Advanced Science and Technology Letters Vol 47 Education

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Advanced Science and Technology Letters Vol. 47 (Education 2014), pp. 270 -276 http: //dx.

Advanced Science and Technology Letters Vol. 47 (Education 2014), pp. 270 -276 http: //dx. doi. org/10. 14257/astl. 2014. 47. 62 Student Learning Strategies: A Conceptual Framework Al-Qirim, N. 1, Khalil, A. 2, Yammahi, A 1. and Yammahi, M. 1 1 College of Information Technology, UAE University, UAE, Email: [email protected] ac. ae 2 Abu Dhabi University, UAE, Email: khalil. [email protected] com Abstract. It is well known fact that students need to develop effective learning strategies in order to develop lifelong learning capabilities. Thus a demarcation line is drawn between Learning strategies and studying abilities. The purpose of this research is to develop a framework summarizing the best learning strategies. The importance of this research stems from the fact that such learning strategies may vary from one country to another and hence, each country may possess its own unique i. e. , cultural, psychological perspectives. This research developed a theoretical pedagogical framework made of seven learning strategies and endeavored to critically evaluate their potential impact as determinants of student achievement (AA) and success. The framework is made of the big five personality traits, students' motivation, time-poorness, mastery effort, assessment focus, competitiveness, and listening. The research discusses the framework highlighting different theoretical as well as professional contributions and contentions and portrays a future research direction. Keywords: Learning strategies, big five personality traits, motivation, mastery effort, assessment focus, time-poorness, competitiveness, listening, UAE University, female students. 1 Introduction In review of the literature, it was reiterated that students need to develop sound learning strategies to effectively facilitate their learning in general [3]. Learning strategies can be defined as a learning activities performed by the learner to get hold of new information. If the students do not use the appropriate learning strategies then there will be no learning. Strategy can generally be explained as a pattern to achieve something or appliance of a plan that is developed to reach a goal [3]. Researchers describe learning strategies as ‘behaviors and ideas that the learner is engaged in during learning and that are planned to influence the learner’s encoding of the process [1]. Learning strategies and studying abilities are two different concepts. On the one hand, studying abilities is like arranging studying conditions (i. e. , calm, illumination, heat/cold, form of the chair, preparing for the examinations, concentrating, improving the memory etc. ). On the other, learning strategies represent all kinds of tactics that an individual utilizes to learn and gain abilities in his/her own way – where students who apply learning strategies will improve their studying skills leading to their success [2]. Accordingly, the following research question is posited, how can UAEU students acquire effective life-long learning strategies. Thus, the purpose of this research is to ISSN: 2287 -1233 ASTL Copyright © 2014 SERSC

Advanced Science and Technology Letters Vol. 47 (Education 2014) develop a framework which could

Advanced Science and Technology Letters Vol. 47 (Education 2014) develop a framework which could guide students enhance their learning strategies in their academic life. Factors impacting student achievement According to the literature review in this research, seven factors were repeatedly found to influence students’ learning strategies which in turn, are expected to influence students’ academic achievement (AA). The following shows the model development (Figure 1). Big-five personality Fig. 1. Learning strategies model. ] 271 Copyright © 2014 SERSC

Advanced Science Letters Vol. 47 (Education 2014) and Technology A. The big five personality

Advanced Science Letters Vol. 47 (Education 2014) and Technology A. The big five personality traits The "Big Five" are five factors which are used to describe human personality and behavior dimensions. Those are extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness [6]. Originally these traits were assumed to be biological in origin, to be unaffected by effects of the environment, and to mature until early adulthood and from then on to remain stable over time. However, there is some evidence to suggest that personality traits are susceptible to gradual change over time [7]. Tüysüz et al. [9] found that such personality traits are affected by parental behavior, investments in education, and policy interventions, making personality change a possibility well into adulthood. 1. Extraversion refers the extent to which a person is sociable, talkative, lively, active, adventurous, Openness to Experience, creative, imaginative and excitable [10]. Accordingly, extraversion student is expected to achieve high score in his/her AA. 2. Agreeableness the extent to which a person is good-natured, helpful, trusting, and cooperative. People who score high on this dimension are empathetic, considerate, friendly, and generous. They also have an optimistic view of human nature. They tend to believe that most people are honest, decent, and trustworthy [11]. Accordingly, Agreeable-student is expected to achieve high score in his/her AA. 3. Conscientiousness refers to the extent to which a person is organized, careful, self-disciplined, and responsible. A person who is high in conscientiousness would make an effort to be careful, organized, responsible, and able to persist at a tedious task for a longer duration than people lower in Conscientiousness [11]. Furthermore, conscientiousness is mostly identified as a strong predictor of AA due to the results on the relation of academic performance to the other four personality traits are mixed or relatively weak [8]. Accordingly, conscientiousstudent is expected to achieve high score in his/her AA. 4. Neuroticism (Emotional stability) refers to the extent to which a person is calm and secure. Individuals who score high on neuroticism are more likely to experience such feelings as anxiety, anger, guilt, and depressed mood. Neurotic individuals are often easily frustrated [11]. However, the association between neuroticism and AA might be more complex. In contrast to conscientiousness, most scholars believe neuroticism to have a negative impact on AA but earlier research on the association between neuroticism and academic achievements showed mixed and inconclusive results [8]. Accordingly, neurotic-student is expected to achieve low score in his/her AA. 5. Openness to experience refers to general appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, imagination, curiosity, and variety of experience, creative thinker, independent, does not like routine work. A person who is high in openness to experience would be a creative thinker who is independent and does not like routines, have the desire to engage and understand the world and involve in different activities [10]. Accordingly, openness is expected to enable student to achieve high score in his/her AA. Copyright © 2014 SERSC 272

