Academic journal article Review of European Studies

Student Attitudes towards Teaching Methods Used in Universities the UK

Academic journal article Review of European Studies

Student Attitudes towards Teaching Methods Used in Universities the UK

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study was in the context of exploring effective teaching and learning in the British higher education system from a student's perspective. To explore the differences in level of knowledge of UK teaching methods between three subgroups of students and their attitudes towards those methods; to examine whether or not there is a relationship between students' knowledge about those teaching methods and their attitudes towards them. Twenty participants at one University in UK were chosen. A survey research method was applied. Data collection was conducted through questionnaire with closed items, and then SPPS was used for data analysis.

There existed a significant difference between Western and Eastern students in their knowledge of teaching methods used in UK universities. The difference in attitudes towards teaching methods between male and female students was not significant, either. Neither a positive nor a negative relationship between student knowledge of teaching methods and their attitudes towards them was found. Although there was no positive relationship between knowledge of teaching methods and attitudes towards those methods used in UK universities, some important implications about cross-cultural teaching and learning might be drawn from the significant difference between Western students and Eastern students in their knowledge of those teaching methods.

Keywords: survey approach, teaching method, university students

1. Introduction

Many researches have been done on effective teaching methods and effective learning at UK universities from the perspectives of teachers and researchers (Ramsdon, 2003; Wilkin, 1995). Few investigations, however, have been done on how much university students know about those teaching methods and what attitudes they have towards them.

Teaching in the UK universities aims to facilitate a university student's learning. As Brown and Atkins (1988) stated, teaching can be regarded as providing opportunities for students to learn. However, it has been found that university teachers' teaching intentions are most often implicit or to be inferred (D'andrea, 2008; Turner, 2002). If tutors want to make sure their teaching intentions are effectively realized, it is important for them to take time to think about articulating teaching methods to a group of students in their teaching activities.

Rowland (1996) both have suggested that it is learning that links research and teaching to the benefit of both activities and the mutual satisfaction of teacher and learner. The importance of learning related to teaching is obvious. To really facilitate students' learning, it is essential for teachers to know how much the students (learners) understand of their teaching intentions. It is generally known that those intentions are mostly conveyed by a tutor's teaching methods. Hence, the following research questions deserve to be explored: How much do university students know about the teaching methods used in UK universities? Are there differences between certain subgroups in their knowledge of these methods? Do the attitudes of students towards those teaching methods matter? Is there a relationship between a student's knowledge of the teaching methods and attitudes towards those methods? Answering these questions are significant in that they might be able to help to understand the student learning experiences at UK universities from a different angle and to help teachers to reflect on effective teaching in terms of using various teaching methods.

Therefore, the specific aims of this investigation were to test a group of students of mixed age, gender and nationality on their knowledge of teaching methods in UK universities and attitudes towards those teaching methods. Then the researcher tried to explore the tentatively generalized differences between certain subgroups on two investigated constmcts (i.e. knowledge and attitudes), and to explore the possible correlation between the two constmcts from the data obtained from the samples. …

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