An instrument to evaluate students’ learning styles / habits

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    Michael Rowe

    I’m a PhD student and physiotherapy lecturer in South Africa, and I’m trying to get a better idea of how my students study through a survey. Does anyone know of a valid, reliable instrument that I can use. The main themes of my research are blended learning, social networks and clinical education.

    I’m in the process of developing my own questionnaire but would like to be able to incorporate questions from other surveys that have provided useful information.

    I’d appreciate any suggestions or comments that would help to give me some direction.

    Hi there, there was a study conducted last year on how health science students study for exams and it found that lack of sleep and anxiety contributed to their performace negatively and positively, well, some over others. I suggest, if you want to find out how your students study, that you braek them up in small discussion groups and have then present (poster) their pattern of study or learning techniques, as individuals and as a collectyive. If you give them just questions then they could be in a position to give you whatever answer or response they might feel youl be comfortable with.

    So, have the questionnaire, and also have a group and individual activities to give you a better sense of how they study; let them survey themselves and you can interpret the rest 🙂 Hope this help, enjoy your lectures!!!!

    Michael Rowe

    Hi Ernestina

    Thanks for your response and suggestions. I have incorporated a few questions around issues of anxiety and time management that you raised. I agree with what you’re saying about them giving me what they think I want to hear, but unfortunately, I won’t have the means to do small group discussions in the first stage. I am planning on using them later on in the study.

    I was wondering if you have the details of the study you mentioned (or perhaps even the survey that was used)?


    Hi Michael

    I have been seraching the net to find that study but it is proving to be challenging. You see, that study was presented at the 2nd Cross Faculty Symposium at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg…and it actually won the prize. The problem is I cant remember the author’s name and title of poster presentation, however I can give you a link to the university’s site on that symposium (hope it is not too much work :))

    Really sorry I cant help out enough, but i am sure yoiu will soon come across something that speaks to waht you are looking for..

    Michael Rowe

    Thanks a lot for the link. I’ll follow it up and see where it gets me.


    The one of the instruments I recall at the moment is Biggs’ Study Process Questionnaire (SPQ) which I saw was used in several researches.

    Maybe this could help as well>

    Maybe they are not too scientific, but could help in figuring out more questions and comparing your work with other’s.

    Michael Rowe

    Thank you for these resources, and for your suggestion re. using them as sources to guide my own survey. It’s very much appreciated.

    Banciu Viorica

    We do the same thing in a project entitled “What do our children read?” and we applied questionnaires to primary school pupils, to secondary and to highschool asking them not only what the like to read but also how they spend their spare time, social activities, computer, cinema, music. We will also ask the teachers to fill in a separate questionnaire expressing their opinion on their students activity, We want to get a better idea about what our children want to do, what they are interested in. With all the questions of the questionnaires we can develop at least two surveys. Vio

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