Understanding transitions for first year university students : personal epistemology and learning

Walker, Sue, Brownlee, Joanne M., Lennox, Sandra, Exley, Beryl E., Howell, Kerry, & Cocker, Fiona (2009) Understanding transitions for first year university students : personal epistemology and learning. Teaching Education, 20(3), pp. 243-256.

View at publisher


Whilst participation in higher education has increased dramatically over the last two decades, many universities are only now beginning to pay more attention to the learning experiences of first year students. It is important for universities to understand how first year students conceive of learning and knowing in order to promote effective approaches to learning. Even though an extensive body of research demonstrates that beliefs about learning and knowing influence student approaches to learning and learning outcomes, there has been no Australian research that has investigated this critical learner characteristic across first year university students. This paper reports on preliminary data from an ongoing longitudinal study designed to investigate first year students’ beliefs about knowing and learning (epistemological beliefs). Students from teacher education and creative industry faculties in two Australian universities completed the Epistemological Beliefs Survey (EBS) in the first week of their first semester of study. A series of one-way ANOVA using key demographics as independent variables and the EBS factor scores as dependent variables showed that epistemological beliefs were related to the course of study, previous post-school education experience, family experience at University, gender and age. These data help us to understand students’ beliefs about learning and knowing with a view to informing effective learning in higher education.

Impact and interest:

11 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

621 since deposited on 09 Apr 2009
14 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 19543
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Personal epistemology, First Year experience, Epistemological beliefs, Teacher Educatio, HERN
DOI: 10.1080/10476210802559350
ISSN: 1047-6210
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators (130313)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 09 Apr 2009 01:22
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2013 01:04

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page