 3(54). doi:10.1186/2193-1801-3-54, 2014.
J. Biggs, D. Kember, and D. Y. P. Leung, “The revised two-factor Study Process Questionnaire: R-SPQ-2F,” British Journal of Educational Psychology, vol. 71, pp. 133–149, 2001.
P. L. Tan, “Approaches to learning and learning values: An investigation of adult learner in Malaysia,” Doctoral dissertation, Queensland University of Technology, Australia, retrieved from 2005.
R. F. DeVellis, Scale development: Theory and applications (2nd edn). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage, 2003.
J. Pallant, SPSS survival manual: A step by step guide to data analysis using SPSS (4th edn.). Australia: Allen & Unwin, 2011.
M. Y. Leung, S. T. Ng, and Y. K. Li, “Evaluating the learning approaches of construction students in Hong Kong through a matrix framework,” Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, vol. 130 (3), pp. 189-196, 2004.
S. N. Smith, “Approaches to study of three Chinese national groups,” British Journal of Educational Psychology, vol. 71, pp. 429-441, 2001.
Wan Zah Wan Ali, Memahami Pembelajaran. Kuala Lumpur: Utusan Publication & Distributors Sdn Bhd., 2000.
S. C. Pauline Goh, “Teaching practices that hinder the deep approaches to learning of twinning programme students in Malaysia: A Qualitative Perspective,” The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, vol. 17(1), pp. 63-73, 2008.
D. Chalmers and R. Fuller, “Teaching for learning at University”. Britain: Kogan Page, 1996.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186