Participants (n=31) in the study represented a convenience sample, as only one course that utilized this study buddy strategy was available to the researcher. A total of 101 students were invited to participate in the study; 26 in the Fall (September – December) 2012 semester, 25 students in the Winter (January – April) 2013 semester, and 50 students in two classes in the Spring (May-July) 2013 semester. All four classes had the same instructor.
The study used a mixed methods research design involving a survey to gather quantitative and qualitative data. A quasi-experimental design was employed to compare study buddy participants’ and non-participants’ scores on the Revised Two Factor Study Process Questionnaire (R-SPQ-2F) (Biggs et al., 2001). This was followed by a basic exploratory and descriptive analysis of the remaining quantitative data, and then a phenomenological analysis of the qualitative data. An integrated analysis was then used to compare and triangulate the findings of the previous analyses. The hypothesis and null hypothesis related to the R-SPQ-2F are described below.
Participants in the study buddy activity will take a deeper approach to their learning as measured by the R-SPQ-2F when compared to non-participants.
There will be no difference in the approaches to learning taken by study buddy participants and non-participants.