Assessment Practices and Students’ Approaches to Learning: A Systematic Review


Student Approaches to Learning (SAL) differentiates between student learning objectives/behaviors that are focused on the memorization of course content (surface approach) or the construction of meaning and comprehension (deep approach). For nearly five decades, researchers have explored Student Approaches to Learning (SAL) as an important framework for understanding, evaluating and guiding learning and instruction. An evidently robust and generally relevant construct, SAL has spawned numerous instruments to capture its Deep and Surface approaches, most notably the Study Process Questionnaire (SPQ) and its successor the Revised Two-Factor SPQ (R-SPQ-2F). Despite its history, there are few comprehensive reviews of its utility. Here we present the results of a systematic review of the literature describing how deep and surface approaches to learning are associated with different assessment practices. This paper uses vote counting to investigate the relationship between assessment practices and students’ approaches to learning. After a systematic search of the literature over 1,482 abstracts were reviewed, from which 21 articles were selected and 53 voting scores were extracted. Several assessment types were grouped and analyzed to help explain the voting results. Pedagogical implications and suggestions for further research are discussed.

Author Information
Jihan Rabah, Concordia University, Canada
Robert Cassidy, Concordia University, Canada
Manasvini Narayana, Concordia University, Canada

Paper Information
Conference: ACEID2018
Stream: Higher education

This paper is part of the ACEID2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon