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Approaches To Learning And Learning Environments In Pbl And Lecture Environments

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.110.1 - 5.110.12



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Paper Authors

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Andrew N. Hrymak

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Donald R. Woods

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Heather Wright

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2213

Approaches to Learning and Learning Environments in Problem-based versus lecture-based learning

Donald R. Woods, Andrew N. Hrymak and Heather M.Wright McMaster University, Hamilton, ON. Canada


One desired outcome of our educational goals is that our student’s approach to studying by searching for meaning rather than superficially memorizing and regurgitating knowledge. To some extent, students have their own preferred approaches to studying. However, research by Ramsden and Entwistle suggests that the learning environment we use in our classrooms also affects the student’s approaches to studying. Two published inventories to measure these effects are the Lancaster Approaches to Studying Questionnaire, LASQ, and the Course Perceptions questionnaire, CPQ. Data from the short version of these questionnaires were analyzed for a group of students concurrently registered in two programs. Students were registered in a cross-section of disciplines in humanities, social science, science and engineering where the method of instruction was primarily the conventional lecture. Those same students were concurrently registered in the “Theme School” program, an interdisciplinary program of 33 credits where the method of instruction was small group, self- directed problem-based learning. These sophomore students who selected the Theme School program scored high on the LASQ on both the strategic and “deep” learning scales and relatively low on the “surface” learning orientation. They scored high on the Perry inventory.

On the CPQ they rated their home departments as 21.6 with a standard deviation of 10.32. They rated the theme school as 40.09 with a standard deviation of 7.57.

I. Introduction

Effective learning is a unique combination of the learning environment and the student's preferred orientation toward learning. Chickering and Gamson1 and Ramsden2 suggest key principles to follow to create an effective learning environment are:

1. Stimulate interest and provide quality explanations.

2. Show concern and respect for students and students learning.

3. Use appropriate assessment with genuinely helpful feedback.

4. Have clearly stated goals that are intellectually challenging and expect students to succeed.

Hrymak, A. N., & Woods, D. R., & Wright, H. (2000, June), Approaches To Learning And Learning Environments In Pbl And Lecture Environments Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8167

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