Advanced Science and Technology Letters Vol. 47 (Education 2014) Interestingly, researchers found that conscientiousness

Advanced Science and Technology Letters Vol. 47 (Education 2014) Interestingly, researchers found that conscientiousness and neuroticism are the best predictors of AA although neuroticism could have a direct negative effect on AA, especially in stressful situations like exams which could be remedied through motivation [8]. This is discussed next. B. Student motivation naturally has to do with students' desire, drive or emotion to participate in the learning process and it is directly related to academic success. In addition, motivation is a process for goal-directed activity that is activated and sustained. But it also concerns the reasons that cause their involvement or noninvolvement in academic activities. Although students may be equally motivated to achieve a task, the sources of their motivation may vary. When there is no motivation, students, who may have the ability to master the studying and understanding, may fail to do so. Students, who are motivated, work on tasks because they find them enjoyable and motivation is defined as the motivation to engage in an activity as a means to an end. Motivated students are trying to get the highest grades and impress their instructors [9, 12]. Accordingly, motivated student is expected to achieve high score in his/her AA. A. Time-poorness Time perspective in academia and industry has proved to be a good predictor of students' learning behavior and academic achievement. Time-poorness is a feeling of pressure due to a lack of time to complete all what needs to be done. Managing time has been associated with better learning performance. Many students find themselves unable to spend as much time on their studies because they are part-time or even full time work and because of family commitments [4]. It is not a matter of having more time to finish a lengthy task rather utilizing better time management techniques could allow for the completion of the task within adequate time. Such techniques involve making to-do-lists, priority lists, task to complete daily, divide the task to smaller pieces [15]. Accordingly, time-poorness is expected to impact student’s AA negatively. A. Mastery effort Effort can be defined as the amount of time spent on studying [16]. Also, effort refers to whether a student tries hard, asks for help, and/or contributes in the class. Studies of student effort propose that the more difficult a task appears, the less likely it is that the student will be motivated to take the task on. However, studies of student effort also propose that effort is linked with achieving well on a task. Therefore, students might be expected to find out what they need to study, study it, and be successful–if they have the ability to do the assigned task, confidence in this ability, and no concern about the task [17]. Accordingly, mastery effort is expected to impact student’s AA positively. A. Assessment focus is defined as information provided by an agent (e. g. , teacher, peer, book, parent, self, and experience) regarding what the agent believed was important and what was required by the assessment procedure [19]. When teacher clearly 273 Copyright © 2014 SERSC

Advanced Science and Technology Letters Vol. 47 (Education 2014) specified the assessment requirements, students

Advanced Science and Technology Letters Vol. 47 (Education 2014) specified the assessment requirements, students were more comfortable and focused on signs and other information given by the lecturer about what counts as important material and what would be in the examination. The same researchers believed that achieving what the lecturer wanted is an important strategy for success [4]. Assessment focus affects what and how students learn, student motivation, and sense of well-being [20]. If used appropriately assessment could substantially improve learning, but that most of the time, the impact of assessment practices was to limit, and even to reduce, student learning. It was only recently that researchers started to realize that using assessment as an integral part of instruction could improve learning outcomes for students, and at the same time, attempts were made to connect classroom practice to related bodies of research, notably feedback, motivation, attribution, and self-regulated learning [20]. Accordingly, assessment focus is expected to impact student’s AA positively. F. Competitiveness Competition is a contest between individuals or groups. It arises when two or more parties strive for a goal. The person who wants to win the competition thinks creatively and works for doing the best [15]. Competitiveness has usually been viewed as a negative trait as it leads to suboptimal outcomes. However, other research indicated that competitiveness may hold different meanings for people from individualist and collectivist cultures. More specifically, some research viewed competition as something that can lead to self-improvement and personal growth [21]. Accordingly, competitiveness is expected to impact student’s AA positively. A. Listening is a passive skill that students could acquire spontaneously during classroom activities. In a listening activity, some students like to listen to the text once or twice to understand hold more information [16]. In a listening process, the listener must use a wider variety of knowledge sources, linguistic and nonlinguistic, to understand take the incoming information [17]. Accordingly, listening is expected to impact student’s AA positively. 2. Concluding remarks This research was developed with a focus to understand the main drivers behind student learning. This research reviewed the relevant literature and developed a model that summarized the most important determinants of learning. The potential impact of each variable on student achievement is portrayed. The next phase of this research will endeavor to conduct a survey research targeting UAE University (UAEU) students and attempt to understand the learning strategies of UAEU students and whether they would support the depicted model or not. It is expected to highlight some key cultural perspectives concerning UAEU students. For example, the majority of UAEU students are female students. In addition, students are coming from different Emirates in the UAE. Therefore, obtaining demographic details of respondents is important to understand differences or commonalities pertaining to Copyright © 2014 SERSC 274

