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Experiences of Understanding and Strategic Studying [microform] / Noel Entwistle
Bib ID 5574556
Format BookBook, MicroformMicroform, OnlineOnline
Entwistle, Noel
Online Versions
Description [Washington, D.C.] : Distributed by ERIC Clearinghouse, 1994 
15 p. 

In an effort to further explore the experience of understanding from the university perspective, this study examined how British students' understanding was refined and committed to memory during preparation for final examinations. After piloting an interviewing procedure, in-depth interviews were conducted with eleven students from psychology (including two pre-med students taking a year out) and zoology. Through a flexibly structured interview schedule, students were taken through their revision strategies, with a particular focus on how they developed understanding and used visualization in its recall. Another 11 psychology students were asked to provide written responses describing their experiences of understanding. As the results of this first study related only to the context of revising for examinations, and as the sample was restricted in both size and range of discipline, the work is currently being extended through two hour-long interviews with twelve final year historians. The current study concerns understanding not just during revision, but also through writing essays as course work (term papers) and in Finals. The analysis found that the experience of understanding involved strong feelings of coherence and connectedness, together with confidence about explaining or using the knowledge acquired. Students differed in terms of the breadth of their understanding and in the depth or level of understanding which was a function of the effort put into making connections within the material and with related ideas and experiences. Only two students studied without any use of structure. Several students relied on the structure they had in their lecture notes. Other students developed structures designed to fit perceived requirements of previous years' examination questions. Only two types of structures drew on wide, active reading and involved an independent transformation of what was being learned. The five different kinds of structure, allied to parallel variations in breadth and depth, were described as "forms of understanding" (Entwistle & Entwistle, 1991) and depended on differing approaches to learning and studying. (Contains 24 references.) (JB)


ERIC Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).


May also be available online. Address as at 14/8/18:

Reproduction Microfiche. [Washington D.C.]: ERIC Clearinghouse microfiches : positive. 
Subjects Behavioral Objectives.  |  Cognitive Style.  |  College Students.  |  Epistemology.  |  Foreign Countries.  |  Higher Education.  |  Learning Motivation.  |  Learning Processes.  |  Learning Strategies.  |  Memorization.  |  Metacognition.  |  Student Attitudes.  |  Student Experience.  |  Study Skills.  |  Thinking Skills.  |  United Kingdom
Form/genre Reports, Research.  |  Speeches/Meeting Papers.
Available From ERIC 


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