Zayed University Students’ Teaching and Learning Beliefs and Preferences: An analysis based on the surface versus deep learning approach

Alan Russell (Zayed University, Dubai)

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives

ISSN: 2077-5504

Article publication date: 1 December 2004

Issue publication date: 1 December 2004

142
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Abstract

Analyses of teaching and learning in higher education are increasingly being based on a distinction between surface and deep learning. This distinction is helpful for investigating approaches used by teachers as well as student preferences for teaching and learning. Surface learning places an emphasis on memorizing facts and information as well as the relatively passive reproduction of content. In contrast, deep learning involves an intention to understand, the critical assessment of content and relating new information to past knowledge in meaningful ways. There has been an assumption that in the U.A.E. there is an orientation to surface learning in schools and higher education. To examine this assumption, an adaptation of questionnaires used with Western students (the Approaches to Study Skills Inventory for Students) was used with a small sample of ZU students. There are limitations in the use of this procedure and difficulties in interpreting the results. However, the results suggest that ZU students show strong beliefs and preference for deep learning approaches in addition to surface learning approaches. This finding is consistent with evidence obtained from student responses to assessment tasks, where there was evidence of deep learning. It was concluded that learning outcomes for ZU students could be enhanced by employing deep learning approaches to teaching and learning.

Citation

Russell, A. (2004), "Zayed University Students’ Teaching and Learning Beliefs and Preferences: An analysis based on the surface versus deep learning approach", Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 3-17. https://doi.org/10.18538/lthe.v1.n1.07

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004 Alan Russell

License

This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode


Acknowledgements

Publisher's note: The Publisher would like to inform the reader that the article “Zayed University Students’ Teaching and Learning Beliefs and Preferences: An analysis based on the surface versus deep learning approach” has changed pagination. Previous pagination was pp. 1-15. The updated pagination for the article is now pp. 3-17. The Publisher apologises for any inconvenience caused.

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