A comparative study of approaches to studying in Hong Kong and the united kingdom
British Journal of Educational Psychology
British Psychological Society
Background. The study was conducted in the context of a number of comparative studies into student approaches to studying, particularly in an Asian context, and used the Revised Approaches to Studying Inventory (RASI). Aims. (i) Explore the cross cultural validity of the RASI; (ii) compare the approaches to studying of Hong Kong and UK students; (iii) examine the predictive validity of the RASI; (iv) investigate the relationships between age, gender and approach. Samples. The samples consisted of undergraduates at two institutions in Hong Kong (N = 183) and the UK (N = 225) following business studies and related degree programmes. Method. The RASI was administered in the course of a study skills workshop in which co-operation was voluntary. Learning performance data from summative and formative assessments were used to examine the predictive validity of the RASI. Results. Principal components analysis was generally successful in reconstructing the three RASI scales; however the 'relying on memorising' subscale loaded ambiguously. The RASI failed to predict any aspect of learning performance for the Hong Kong sample, whilst for the UK sample there were some low correlations. An interaction of age and gender in their effect upon deep and strategic approaches was observed for the Hong Kong sample. Conclusions. (i) The conception of 'Asian learners as rote learners' is not supported; (ii) approaches to studying should not be seen in isolation from contextual factors, particularly the demands of assessment regimes; (iii) conceptualisations of memorisation require further theoretical and empirical elaboration.
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