An investigation into the learning strategies and styles of engineering undergraduates

Swannell, M.J., 1992. An investigation into the learning strategies and styles of engineering undergraduates. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

10290152.pdf - Published version

Download (9MB) | Preview


The aim of the research was to investigate learning methods in engineering education. The main objective was to study and obtain an understanding of the interactions among learning strategies, learning styles and student performance on various assessments. As part of this study it was proposed that a learning model be developed and incorporated into a knowledge based system.

Learning models have been investigated and a learning model is proposed for discussion. The model includes learning aims, assessment of existing knowledge, the experiential learning cycle and post tests with feedback. Elements on learning strategies and styles are also incorporated within the model. A learning style assessment module for the knowledge based system has been developed and is described.

The learning strategies and learning styles of a representative sample of engineering students have been investigated. The sample consists of 125 students from the BEng Honours courses in Mechanical and in Integrated Engineering. These strategy and style results are presented and are compared with previous published data. Correlations between learning strategies and motives are presented and discussed. Generally these correlations show that there are positive relationships within the surface and deep learning domains with weaker correlations between achieving strategies and motives. The study of the four learning styles of activist, theorist, reflector and pragmatist shows that there is no relationship between the styles, i.e. each style measures an independent characteristic of the learner. Based on the Honey and Mumford Learning Styles Questionnaire and the Biggs Study Process Questionnaire, the study indicates that learning styles are different to learning approaches (strategies and motives).

Relationships among student strategies, styles and student performance are reported. The research does not indicate any strong correlations between learning strategy or motive and assessment marks. However a correlation between the theorist learning style scores and marks was observed. It appears that this theorist style is most likely to be successful in engineering degree courses at Nottingham Polytechnic. A comparison between study modes indicates that part-time mature students have higher deep learning approaches than full-time students. This is matched by higher part-time student marks.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Swannell, M.J.
Date: 1992
ISBN: 9781369324013
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 10 Nov 2020 15:11
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2023 14:15

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year