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The Change in Educational Environment

Discuss about the Students and Learning Process.

The educational life of the students forms the most important part of their lives and therefore it becomes very important for them to perform in a much better manner during this particular period. In the opinion of many people the transition from the schools or colleges to the next level of educational institutions is often a problematic one for the students and many students due to the changing educational environment as well as amount of course work which they need to complete for the course feel out of place at these educational institutions (Trigwell, Ashwin & Millan, 2013). Furthermore, procrastination is another major problem which the majority of the students face during the initial part of their college as well as university education and which affects their overall grades in an adverse manner (Trigwell, Ashwin & Millan, 2013). It is a reflection of this particular fact most of the students in the first year of their colleges or the universities often adopt a superficial or surface level approaches to learning irrespective of the course or the degree for which they have applied for (Lee, 2013). This essay will argue in favor of this particular statement and will try to show that the students in the first year of their college or university education do take the help of surface level learning which inevitably cause more harm than positive effects on the learning process of the students concerned.


The primary argument which the majority of the scholars use for this particular trend seen among the students is the change in the educational environment which the students had to face during the time of this particular transition (Chiou, Liang & Tsai, 2012). It is significant to note that during the transition from the schools to the colleges or the university the nature of the environment which the various students face is drastically different from the ones which the students have been used in their schools and the adjustment which this particular transition entails with itself which the students need to make often leaves them with very little time to cope with the additional amount of syllabus (Chiou, Liang & Tsai, 2012). Thus, in the opinion of many people the transition which the students need to make not only physically but also emotionally is one of the main reasons for the surface level learning approach adopted by the various students during the first year of their college or university studies (Entwistle, 2014).

The Need to Cope with Added Amount of Syllabus

The second argument which is used in the support of this particular trend seen among the various students in the first year of their educational lives is the fact that the amount of syllabus which the students need to take care of during the first year of their educational lives in the various colleges as well as university is more in comparison to the ones which they needed to take care of in their schools or other educational institutions in which they have studied (Baeten, Struyven & Dochy, 2013). Therefore, it is usually seen that the students during the first year of their college or university educational lives in a bid to cope up with the added amount of syllabus often resort to the superficial style of learning (Donnison & Penn-Edwards, 2012). Furthermore, in the opinion of many students not all the things which are taught to them during their entire course work are useful to them and it is often seen that during the exams the professors set the question papers in such a way that the majority of the questions come from a few selected areas of the entire course work (Baeten, Struyven & Dochy, 2013). Therefore, in a bid to reduce the amount of time required to complete the entire Herculean amount the students resort to the superficial style of learning in a bid to cover up the sections of the syllabus which are not that much important from the perspective of the examination and do thorough learning only for the sections which are important from the perspective of the examination.


The third argument which it used by the various scholars to justify this particular trend seen among the students in the first year of their college or university is the fact that the students although they had moved to the colleges or the universities but mentally they still feel that they are a part of the school and therefore they take the things which are being taught to them in a very casual manner and it is a reflection of this particular fact that the students during the initial part of the college or university years do not take the things which are being taught to them in a serious manner (Trigwell, Ellis & Han, 2012). Furthermore, during the school years the amount of syllabus which the various students need to deal with is very less in comparison to the amount of syllabus which they need to deal with in their college or university lives. However, the students in the first year of their college or university still follow the psychology which they had followed during their school lives, that is, they would be able to complete the entire syllabus by studying at the very last moment (Trigwell, Ellis & Han, 2012). The Herculean amount of syllabus which the students need to cover up during the first year of their college or university lives however requires a constant effort as well as dedication on the part of the students which many of them fail to put in during the course of their first year in the colleges or the universities (Passarelli & Kolb, 2012). Therefore, in a bid to cover up the entire syllabus at the last moment the students have no other option left but to complete the entire course work in a superficial manner.

