Approaches to Study

The importance of the learning environment for the development of students’ approaches to study is well recognised.  Less focus has been paid to the effects of individual student personality traits on their learning, with the interaction between student personality and learning environment being particularly neglected.  This presentation will report the results of a pilot study of which reveals some potential patterns in our research findings:

  • openness to ideas predicts deep learning
  • aspects of neuroticism (anxiety) predict surface learning
  • conscientiousness (particularly achievement striving) predicts strategic learning

The pilot study is limited by consisting of one data collection from one module.  We welcome discussion about the interpretation of these findings.  The next phase of the research will introduce the longitudinal part of the study and compare/contrast two teaching styles of two module leaders:  one more innovative and another more traditional.  Currently, it does not seem that facet-level correlations are reported anywhere in the literature. 


Dr Micheal Butler
Aston Business School

Presentation Date

June 12th 2009