Approaches to study across four year-levels of undergraduate occupational therapy students: Similar or different?

Ted Brown, Yuki Murdolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Past studies that have investigated approaches to study adopted by undergraduate students suggest that university learners enrolled in different year-levels in the same academic course may take up different approaches to study. No research to date has investigated how approaches to learning may differ among undergraduate occupational therapy students enrolled in their first, second, third or fourth year of tertiary level study. The aim of the current study was to examine the similarities and differences in approaches to study among four year-levels of occupational therapy students at one Australian university. Method First-, second-, third- and fourth-year undergraduate occupational therapy students (N = 376; 92.8% response rate) completed the Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students. A one-way ANOVA and Tukey HSD were conducted to identify differences in approaches to study across the four year-level cohorts of students. Results Fourth-year students differed significantly from first-, second- and third-year students on the mean scores of the deep and strategic approaches to study (F(3,372) = 6.958, p =.01 and F(3,372) = 8.366, p =.001 respectively) and on a number of the associated Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students subscales. There was no statistically significant difference across the four student cohorts on the mean score of the surface study approach. Conclusion Findings from the current study highlighted the difficulties in facilitating a deep approach to study and the prevalence of a surface study approach among undergraduate occupational therapy students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)752-761
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • cohort
  • education
  • learning
  • Occupational therapy
  • students
  • study

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