Advanced Science and Technology Letters Vol. 47 (Education 2014) learning strategies. The expected outcome

Advanced Science and Technology Letters Vol. 47 (Education 2014) learning strategies. The expected outcome of this research will be of importance to researchers, professionals and policymakers interested in addressing weak and strong learning strategies. References 1. Weinstein, C. E. & Mayer, R. E. (1983). The teaching of learning strategies. Innovations Abstracts, 5(32), 1 -4. 2. Zehra Nur Ersözlü (2010). Determining of the student teachers’ learning and studying Strategies. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2(2), 5147– 5151 3. Zimmerman, B. J. (1994). Dimensions of academic self-regulation: A conceptual framework for education Self-regulation of learning and performance: Issues and educational applications, 1, 33 -21. 4. Jeffrey, L. (2009). Learning orientations: Diversity in higher education. Learning and Individual Differences, 19(2), 195– 208 5. Costa, P. T. , Jr. & Mc. Crae, R. R. (1992). Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEOPI-R) and NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources. 6. Komarraju, M. & Karau, S. (2005). The relationship between the big five personality traits and academic motivation. Personality and Individual Differences, 39(3), 557– 567 7. Olson, K. (2005). Engagement and Self-Control: Superordinate dimensions of Big Five traits. Personality and Individual Differences, 38(7), 1689– 1700 8. Jensen-Campbell, L. , Knack, J. , Waldrip, A. & Campbell, S. (2007). Do Big Five personality traits associated with self-control influence the regulation of anger and aggression? Journal of Research in Personality, 41(2), 403– 424 9. Tüysüz, M. , Yildiran, D. & Demirci, N. (2010). What is the motivation difference between university students and high school students? Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2(2), 1543– 1548. 10. Peetsma, T. & Van der Veen, I. (2011). Relations between the development of future time perspective in three life domains, investment in learning, and academic achievement. Learning and Instruction, 21(3), 481– 494 11. Swinton, O. (2010). The effect of effort grading on learning. Economics of Education Review, 29(6), 1176– 1182 12. Hong, J. , Hwang, M. , Liu, M. , Ho, H. & Chen, Y. (2104). Using a “prediction– observation–explanation” inquiry model to enhance student interest and intention to continue science learning predicted by their Internet cognitive failure, Computers & Education, 72, 110 -120 13. Evans, C & Waring, M. (2010). Student teacher assessment feedback preferences: The influence of cognitive styles and gender. Learning and Individual Differences, 21(30, 271– 280 14. Peterson, E. & Irving, E. (2008). Secondary school students’ conceptions of assessment and feedback. Learning and Instruction, 18(3), 238 -250 15. Koçak, E. & Bayır, R. (2009). Project and group based learning and competition based evaluation in lesson of microcontroller applications. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 1(1), 1513– 1518 16. Bekleyen, N. (2009). Helping teachers become better English students: Causes, effects, and coping strategies foreign language listening anxiety. System, 37(4), 664– 675 17. Graham, S. (2006). Listening comprehension: The learners’perspective. System, 34(2), 165– 182 275 Copyright © 2014 SERSC

Advanced Science and Technology Letters Vol. 47 (Education 2014) 18. Barbaranelli, C. , Caprara,

Advanced Science and Technology Letters Vol. 47 (Education 2014) 18. Barbaranelli, C. , Caprara, G. , Rabasca, A. & Pastorelli, C. (2003). A questionnaire for measuring the Big Five in late childhood. Personality and Individual Differences, 34(4), 645– 664 1. Wolters, C. (1999). Relation between high school students' motivational regulations and their use of learning strategies, Learning and Individual Differences, 11(3), 281 -299 2. Dylan, W. (2011). What is assessment for learning? Studies in Educational Evaluation, 37, 3– 14. 3. Kinga, R. , Mc. Inerneyb, D. & Watkinsa, D. (2012). Competitiveness is not that bad. . . at least in the East: Testing the hierarchical model of achievement motivation in the Asian setting, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 36(6), 446– 457 Copyright © 2014 SERSC 276