Self-regulated learning has generated a great deal of interest and research in recent decades as educators search for more effective and diverse ways to engage students. In previous research (Biggs, 1987, Richardson, 1995) it was claimed that mature adult students have a more sophisticated and effective approach to study than neophyte students. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the degree to which age impacts on the approaches taken by two groups of undergraduate students studying the same module. One group were first year undergraduates aged 18-19 who were enrolled on a full-time Business Management degree. The second group were ‘mature’ adult learners over the age of 21 who were studying their Business Management degree on a part-time basis alongside their daily work. The research involved a total of 91 students, and a 25 item structured questionnaire together with further feedback from focus groups. The results indicate that age is not a significant barrier to learning and can, indeed, be an asset in certain learning situations where life-experience is involved. Finally, this paper calls for an integrated curriculum-tutorial model that supports students holistically.
|International HETL Review
|Published - 19 Oct 2015