The amount of time that is spent in learning does not influence performance outcomes of learners. Learning about effective study method can be one of the best ways to achieve one’s objectives (Pelham & Blanton, 2012). It is advisable that one should learn to manage, organize and prioritize activities in order to improve on study habits. It is expected that students should dedicate particular time and place for studying. Learning styles are necessary for high-quality performance outcomes (Pelham & Blanton, 2012).
Individual student determines the method of learning, and the choice could be driven by intrapersonal and interpersonal factors (Credé & Kuncel, 2008). Some students prefer studying alone while others prefer working in groups. While both methods of learning are vital, it is critical for learners to participate in class work during lectures because this will reinforce the individual efforts (Credé & Kuncel, 2008).
Learning in a cool environment where noise is minimal promotes understanding in students. The process of learning is reinforced by successful study habits and other factors, such as availability of learning environment and the readiness of the learner.
Argument for conducting research and explicit hypotheses
Many institutions in many countries across the world focus on increasing performance outcomes. Equipping learners with necessary knowledge, which entails teaching them how to prepare themselves adequately and effective study methods are among the important roles instructors are entrusted with (Credé & Kuncel, 2008). Many students in colleges and other institutions of learning have encountered challenges with regard to studying, especially when tests are about to begin.
Some learners study without objectives, while others do it without noting down any main idea. As a result, they end up failing in their exams. Many researchers have argued that there exist theoretical and scientific proof that performance outcomes are influenced by repetitive multi-functions of capabilities and motivation, which are mediated by study habits (Credé & Kuncel, 2008). It is evident that a learner with ability who is not motivated might not perform as expected.
The scholars argue that students with who are highly motivated and with high potentials produce excellent results (Credé & Kuncel, 2008). Despite the fact that the environment and students’ ability are key determinants of academic results, there is a need for students to develop and utilize effective study habits. In this view, it is necessary to conduct research to find out whether there are effects of successful study habits on academic performance outcomes. The study focuses on justifying the following hypotheses:
- Learning styles do not have a significant difference in determining study habits and influence on academic performance.
- Outside activities do not have a major difference in determining study habits as an influence on academic performance
Discussion of eight articles
In a study conducted by Vermeulen and Schmidt (2008) to investigate the effects of learners’ involvement and effectiveness of instruction on academic outcomes, the researchers found that learning environment is crucial to increased academic outcomes. In addition, the study revealed that learners’ engagement in extra-curriculum activities influenced them positively.
The researchers contended that the environment in which students study and their participation in other activities are critical determinants of their success in career and employment (Vermeulen & Schmidt, 2008). They argued that other activities are important in the development of skills and leadership roles.
However, Nonis and Hudson (2010) oppose this study and argue that study habits are critical to moderating the relationship between study time and learners’ academic outcomes positively. In their analysis of business students, they indicated that study habits had positive effects on performance results (Nonis & Hudson, 2010). In another study that they conducted, the findings showed negative results.
Many students participate in different activities beside school, which have influence on academic outcomes Nonis & Hudson (2010). Scholars, such as Hunt (2005) have indicated that there is a positive relationship between extracurricular activities and students’ performance outcomes.
Despite the fact that many learners participate in extracurricular activities because they are provided with additional rewards, it is evident that other roles help them to promote self-esteem that results in increased performance outcomes (Hunt, 2005). Lau, Hsu, Acosta and Hsu (2014) conducted a research to investigate whether there is a relationship between activities outside the school that learners engage in and performance outcomes conducted.
The researchers concluded that having many roles was effective due to the benefits and costs associated with them. Some students demonstrated positive effects, while others did not show any effect (Lau et al., 2014). However, it is notable that some responsibilities do not have benefits, demoralizing learners.
Shiah, Huang, Chang, Chang and Yeh (2013) state that students who engage in other activities in order to evaluate their communication, leadership, imagination, and self- promotion skills, which are useful for employment benefit after they complete their studies. Creativity skills were acquired from music clubs and helped learners after school.
Moreover, they argued that participation in other activities besides school assist students in developing qualities that are consistent with academic values, increasing their outcomes (Shiah et al., 2013). However, it has been found that many students who use their time with friends doing nothing have been impacted negatively (Dumais, 2008). In addition, they develop cultures that do not conform to those of adults because they usually concentrate on gaining popularity rather than improving academic performance outcomes (Dumais, 2008).
In most cases, students who use their unstructured time watching television, movies, and playing with friends demonstrated negative academic results. This is the case, especially in subjects that show negative transfer of learning, such as maths (Dumais, 2008). In most cases, learners ignore their past poor performance and start procrastinating.
As a result, they perform poorly in academics. It is critical to underscore that many of them withdraw from colleges due to procrastination (Dumais, 2008). Sometimes, they begin to revise for tests a day before its period, and others read the same day they are doing the test, making them study throughout the night.
In a survey conducted by Pychyl, Morin, and Salmon (2001), results indicated that many of students start preparing eight days before the test period. It has been found that most learners prefer handling urgent matters and do not revise for examinations until their period is near (Pychyl et al., 2001).
The fact that they start preparing late does not mean others outperforme them. In fact, their performance was better than those who prepared in advance (Pychyl et al. 2001). However, according to Pychyl and colleagues (2001), although prior preparation is significant they argue that factors, such as a learning environment, the learning process, the learner, motivation, and socioeconomic are critical determinants of performance outcomes.
In a study conducted by Lovely (2012) to find out cohort and differences in gender involvement in extracurricular activities, she concluded that there were a few differences with regard to activities and scores. The score the researcher used was on a math test. The scholar revealed that the extracurricular activities were important in achieving maths and met college expectations (Lovely, 2012).
