Singapore Institute of Technology

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Students’ Approaches to Learning (SAL) and their Relations to Burnout among University Freshmen in Singapore

conference contribution
posted on 2024-01-26, 02:16 authored by Sok Mui May LimSok Mui May Lim, Xiao-Feng Kenan Kok, Shermain PuahShermain Puah, Ching Yee Pua, Oran Zane DevillyOran Zane Devilly

This study investigates the reciprocal relationship between students’ approaches to learning (SAL) and burnout among year-one university students. Prior research has linked SAL (i.e., deep, unreflective, organised studying) to burnout (i.e., exhaustion, cynicism, inadequacy), but few studies have explored the bidirectional relationship between SAL and burnout. To bridge this research gap, data from two cohorts of freshmen (Cohort 1, n = 261; Cohort 2, n = 216) were collected via the SAL scale (SALS) and school burnout inventory (SBI) at the beginning and end of their first year. Both cohorts exhibited bidirectionality between unreflective approach (UA) and cynicism, indicating that increased UA could lead to higher cynicism, and vice-versa. These findings underscore the importance of recognizing the interplay between UA and cynicism for interventions targeting UA reduction and emphasizes the need to consider the potential unintended consequences of heightening freshmen’s cynical atitudes towards studying when atempting to reduce UA.


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ELITE 2023 International Conference on Engaged Learning & Innovative Teaching in Higher Education, 15-17 November 2023, Hong Kong.

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