Students Approaches to Learning: Towards a Context-specific Learning Approaches Instrument

Kapinga-Mutatayi Madeleine, Mukendi waMpoyi Pierre, Jan Elen


Students' Approaches to Learning (SAL) are a critical determinant of learning outcomes and have been assessed around the world, from Asia to Africa, using the traditional questionnaires developed in the Western context. However, studies in Asia have challenged the traditional dichotomous view of SAL by supporting the presence of intermediate approaches, suggesting that the current view of SAL may not be universal. In response to the need for a broader understanding of SAL, a new instrument, the Approaches to Learning Questionnaire (ALQ), was developed during a pilot study. This instrument captures both memorization and understanding in an African context, which makes it distinct from traditional instruments. Additionally, the ALQ challenges the current individualistic view of SAL by including a group dimension. Given the high psychometric quality of this new instrument, it is crucial to validate it with a large sample. Therefore, this paper discusses the validation processes and recommends the use of the ALQ for comparative purposes in the Congolese context. Further research will explore the extension of this context-specific instrument to other cultural settings and the assessment of cross-cultural validity.

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Copyright (c) 2023 Madeleine Kapinga-Mutatayi, PIERRE MUKENDI WA MPOYI, JAN ELEN

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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