Learning from the Student’s Perspective

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Dixon-Morgan, Sarah
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
Learning science takes on the challenge of understanding how students learn and the implications of the learning and studying process on student achievement in college. This thesis began with the assumption that student learning can not be defined by quantitative data, but rather that learning occurs as a function of experiences, attitudes and approaches from individual students. This research set out to discover what study practices students use and why they use them. Using qualitative methods, this research determined the level of motivation and specific study approaches that first-year students at a large, regional, comprehensive university had for their courses. The result was the discovery that even when exposed to effective study methods, students do not apply effective methods to their studies. This thesis begins to question why students know how they study more effectively but still do not. The answer might simply be a lack of motivation. This implies there is a story behind the GPA and the grades. Successful students on the surface might not have learned anything from their college courses. With this recognition of the student perspective, the scope of learning in college can be wholly evaluated.
learning science, study habits, qualitative research, grit