Academic engagement and disengagement as predictors of performance in pathophysiology among nursing students

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Journal Article
Advances in Contemporary Nursing, 2009, 32 (1-2), pp. 123 - 132
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Connecting students with learning activities to promote academic engagement has been a focus of higher education over the past decade, partly driven by an increasing rate of student participation in part-time employment, and a growing concern about the quality of the student experience. Using a prospective survey design, this study selected three elements of academic engagement (homework completion, lecture attendance, and study hours) and academic disengagement (part-time work), to identify predictors of academic performance in a pathophysiology subject in 126 second year nursing students. Homework completion emerged as the strongest positive predictor of academic performance, followed by lecture attendance; however, time spent studying was not a significant predictor of academic performance. Of concern was the finding that the amount of part-time work had a significant and negative impact on academic performance. Combining all elements of academic engagement and disengagement, and controlling for age and ethnicity, the multiple regression model accounted for 34% of the variance in the academic performance of second year nursing students studying pathophysiology. Results from these findings indicate the importance of active learning engagement in influencing academic success, and provide some direction for nursing academics to design effective learning approaches to promote academic engagement of nursing students.
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