The Psychology of Last-Minute Learning


The fourth argument which is used by the various scholars to justify the surface learning approaches adopted by the various students during the first year of the college or university lives is the factor of the teaching method used by the various professors in the colleges as well as the universities is drastically different part from the ones used by the various teachers in the school level and others (Salamonson et al., 2013). It is significant to note that during the school level education the students are being spoon fed in terms of the course work which are being taught to them and it is generally seen that the various schools do not complete the entire course work which have been allotted to them (Salamonson et al., 2013). Therefore, it would be apt to say that the laissez faire approach adopted by the various professors in the colleges as well as universities are contrary to the teaching approaches used by the various schools teachers for the purposes of imparting education. Thus, it is generally seen that by the times the various students get adapted or acclimatized to the teaching pattern of the professors belonging to the colleges or the universities a considerable amount of time is wasted and therefore the students are left with very little amount of time to complete the entire syllabus for the academic year (Pham & Renshaw, 2013). However, it is often seen that the surface level learning approach adopted by the various students has long term adverse effects of the performance level of the students. In the opinion of many people, the students who take the help of the surface level learning approach often end learning less than half of the things which are being taught to them and this particular fact affects their performance of the students in a considerable manner in the later part of their educational course as it is generally seen that the second year course of the various colleges as well as universities is dependent on the things which have been taught to the students in the first year of their college or university education (Donnison & Penn-Edwards, 2012). Therefore, the students find it very difficult to cope up with the educational as well as the performance pressure in the later part of the educational career. Moreover, it is seen that in the present times the intelligence level as well as the job prospects which a particular student is likely to have in the future times depends on the kind of grades or marks which the particular student gets in the college or the university level exams (Pham & Renshaw, 2013). Therefore, it becomes all the more important for the students to take the help of surface level learning so that they secure a bare minimum of marks or grades so that they can move on the next level.

The Laissez-Faire Approach of Professors


To conclude, the students in the first year of their college or university education find themselves in an educational environment which is drastically different from the one which they have been used to in their school level. Furthermore, the added amount of syllabus which they need to complete for their course work often leaves them with very little time or enthusiasm to complete the Herculean. Therefore, it is generally seen that the various students take the help of the various surface level learning approaches in a bid to get at least the bare minimum marks or grades which is necessary for them to move on to the next year. However, it is generally seen that these surface level learning approaches affects the performance level of the students in an adverse manner.

References

Baeten, M., Struyven, K., & Dochy, F. (2013). Student-centred teaching methods: Can they optimise students’ approaches to learning in professional higher education?. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 39(1), 14-22. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191491X1200048X

Chiou, G. L., Liang, J. C., & Tsai, C. C. (2012). Undergraduate students’ conceptions of and approaches to learning in biology: A study of their structural models and gender differences. International Journal of Science Education, 34(2), 167-195. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09500693.2011.558131

Donnison, S., & Penn-Edwards, S. (2012). Focusing on first year assessment: Surface or deep approaches to learning?. The International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education, 3(2), 9. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/openview/8e79b40369c58fbf38d905a59164b397/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=546302

Entwistle, N. (2014). Motivation and approaches to learning: Motivating and conceptions of teaching. In Motivating students(pp. 25-34). Routledge. Retrieved from https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781135368067/chapters/10.4324%2F9781315042015-8

Lee, S. W. Y. (2013). Investigating students' learning approaches, perceptions of online discussions, and students' online and academic performance. Computers & Education, 68, 345-352. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360131513001474

Passarelli, A. M., & Kolb, D. A. (2012). Using experiential learning theory to promote student learning and development in programs of education abroad. Student learning abroad: What our students are learning, what they’re not, and what we can do about it, 137-161. Retrieved from https://weatherhead.case.edu/departments/organizational-behavior/workingPapers/WP-11-03.pdf

Pham, T. T. H., & Renshaw, P. (2013). How to enable Asian teachers to empower students to adopt student-centred learning. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 38(11), 5. Retrieved from https://ro.ecu.edu.au/ajte/vol38/iss11/5/

Salamonson, Y., Weaver, R., Chang, S., Koch, J., Bhathal, R., Khoo, C., & Wilson, I. (2013). Learning approaches as predictors of academic performance in first year health and science students. Nurse Education Today, 33(7), 729-733. Retrieved from https://www.nurseeducationtoday.com/article/S0260-6917(13)00015-4/abstract

Trigwell, K., Ashwin, P., & Millan, E. S. (2013). Evoked prior learning experience and approach to learning as predictors of academic achievement. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 83(3), 363-378. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.2044-8279.2012.02066.x

Trigwell, K., Ellis, R. A., & Han, F. (2012). Relations between students' approaches to learning, experienced emotions and outcomes of learning. Studies in Higher Education, 37(7), 811-824. Retrieved from https://srhe.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03075079.2010.549220

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