Relationship between student preparedness, learning experiences and agency: Perspectives from a South African university
Background. One of the more discernible needs that challenges universities is addressing the level of preparedness of students entering the higher education environment. Students expect to participate in active learning, while at the same time adopting a certain level of agency to successfully pass through higher education.
Objective. To determine the relationship between student preparedness, learning experiences and agency of students in the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences (FCHS), University of the Western Cape (UWC), Cape Town, South Africa.
Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 266 (N=578) convenience sampled 3rd-year students in the FCHS. Data were collected with an instrument constructed from items of evaluation from the departments in the FCHS and other validated instruments.
Results. Findings suggest that 3rd-year students perceive themselves as moderately prepared on enrolling at UWC (mean (SD) 13.74 (1.86)); current learning experiences are favourably indicated (94.04 (15.32)). On average, students perceive themselves to be agents of their own learning (51.56 (8.79)). Furthermore, a significantly positive relationship was found between learning experiences and agency.
Conclusion. This study broadens our understanding of the Vygotskian perspective of the zone of proximal development, where students bring their own knowledge, interact with lecturers who scaffold their learning, and then become agents in their own learning.
Copyright remains in the Author’s name. The work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial Works License. Authors are required to complete and sign an Author Agreement form that outlines Author and Publisher rights and terms of publication. The Agreement form should be uploaded along with other submissions files and any submission will be considered incomplete without it [forthcoming].
Material submitted for publication in the AJHPE is accepted provided it has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere. Please inform the editorial team if the main findings of your paper have been presented at a conference and published in abstract form, to avoid copyright infringement. The AJHPE does not hold itself responsible for statements made by the authors. The corresponding author should also indicate if the research forms part of a postgraduate short report, dissertation or thesis.
Previously published imagesIf an image/figure has been previously published, permission to reproduce or alter it must be obtained by the authors from the original publisher and the figure legend must give full credit to the original source. This credit should be accompanied by a letter indicating that permission to reproduce the image has been granted to the author/s. This letter should be uploaded as a supplementary file during submission.