Gender and motivational differences in approaches to learning by a cohort of open learning students

Paul Anthony De Lange, Felix Tinoziva Mavondo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the relationship between gender, motivational differences and students' approaches to learning—using a revised version of Biggs' (1987) study process questionnaire. Responses from 246 business students studying via open learning Australia provide data to develop a structural equation model. The model was subsequently examined for differences across gender groups. In the primary analysis, results suggest the same model is applicable to male and female students, however, there are significant differences both in the strengths of relationships and in the measurement models. Further investigation of differences within the models indicated there may be different learning strategies for male and female business students. Findings presented in this paper also challenge accepted wisdom with regard to questionnaire development, as researchers need to be sensitive to gender issues, both in the manner in which the questions are phrased and in the way the constructs are measured.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-448
Number of pages18
JournalAccounting Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • deep and surface learning
  • gender
  • structural equation modelling
  • student motivation
  • students' approaches to learning

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