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Learning approaches towards an examination-comparing distant and close timing
Online Journal of Social Sciences Research (2014)
  • Siew Yim Loh, Assoc Prof, University of Malaya
  • Kia fatt Quek
Learning approaches of medical students have been much examined. However, there is comparatively very little that is known about the learning approaches of students in other health care professions. The aim of this study is to understand the learning approaches of a cohort of occupational therapy students, when faced with an approaching essay-type examination. A longitudinal study was conducted on a group of undergraduate students (n=29). The Coles Entwistle Learning Inventory was used to measure their learning approaches at two different times, 1-2 months (‘distant’) and 1 week (‘near’) to an essay examination. The desirable learning approaches reduce detrimentally at close/near timing to the examination. There was a consistent decrease in scores from ‘distant’ to ‘close’ timing for all the scales. The correlation coefficient for the desirable learning approaches are; Meaning (r=0.79 p=0.049), Comprehension (0.61 p=0.011), Elaboration (r=0.74 p=<0.001), Versatile (r=0.87 p=0.008), and achieving (r=0.78 p=0.045). The learning approaches of students are easily influenced by the learning context and environment. Even essay type (examination) – one meant to engage students in deeper understanding versus factual recall may not induce the learning as intended as student perception and the scheduling of examination at the end of the academic year may exert an even critical force to draw out undesirable learning approaches. Awareness of the students’ perception of the demands of the examination must be monitored, and the context surrounding an examination must be managed to ensure deeper learning. Assessing student’s learning approaches must be pursued along the calls for deep learning.
  • Learning Approaches,
  • Examination,
  • Medical education,
  • assessement,
  • health education
Publication Date
April, 2014
Citation Information
Siew Yim Loh and Kia fatt Quek. "Learning approaches towards an examination-comparing distant and close timing" Online Journal of Social Sciences Research Vol. 3 Iss. 4 (2014)
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