Developing autonomous learning in first year university students using perspectives from positive psychology

Ann Macaskill, Andrew Denovan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Autonomous learning is a commonly occurring learning outcome from university study, and it is argued that students require confidence in their own abilities to achieve this. Using approaches from positive psychology, this study aimed to develop confidence in first-year university students to facilitate autonomous learning. Psychological character strengths were assessed in 214 students on day one at university. Two weeks later their top three strengths were given to them in study skills modules as part of a psycho-educational intervention designed to increase their self-efficacy and self-esteem. The impact of the intervention was assessed against a control group of 40 students who had not received the intervention. The results suggested that students were more confident after the intervention, and that levels of autonomous learning increased significantly compared to the controls. Character strengths were found to be associated with self-efficacy, self-esteem and autonomous learning in ways that were theoretically meaningful.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-142
Number of pages19
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Volume38
Issue number1
Early online date18 May 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes

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