Recently, Tobias Jenert’s and my publication “On the assessment of attitudes towards studying —Development and validation of a questionnaire” was published with the journal Learning and Individual Differences.
In the article, we describe the systematic development of an instrument to capture students’ attitudes towards studying. The instrument is part of a comprehensive study that we also reported about in this blog, e.g. regarding students‘ transition into Higher Education.
Looking at the manifold studies regarding students’ development and performance in Higher Education, many of them focus on students’ individual development during their studies (e.g. studies on students’ motivation). Others (e.g. those concerning students’ approaches to learning) take into account how students perceive their learning environment. However, there are hardly any studies so far that address students’ attitudes towards the Higher Education Institution where they study. With our instrument, we aimed at capturing two attitude objects: 1.) the university (institution) and 2.) the learning process (activity). Taking into account the three-dimensional structure of attitudes, including an affective, a behavioral and a cognitive component, our instrument consists of 10 scales.
Graphical abstract of the article
In order to evaluate the validity and reliability of the instrument, data was gathered at three different universities in Switzerland (820 students), Sweden (167) and Germany (133).Overall, the results show the internal consistency of the ASAtS. Its nomological validity is also supported by correlations with other constructs, such as intrinsic motivation and study performance. The ASAtS contributes to the theory on students learning by broadening the scope of research beyond learning in a narrow sense. From a practical point of view, it provides a tool for HE management to monitor students‘ perceptions of their HEI.
A German version of the questionnaire is also available. Furthermore, the questionnaire is currently translated into Portuguese. If you’re interested in using the instrument, please let us know. We’re happy to assist you in adapting the questionnaire to your context.