Students' learning experiences in second year augmented economics.
Zikhali, Jabulani Bhekokwakhe Stanley.
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This study is undertaken to investigate the students’ learning experiences in second year Augmented Economics tutorials. Augmented Economics tutorials is a second year academic development (AD) programme for students in the extended Bachelor of Commerce degree. The investigation into the students’ learning experiences is done by interrogating the causal relationship between the learning environment at a higher education institution on the one hand and the student learning approaches and the students’ performance outcomes on the other. The study focuses on the students in the AD programme who are enrolled in the extended Bachelor of Commerce degree. The rationale for the study stems from the non-existence of research data on the effectiveness or lack thereof in the extended Bachelor of Commerce since the programme started in 2004. The study is intended to identify possible areas of strength and weaknesses in all the Augmented Economics modules. The study uses Biggs’ 3P theory of students’ approaches to learning to explain the interrelationship between the presage, process and product vriables. The Course Experience Questionnaire is used as an instrument with which to gather data from the second year Augmented Economics students. A questionnaire with 29 items was used, of which data from 26 of these items was used. The study found strong positive linear correlations between the institutional factors but very weak positive and negative correlations between grade 12 and institutional factors. Significant gender difference in the deep learning approach but no gender difference in the surface learning approach was found. This study found that the second year Augmented Modules are perceived by the students as positively empowering them with generic skills. The study recommends a relook at the curriculum structure and the workload as well as the assessment models being used in second year Augmented Economics. Further research is also recommended over a longer period and a bigger sample to establish the generalizability of this study’s findings.