European Journal of Psychology of Education

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 295–317

Students’ likes and dislikes regarding student-activating and lecture-based educational settings: Consequences for students’ perceptions of the learning environment, student learning and performance



This paper aims to investigate students’ likes and dislikes of the teaching that they have experienced and its effects on students’ perceptions of the learning environment, student learning and academic performance. The study compares a lecture-based setting to a student-activating learning/teaching environment, considering both instructional and assessment practices. Data (N=578) were collected using the Course Experience Questionnaire (Ramsden, 1991) and by means of a standardised test. While lecture-taught students’ evaluations of the experienced teaching were generally focused and positive, students’ perceptions of the activating methods varied widely and both extremely positive and negative opinions were present. Also the consequences of these (dis)likes in instruction for student learning become clear. Moreover, a significant positive linear effect of students’ (dis)likes in instruction on students’ perceptions of the learning environment (except for appropriate assessment), their learning and their performance was found. This way, the results pinpoint the central role of teaching methods for students’ learning and caution against detrimental consequences of students’ negative appraisal of the teaching methods that they experience. A matching strategy between a student’s teaching tastes and the teacher’s instructional interventions provides the best educational prospects.

Key words

Activating/active teaching Constructivism Course experience questionnaire Instructional preferences Student teachers/teacher education 


Cet article a pour but de dégager les appréciations positives ou négatives des étudiants vis-à-vis de l’enseignement qu’ils ont vécu et d’examiner leurs effets sur les perceptions qu’ils ont de l’environnement d’apprentissage, de leurs démarches d’apprentissage et de leur performance académique. L’étude compare un environnement d’apprentissage constitué de cours transmissifs traditionnels avec un environnement qui se réfère à des méthodes actives, tant pour l’enseignement que pour les pratiques d’évaluation. Les données (N=578) ont été recueillies à l’aide du ‘Course Experience Questionnaire’ (Ramsden, 1991) et d’un autre test standardisé. Alors que les évaluations des étudiants qui ont suivi les cours traditionnels étaient assez positives et ciblées, les étudiants engagés dans des enseignements utilisant des méthodes actives avaient des perceptions très diverses: les uns avaient des opinions très positives, d’autres très négatives. De la sorte, les conséquences des attitudes d’appréciation/aversion envers les méthodes actives deviennent claires. De plus, on a constaté un effet linéaire positif et significatif de la valeur (positive ou négative) que les étudiants accordaient aux méthodes d’enseignement sur leurs perceptions de l’environnement éducatif (à exception des pratiques appropriées d’évaluation), sur leurs démarches d’apprentissage et sur leurs performances. Finalement, les résultats indiquent le rôle central des méthodes d’enseignement pour l’apprentissage; ils incitent à rester prudents quant aux conséquences démobilisatrices des appréciations négatives que portent les étudiants sur les méthodes d’enseignement qu’ils vivent. La combinaison des méthodes d’enseignement avec les préférences des étudiants concernant chaque méthode d’enseignement fournit un meilleur résultat.


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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisbon, Portugal/ Springer Netherlands 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katrien Struyven
    • 1
  • Filip Dochy
    • 2
  • Steven Janssens
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Research on Teaching and TrainingKULeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Centre for Research on Teaching and Training, Centre for Educational Research on Lifelong Learning and ParticipationUniversity of Leuven (KULeuven)LeuvenBelgium

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