The extent of variability in learning strategies and students' perceptions of the learning environment

J.F.H. Nijhuis*, M.S.R. Segers, W.H. Gijselaers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The variability in deep and surface learning has been discussed as part of the trait vs. State debate. However, the question is to what extent students change strategies as a function of course demands. This study focused on discerning subgroups of learners with respect to variability in learning strategies and the role of students' learning environment perceptions in it. Data from 124 second-year university students in three consecutive courses were collected. Cluster analysis on the variability of learning strategies revealed two groups of students: a restricted one and a variable one. Differences in variability of learning between the restricted and variable clusters can be explained by the impact of learning environment perceptions on learning strategies and by the variation in the perceptions of the learning environment factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-134
Number of pages14
JournalLearning and Instruction
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

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