The influence of active learning experiences on the development of graduate capabilities
Kember, D and Leung, DYP, The influence of active learning experiences on the development of graduate capabilities, Studies in Higher Education, 30, (2) pp. 155-170. ISSN 0307-5079 (2005) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2005 Society for Research into Higher Education
Surveys at a university in Hong Kong indicated that graduates of discrete part‐time programmes perceived significantly higher development in eight out of nine graduate capabilities than their counterparts in full‐time programmes. Several possible explanations are considered and rejected. The conventional view that capabilities are nurtured through immersion in a stimulating campus environment was not applicable, as the part‐time students spent less time on campus than the full‐time ones. Other data in the survey suggested that the respective teaching and learning environments might be the principal cause. It appeared that the part‐time courses had more teacher–student interaction, and were more likely to employ active learning approaches. Structural equation modelling was used to examine this possible explanation. A model in which the type of teaching and teacher–student relationships impacted upon capability development showed a good fit to the data. The greatest effect was from teaching approaches requiring active student involvement and aiming for understanding. There was a mutually reinforcing effect from good teacher–student relationships. The results suggest that a strong effect on the development of graduate capabilities may come through employing active learning approaches.