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Title: Qualitatively different ways of experiencing learning : a phenomenographic investigation of international economics and trade undergraduates' conceptions of learning in a Chinese-Australian cooperative programme
Author: Zhao, X.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 9951
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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This study investigates International Economics and Trade (IET) undergraduates' conceptions of learning in a programme cooperatively run by a Chinese and an Australian university. Programmes jointly run by Chinese and foreign universities are increasingly common, as a means to attain greater internationalisation of higher education in mainland China. While higher education internationalisation research in China has been dominated by a focus on policy making, strategic planning and institutional management, the student's learning experience remains relatively unexplored. The way in which a learner experiences or understands learning may significantly influence their way of engaging with learning in universities (Marton & Booth, 1997) and the subsequent quality of learning outcomes (Biggs & Tang, 2007). Therefore, the study aims to reveal the undergraduates' qualitatively different ways of learning or conceptions of learning (Marton & Booth, 1997), in a Chinese-Australian cooperative programme. The research methodology adopted is phenomenography, a qualitative approach which has been often used to elicit and describe the limited number of qualitatively different ways people experience or understand some phenomena or aspects of a phenomenon around them. Data is collected through semi-structured interviews with a group of undergraduates and analysed following the phenomenographic principles to identify the referential and structural aspects of each conception. Ultimately seven main conceptions of learning and four sub-conceptions are identified. Generally speaking, the relationship between conceptions found is hierarchical, but the sub-conceptions or branches are also notable. The study not only expands the research context of phenomenography, but also contributes to the understanding of Chinese undergraduates' conceptions of learning in a cross-cultural teaching and learning context. Given the close relationship between ways of experiencing or understanding learning and learning approaches, and consequently the quality of learning, the implications of the outcomes of this research for the improvement of learning and teaching in such programmes are explored.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available