Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Cam Cobb


constructivism, deep and surface learning, higher education, R-SPQ-2F, student approaches to learning, teaching and learning



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


This research study investigated the approaches to learning of undergraduate students to better understand their perceptions of their learning environment. Participants were sixty (N=60) undergraduate science students at the University of Windsor. Using an online survey comprised of the R-SPQ-2F (Biggs, Kember, & Leung, 2001), open-answer questions, and demographics, quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analysed. It was found that deep approach scores were higher and surface approach scores lower among fourth-year students compared to first-year students. Participants identified time, course design, study habits, personal interest, and effort as factors that influenced their learning. Student recommendations for teaching and learning improvement included renewed commitment to faculty development and reflective teaching practices. Participants’ responses illustrate the importance of student feedback in understanding the relationship between teaching and learning. The results of this research have implications on teaching and learning at the University of Windsor, and prompt further research throughout Ontario.