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Teacher and student perceptions of the development of learner autonomy : a case study in the biological sciences

Scott, G. W.; Furnell, J.; Murphy, C. M.; Goulder, R.

Authors

J. Furnell

R. Goulder

Abstract

Biology teachers in a UK university expressed a majority view that student learning autonomy increases with progression through university. A minority suggested that pre-existing diversity in learning autonomy was more important and that individuals not cohorts differ in their learning autonomy. They suggested that personal experience prior to university and age were important and that mature students are more autonomous than 18-20 year olds. Our application of an autonomous learning scale (ALS) to four year-groups of biology students confirmed that the learning autonomy of students increases through their time at university but not that mature students are necessarily more autonomous than their younger peers. It was evident however that year of study explained relatively little (<10%) of total variation in ALS scores in this student population which suggests that personal and environmental/societal factors profoundly influence the degree of learning autonomy and should be a focus of future research.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jul 3, 2015
Journal Studies in higher education
Print ISSN 0307-5079
Electronic ISSN 1470-174X
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 40
Issue 6
Pages 945-956
Institution Citation Scott, G. W., Furnell, J., Murphy, C. M., & Goulder, R. (2015). Teacher and student perceptions of the development of learner autonomy : a case study in the biological sciences. Studies in higher education, 40(6), 945-956. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2013.842216
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2013.842216
Keywords Learner autonomy; Autonomous learning; Independent learning; Life-long learning; Biology teaching
Publisher URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03075079.2013.842216#.VXVjcE90yCQ
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Studies in higher education on 7th January 2014, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline...80/03075079.2013.842216

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