oa Journal for New Generation Sciences - The efficacy of a strategic learning programme to enhance first-year students' academic skills and performance

Volume 15 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1684-4998



Universities are under pressure to assist students in improving academic success. Research has indicated that students who adopt a strategic learning approach tend to perform better academically when compared to students who fail to act purposefully. Limited South African research has focussed on investigating strategic learning among university students. This article reports on two studies that investigated strategic learning among samples of first-year university students. In the first study, data were collected using the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory from a sample of first-year students (N = 573, Mage = 19.81, SD = 2.30, female = 349, male = 224) to assess their strategic learning profiles and determine if a need exists for an intervention programme. The results indicated that participants required an urgent intervention to enhance their strategic learning profiles. Based on the results from the first study, a strategic learning programme was developed. In the second study, a mixed methods research design was adopted to evaluate the efficacy of a strategic learning programme that was designed and presented to a sample of first-year students (N = 25, Mage = 19.56, SD = 1.69, female = 16, male = 9). The results pointed to statistically significant improvements in participants' strategic learning profiles and academic marks. Qualitative data offered a more nuanced understanding of the quantitative results. The strategic learning programme content and empirical evidence point to enhanced academic improvement among participants.

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