Deep or Surface? The learning approaches of enabling students in an Australian public university
Centre for Learning and Teaching
This paper explores the use of surface and deep learning strategies of students in an enabling program at a West Australian public university-an area of research which has not fully been investigated. Drawing on social constructivism, the study investigates whether students adopt a predominantly surface or deep learning approach to their studies for their pre- undergraduate unit which forms part of an enabling or pathway program at Edith Cowan University known as UniPrep. An online survey was administered to all students (both online and on campus) who were studying this Unit in Semester 1, 2017 and 162 students completed the survey. Their responses were analysed using descriptive statistics. Initial findings suggest that enabling students appear to adopt deep learning strategies in their studies at university and that this approach to learning is used regardless of the discipline in which they are enrolled.