Deep vs. Surface Learning: A Study Among DTP3 Thermodynamics Students in Politeknik Kuching Sarawak
This study explores the learning approaches (deep or surface learning) of Mechanical Engineering (Manufacturing) students of DTP3 in studying Thermodynamics. The pattern of correlation between types of learning approaches with academic attainment also to be examined. In addition, this study also tries to prove that the students’ learning approach and academic understanding is influenced by the educators’ pedagogy choices. The Revised Two Factor Study Process Questionnaire (R-SPQ-2F) was conducted to respondents. The findings of this study showed that deep learning approach was the most dominant learning approach used by the students. Then, the findings also showed that the deep learning approach had positive correlation with academic attainment while the surface learning approach was inversely proportional with academic attainment. Therefore, students are encouraging to become a deep learner rather than surface learner. Furthermore, this study also revealed that the significant of educators to teach awareness to the students on the different approaches in their learning. Thus, by promoting or inducing the deep learning approach among students, it is hope that the surface approach to learning can be minimized. Educators also need to be aware that their teaching practices can affect the intention of the students to learning too. The implementation of Outcome Based Education (OBE) in polytechnic’s studies requires students to achieve the goals (outcomes) by means of deep and thorough understanding and mastering of the subjects they study. Thus, the cultivation of deep approach to learning among students may parallel to the concept of OBE.
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