Vocation, motivation and approaches to learning : a comparative study

ARQUERO, Jose Luis, FERNÁNDEZ-POLVILLO, Carmen, HASSALL, Trevor and JOYCE, John (2015). Vocation, motivation and approaches to learning : a comparative study. Education and Training, 57 (1), 13-30.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/ET-02-2013-0014
Link to published version:: 10.1108/ET-02-2013-0014


Purpose – The individual characteristics of students can have a strong influence on the success of the adopted innovations in terms of their transferability and sustainability. The purpose of this paper is to compare the motivations and approaches to learning on degrees with differing vocational components.

Design/methodology/approach – Self-Determination Theory (SDT) and approaches to learning framework were used as theoretical background. Questionnaires were used to generate data. The sample was composed by 270 students enroled on differing degrees in term of motivation (accounting and nursing).

Findings – The results reveal differences in the approaches to learning and motivation between nursing and accounting students. Nursing degree seem to attract more internally motivated students, presenting significantly higher scores in terms of deep approach and lower scores on surface approach. Significant relationships where found between motivation and approaches.

Research limitations/implications – Data are obtained from students studying at a specific university in two degrees. Practical implications – The result suggest that different degrees could attract students with different motivations and approaches to learning. Educators must be aware of which type of students are being attracted to their classrooms, because the inconsistencies between the students’ motives and approaches, the way the contents are presented, the pedagogy and the assessment system could result in poorer learning and failure to transfer or sustain innovations.

Originality/value – This paper adds to the very scarce literature linking motivation and approaches. The implications for curriculum design and delivery and specifically for assessment design are of interest for educators.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > People, Work and Organisation
Identification Number: 10.1108/ET-02-2013-0014
Depositing User: Hilary Ridgway
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2015 09:47
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2015 09:47
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9509

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