The effect of student learning strategies on performance and carrier development: the case of University for Development Studies, Wa Campus
In an increasingly global environment bedeviled with various social, economic and environmental challenges; the quest for education that guarantees employability has become paramount. The extent to which higher educational institutions’ curriculum responds to employability has been questioned by industry, parents and students. This study explored the learning strategies of 500 undergraduate students in higher education in the Wa Campus of the University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana and the effect on their performance and carrier aspirations. Twenty lecturers and managers of three development organisations that receive students on internship were also purposively selected. The study revealed that generally, the immediate objective of excelling in examinations has been the driving force of students’ choice of a learning strategy throughout the levels of their undergraduate studies. The results also gave an indication that students tended to adopt specific learning strategies because of impressions they have built regarding the nature of course delivery by instructors/teachers/lecturers. Even though almost all the undergraduate programmes’ curriculum involve practical work including internships in addition to expectations that as students graduate to levels 300 and 400, they will begin to apply their knowledge and network more, many more of them rather prefer memorization which they claimed increases their chances of excelling academically. The study concluded that to ensure that students are able to make a full contribution to society, institutions of higher learning need to create more opportunities for students and academia to
interface with industry in order to boost students’ self-confidence and to re-orient them towards reformulating their educational objectives to mirror the requirements of industry.
Keywords: Student, learning, strategies, performance, carrier development