Undergraduate Students' Resistance to Study Skills Course

By Yuksel, Sedat | College Student Journal, March 2006 | Go to article overview
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Undergraduate Students' Resistance to Study Skills Course


Yuksel, Sedat, College Student Journal


Research indicate that students generally fail to benefit from study skills courses and show resistance to this course in higher education level. The purpose of this research is to investigate reasons why students show resistance to the course of study skills and habits. In this research, a qualitative design utilizing retrospective interviews was employed. Students who showed resistance to the course of study skills and habits were interviewed. The results of this research indicated that reasons of students showed to resistance behavior are: do not want to change their study habits, can not change their study skills, believe the new study skills meaningless, and perceive that teaching study skills to the students in schools is not the responsibility of their career. It was proposed that the instructors of this course should have opportunities to practice these study skills instead of giving students theoretical knowledge.

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Educational research and development efforts largely relate to the development of instruction. In these efforts, teachers are seen as the most important element of instruction. But, learning occurs inside to the student's head. The teacher is a person who provides convenient conditions for students' learning. However, learning is the responsibility of the students.

Students must use study skills which are convenient to be successful. Students generally use some study skills developed by students during their education from elementary to higher education level. These study skills are generally inefficient and inappropriate to the student. For this reason, study skills which inappropriate to the student are needed to be taught to the students. If these skills aren't taught students as planned, they can't learn to use these skills (Gall, Gall, Jacobsen & Bullock, 1990).

Higher education institutes provide supplement services for students to develop their study skills. These institutes implement courses and programs on study skills. Because students generally are incompetent and unprepared for standards at higher education, higher education institutes offer supplement services and programs (Weinstein, 1988). Those services and programs generally consist of these models: (1) learning -to- learn courses, (2) supplemental instruction, (3) required programs for unprepared students, (4) courses integrating the processes of reading and writing, and (5) learning assistance centers (Simpson, Hyndt, Mist & Burrell, 1997). Uludag University (UU) Department of Guidance and Counseling (DGC), where this research was conducted, give a course named "Study Skills and Habits" to only this department's students at university. In this viewpoint, this service seems to be appropriate to the model of supplemental instruction. This course is compulsory for all of DGC students and it aims to prepare the students to be better counselors in the future. Briefly, students get both academic assistance on study skills and also knowledge and skills to use in their careers. For this reason, the course of "Study Skills and Habits" is considered a different model than program models.

There are number of researches on the effectiveness of services and programs. These researches, generally investigated the effectiveness of these programs, according to student's cumulative grade-point averages. Finally, researches found that all programs generally positively affect the students (see for detailed information on these researches Bednar & Weinberg, 1970; Kirschenbaum & Perri, 1982; Simpson, Hyndt, Mist & Burrell, 1997). But they interpreted that these programs are effective only according to student's cumulative grade-point averages. A few researches found in-depth information about these programs. For example, the students, especially low ability students don't readily receive these services (Friedlander, 1980; Karabenich & Knapp, 1988), and students resist these services when they get them and they do not change their study skills and habits (Dembo & Seli, 2004).

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