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Achievement Goals and Approaches to Studying: Evidence from Adult Learners in Distance Education


Distance Education Volume 34, Number 3, ISSN 0158-7919


Achievement goals predict learning in children and young adults, but it is unclear whether they apply to older adults and how they are related to approaches to studying. An online survey examined achievement goals, approaches to studying and academic attainment in distance learners. The Achievement Goals Questionnaire-Revised and the Approaches to Learning and Studying Inventory were given to 2000 students, yielding 1211 responses. The findings confirmed the 2?×?2 model of mastery-approach, mastery-avoidance, performance-approach and performance-avoidance goals in adult distance learners. Mastery goals were positively associated with deep and strategic approaches to studying but negatively associated with a surface approach. Performance goals showed only weak associations with approaches to studying. Performance-approach goals were positively related to attainment, performance-avoidance goals were negatively related to attainment, but mastery goals were unrelated to attainment. The relationship between achievement goals and attainment was partly but not wholly mediated by approaches to studying.


Remedios, R. & Richardson, J.T.E. (2013). Achievement Goals and Approaches to Studying: Evidence from Adult Learners in Distance Education. Distance Education, 34(3), 271-289. Retrieved April 3, 2020 from .

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