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Issue 4, 2016
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ChemApproach: validation of a questionnaire to assess the learning approaches of chemistry students

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Abstract

The theory of learning approaches has proven to be one of the most powerful theories explaining university students' learning. However, learning approaches are sensitive to the situation and the content of learning. Chemistry has its own specific features that should be considered when exploring chemistry students' learning habits, specifically the role of practicals (i.e. hands-on laboratory work), as they are crucial in chemistry education. Therefore, the aims of this study were to find and validate a questionnaire for measuring chemistry students' learning approaches. A 17-item questionnaire was tested with 561 Finnish chemistry students from four different universities. Students ranging from the first year bachelor level to the fifth year master level participated in the study. Statistical analyses showed that a four factor model fitted the data best and these factors were named submissive surface, technical surface, active deep, and practical deep. In order to establish validity, the model was further tested by analysis of the subgroups of the major subject and gender. The analyses show that the questionnaire is statistically valid and can be used for studying chemistry students' learning approaches.

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Dec 2015, accepted on 29 Apr 2016 and first published on 29 Apr 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5RP00216H
Citation: Chem. Educ. Res. Pract., 2016,17, 723-730
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    ChemApproach: validation of a questionnaire to assess the learning approaches of chemistry students

    M. Lastusaari, E. Laakkonen and M. Murtonen, Chem. Educ. Res. Pract., 2016, 17, 723
    DOI: 10.1039/C5RP00216H

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