The purpose of this research was to explore and gain insight into year 1
undergraduate Physical Education student experiences of learning and develop
understanding of the means by which students are supported in the transition to
university. It explores the perceived cognitive, affective and social demands on
learning; and the challenges and barriers faced by students in becoming academic
learners in Higher Education.
A qualitative phenomenological approach was adopted. Interpretative
phenomenological Analysis (IPA) provides a methodological framework and
analytical approach that enables an exploration of the individual [and shared] lived
experience of the six research participants. The research is idiographic starting with
a detailed exploration of individual experience and perspectives, followed by an
interpretative analysis that preserves the participant voice. Semi-structured
interviews were conducted at three key points during the first year of study and
transcripts were analysed using an iterative, hermeneutic approach. A process of
abstraction identified four recurrent master themes that capture the student
experience of learning. It is by presenting a holistic understanding of the role that
‘Self’, ‘Becoming’, ‘Belonging’ and ‘Motivation’ play in defining student experiences
of learning that this research makes its contribution to knowledge.
The findings of this research show that student experiences of learning are
individually unique and illustrates the importance of re-evaluating transition.
Participants were self-aware but held compound self-concepts that are emotionally
and socially defined. Situated and meaningful interaction is critical in fostering
resilience and a sense of control over learning and tensions between the relational
and connected nature of experience are brought into view. Participants encountered
disconnection between certain pedagogies and learning, self-determination and the
regulation of study.
The conclusion identifies a series of developmental themes that can inform
understanding and contribute to further research where the agenda for change
seeks to respond to student needs through improvements in teaching and learning;
student-centred pedagogy, connectedness, emotional coping, inclusion or
exclusion, and mastery oriented learning.
|Date of Award||Aug 2017|