Enhancement of Quality Learning: Capitalizing on the Student Approaches to Learning Framework

By Huy P. Phan.

Published by The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Quality learning in higher education is an impetus and major objective for educators and researchers. The student approaches to learning (SAL) framework, arising from the seminal work of Marton and Säljö (1976), has been researched extensively and used to predict and explain students’ positive (e.g., critical reflection) and maladaptive behaviors (e.g., work avoidance). It is prudent for educators to cultivate and encourage students to actively construct and make sense of their own learning, rather than to simply memorize and reproduce contents for assessment purposes. In this review, we revisit and examine the SAL theorization within the contexts of higher education. We scope the importance of quality learning and propose three major elements in our discussion, which may foster deep, meaningful learning inclination: assessment strategies, the classroom milieu, and alignment of learning objectives. We conclude this theoretical article with an offering of issues for continuing research development. This focus, in our view, is significant as we believe the SAL framework is not robust in its explanation of students’ learning behaviors in different sociocultural settings.

Keywords: theme: learning in higher education, Quality Learning, SAL, Tertiary Students, Continuing Research Development

The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp.23-35. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 683.353KB).

Assoc. Prof. Huy P. Phan

Associate Professor, School of Education, Teaching and Learning, Faculty of the Professions, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia

Huy P. Phan, PhD, is Associate Professor at the University of New England. He teaches educational psychology units in the School of Education. His research interests include social cognition, learning approaches, motivation, and personal epistemology. His publications have included the use of causal modelling procedures to establish relations between theoretical constructs.