University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

A study of the relationship between some of the cognitive and contextual factors in student learning.

Laurillard, Diana M. (1978) A study of the relationship between some of the cognitive and contextual factors in student learning. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (17MB) | Preview


The study of the phenomenon of learning has attracted psychologists and educationalists for many years as an interesting and challenging problem. Learning as it is practised at the level of higher education has been less widely investigated, however. At this level it is a highly complex cognitive activity that does not easily reduce to well-defined experimental learning situations. For this reason, the thesis takes a holistic approach to the study of learning which sees learning as an activity which is related both to the subject-matter content of a learning situation and to the contextual factors that surround it. The study is based on previous research work within each of these areas, in an attempt to define the important factors that influence a student's approach to his study, and to establish the nature of the relationships between them. The research methods used have in part replicated previous research, and in part extended the application of these methods from experimental learning situations to real learning situations, i. e. to learning tasks that students engage in as part of their academic coursework. By considering a series of case studies of students working on several different learning tasks, it is possible to show that a student's approach to a task depends to some extent on his perception of that task, and on his perceptions of the circumstances within which he is doing it. The students are not easily categorised as adopting one particular learning style consistently, instead they are responsive to the conditions of the particular task in determining the form of their approach. This is the argument of the thesis: that student learning styles are both content-and context-dependent.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Laurillard, Diana M.
Date : 1978
Contributors :
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 1978.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 22 Jun 2018 13:56
Last Modified : 06 Nov 2018 16:53

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800