This study examines first year university student perceptions of responsibility for their learning, within the context of their conceptions of learning, with a view to meeting two of the objectives of higher education in Australia: teaching students to think and to learn. A questionnaire was distributed to 100 students undertaking at least one first year subject at the University of Western Sydney (UWS) in 1998. Their written responses provided information about their conceptions of learning, as well as both direct and indirect indications of their perceptions of responsibility. Results indicated that students held perceptions of personal responsibility for their learning, but that their conceptions of learning were essentially quantitative in nature and were at the lower levels of complexity. The implications of these findings are discussed in terms of university teaching and learning, and of meeting the ultimate objectives of higher education.
This is an electronic version of an article published in Teaching in higher education, 7(2) pp. 125-138. Teaching in higher education is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1356-2517&volume=7&issue=2&spage=125
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