Approaches to studying among Greek university students: the impact of gender, age, academic discipline and handedness
Background There is considerable interest in differences in students' approaches to learning, particularly in the difference between 'deep' approaches ( characterized by contextualization, critical review and recognition of the value of the content) and 'surface' approaches ( characterized by rote learning for functional purposes). The Revised approaches to studying inventory ( RASI) attempts to measure approaches but it is suggested that it cannot be applied universally. Purpose The purpose of the study was to assess the factor structure of an existing measure of students' approaches to studying ( RASI) in a sample of Greek undergraduate students, investigating the effects of gender, age, academic discipline and handedness on approaches to studying. Sample The sample totalled 452 undergraduates from a medium-sized university in Greece. Design and methods A factor analysis of a 30-item version of the RASI indicated five factors: surface approach, strategic approach, deep approach, metacognitive awareness and academic self-confidence. Mixed-design analysis of variance ( MANOVA) was computed for each of the scales of the RASI. Results and conclusions The results of the MANOVAs showed statistically significant main effects for sex on strategic approach and faculty on academic self-confidence. There was a statistically significant two-way interaction of sex x handedness on strategic approach, and a three-way interaction of sex x age x faculty on deep approach.