Sophomore Students’ Conceptions of and Approaches to Learning with Reference to College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Arba Minch University

Abate Demissie Gedamu


Appropriate conceptions of and approaches to learning are essential for students at all levels of education. To this effect, this study aimed to explore sophomore students’ conceptions of and approaches to learning at Arba Minch University, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Systematic random sampling technique was employed to select (N=106) students for the study. In order to gather data from the participants on their conceptions of and approaches to learning, The Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST) was used. To answer students’ conceptions of learning, independent sample t-test was applied. In order to decide the overriding learning approach they used, Kruskal-wallis test was used. Spearman’s rank-order correlation was employed to examine the association between students’ conceptions of learning and approaches to learning. The results of the study showed the students had both reproductive/surface and transforming/deep conceptions of learning equally. In addition, the study revealed strategic approach to learning was dominant over the other two followed by surface and deep approaches successively in their rank orders.  On the basis of the results, it was recommended that teachers should do their best develop their students conception that learning is meaning making and understanding through inquiry based, experimentation, and problem-solving instructions that encourage the qualitative conceptions of learning and deep approach to learning.

Keywords: conception; learning; conception of learning; approach to learning

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/10-7-04

Publication date: April 30th 2020

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