Student Academic Learning Failure and Workload Strategies: What Does It Mean for Universities?

By Alice Richardson, Dennis Bryant and Keith Lyons.

Published by The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper investigated the relationship between students who received failure grades in one or more units in semester 1 of 2008 and its influence on students’ decision making in regard to their unit workload strategies for the ensuing semester. It is shown that students who experienced semester 1 failure were less likely to experience further failure in semester 2, if they were to pursue either a hold workload steady (no change in the number of units) or increase their workload, whereas a unit workload reduction strategy led to a lower probability of eliminating failure. The implications of this research are twofold. Firstly, there is a benefit to students in understanding in greater detail the evidence around student strategies in the face of failure and possible ensuing dropout; and, the second implication concerns informing and empowering universities who wish to retain those students.

Keywords: Failure, Student Workload Strategies, Retention

The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, Volume 20, Issue 4, November 2014, pp.51-60. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 786.390KB).

Dr. Alice Richardson

Assistant Professor of Statistics, Faculty of Information Sciences and Engineering, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Dr. Dennis Bryant

Fulltime PhD Candidate, Faculty of Health, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Dr. Keith Lyons

Researcher, National Institute of Sport Studies, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia