Approaches to studying – associations with learning conceptions and preferences for teaching
Ødegaard, Nina Bjerketveit
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Abstract: Background: Research into occupational therapy students’ approaches to studying is growing, and research has shown approaches to studying to be associated with academic performance. However, learning conceptions and preferences for teaching among occupational therapy students have rarely been reported, and their relationships to study approaches need to be empirically investigated. Aim: This study aimed to investigate the sociodemographic and education-related factors associated with approaches to studying among occupational therapy students in Norway. Methods: Occupational therapy students (n = 149) from one education program in Norway completed questionnaires related to approaches to studying, learning conception, preferences for teaching, and sociodemographic factors. Hierarchical linear regression analyses were used to examine the independent variables’ associations with approaches to studying. Results: Higher age was associated with higher deep approach scores and lower surface approach scores, whereas being female was associated with higher surface approach scores. Higher scores on learning conception was associated with higher scores on the deep and the strategic approaches. Higher scores on supporting understanding was associated with higher scores on the deep and strategic approaches, whereas higher scores on transmitting information was associated with higher scores on the surface approach. Conclusions: This study provides increased understanding of the associations between students’ learning conceptions, preferences for teaching, and approaches to studying. The results contribute to educators’ knowledge base from which they can adapt their way of teaching according to student group characteristics.