Factors facilitating academic success: a student perspective

Cachia, Moira, Lynam, Siobhan, Stock, Rosemary, Fern Pollak, Liory, Usher, Lee and Hunt, Frances (2016) Factors facilitating academic success: a student perspective. In: Teaching and Learning Conference 2016, 28th June 2016, University of West London.

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Abstract

Intellectual ability, achievement motivation, conscientiousness and learning style are all positively associated with academic success (Busato et al., 2000). Thus academic performance does not only depend on intellectual ability but also on additional individual qualities. Other studies concur, including a recent quantitative study which found that emotionality; assertiveness, conscientiousness and common sense all have a significant impact on student grades (Mihaela , 2015). Moreover, the university environment should be conducive to enable students to develop a growth mind set, moving from externally to internally motivated behaviour (Naude et al., 2016). Such an attitude is instrumental in identifying deficits in student abilities and working towards improvement. Research on this topic is scarce, particularly from a qualitative approach.

What factors contribute to academic success at University? This research question was explored through a qualitative study with 16 undergraduate Psychology students, 5 males and 11 females aged between 19 and 53 (mean age: 29 years) in either their second or third year of their programme. Each participant took part in one of three focus groups which lasted between one hour and one and a half hours. The research partners (participants) collectively defined academic success as; gaining skills and knowledge through the university learning process; giving priority to personal development and the professional achievement of a university qualification. Thematic analysis of the data sums up the participants’ experience of the factors contributing to academic success in two main themes: internal factors (including self-management, motivation and personal skills) and external factors (namely support and teaching provision). The findings imply that higher education provision must provide and integrate bespoke personal development training as an essential part of its programmes. Further research with students from other fields of study would offer a wider perspective on the student support required through their time at University.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Academic success Motivation Teaching Learning
Subjects: Education
Psychology
Depositing User: Moira Cachia
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2016 19:45
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2016 06:11
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2375

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