In addition, Benfer and Shanahan (2013) conducted a research on how to recognize different learning styles and create a strategy that supports skill development using millennial generation. The researchers explored law students’ characteristics, including their self-concept (Benfer & Shanahan, 2013). In this study, the scholars demonstrated that, if well supported and reinforced, millennial generation can produce excellent legal professionals who are competent.
The study used a survey method to collect data from first and second year psychology and sociology college students, whereby they were labelled with confidential numbers. A sample of 205 participants was selected from the population using convenient sampling. Questionnaires were administered by their teachers who requested them to participate voluntarily. In addition, the study focused on learning styles, instruments and techniques that were used.
Information in relation to activities outside the school, when they study, when they finish learning, and what time they preferred to learn in and/or outside class was inquired. With regard to ethical issues, data were collected with the consent of learners.
They were informed of the reasons for filling in the questionnaires and that their participation was voluntary. Confidentiality was observed, and no information was released to any individual. Moreover, no participant was coerced, and they were not rewarded because it was voluntary. The instructor kept the results for seven years.
Interaction discussion of the results
Increased performance outcomes are dependent on various factors, but not successful study habits only. The study demonstrated that there are no effects of efficient study methods on education productivity.
However, Nonis and Hudson (2010) disputed this fact in one of their studies where they argued that study habits mediate between the amounts of time spent and academic outcomes. The study also found that outside school activities have a positive impact on educational results and career development, but do not have any adverse effect on study habits (Nonis & Hudson, 2010).
This study is in line with Benfer and Shanahan, (2013) who argued that instructors’ roles are essential in improving learning outcomes. Critical factors that researchers identified as having a lot of impacts are the learning environment, the learning process, the readiness of learners, socioeconomic status, and motivation.
Vermeulen and Schmidt (2008) support these findings and argue that the environment is crucial for increased education productivity. The socioeconomic factors influence the availability of learning resources, and how learners would be exposed in relation to the use of the modern methods of learning (Vermeulen & Schmidt, 2008).
Regarding the learning environment, one that is cool, free from noise and distractions, such insecurity is conducive for learning. Learners should be ready and willing to learn and should feel obliged to learn. It is also correct that students waste their time watching televisions, which affect their performance outcomes negatively, especially in mathematics. In addition, many students tend to procrastinate, leading to inadequate preparation for tests.
Lovely (2012) states that some learners withdraw from college in order to attend to more urgent matters. It is critical to point out that sometimes they find it difficult to catch up with others, leading to a decline in their performance outcomes. Some students do not report back to colleges, even after they completed attending to urgent matters (Lovely, 2012).
This is also the case in this study’s findings. The first and second hypotheses are confirmed by the fact that there is a positive relationship between outside activities and performance outcomes, and extra-curriculum activities have no impact on study habits. In fact, the researchers advocate extracurricular activities due to the fact that they are crucial in the development of values and leadership skills.
According to Hunt (2005), those who participate in extracurricular activities enhance communication and social skills. Arguably, those with leadership experience are considered in career opportunities. It is suggested by Benfer and Shanahan (2013) that the learners’ characteristics should be considered before teaching them.
Thus, instructors are advised to consider individual differences in learning before they start teaching. This would be done by preparing materials and using appropriate methods of teaching. Teaching aids that are suitable for learners with special needs should be developed.
The role played by instructors should be emphasized because they are involved in identifying and understanding students with individual differences (Benfer & Shanahan, 2013). In addition, they are entrusted with the responsibilities of equipping learners with the best study skills that are essential for improving their performance.
Limitations of the study
First, the study did not use a bigger sample population. Second, the study did not use a variety of data collection methods.
Suggestions for future studies
It is important to point out that this study should form the basis for further research, which should focus on improving the results.
The studies should utilize bigger sample population in order to get adequate information with regard to successful study habits.
They should use many data collection methods in order to compare the results and examine if there is the effect of study habits on academic performance outcomes.
Benfer, E. A., & Shanahan, C. F. (2013). Educating the Invincibles: Strategies for Teaching the Millennial Generation in Law School. Clinical L. Rev., 20, 1-267.
Credé, M., & Kuncel, N. R. (2008). Study habits, skills, and attitudes: The third pillar supporting collegiate academic performance. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3(6), 425-453.
Dumais, S. A. (2008). Cohort and gender differences in extracurricular participation: The relationship between activities, math achievement, and college expectations. Sociological Spectrum, 29(1), 72-100.
Hunt, H. D. (2005). The effect of extracurricular activities in the educational process: influence on academic outcomes?. Sociological Spectrum, 25(4), 417-445.
Lau, H. H., Hsu, H. Y., Acosta, S., & Hsu, T. L. (2014). Impact of participation in extra-curricular activities during college on graduate employability: an empirical study of graduates of Taiwanese business schools. Educational Studies, 40(1), 26-47.
Lovely, S. (2012). Boomers and Millennials–Vive La Difference: How to Mesh Generational Styles in a Learning Community. Journal of Staff Development, 33(5), 56-59.
Nonis, S. A., & Hudson, G. I. (2010). Performance of college students: Impact of study time and study habits. Journal of Education for Business, 85(4), 229-238.
Pelham, B., & Blanton, H. (2012). Conducting research in psychology: Measuring the weight of smoke. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
Pychyl, T. A., Morin, R. W., & Salmon, B. R. (2001). Procrastination and the planning fallacy: An examination of the study habits of university students. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 15(5), 135-150.
Shiah, Y. J., Huang, Y., Chang, F., Chang, C. F., & Yeh, L. C. (2013). School-based extracurricular activities, personality, self-concept, and college career development skills in Chinese society. Educational Psychology, 33(2), 135-154.
Vermeulen, L., & Schmidt, H. G. (2008). Learning environment, learning the process, academic outcomes and career success of university graduates. Studies in Higher Education, 33(4), 431-451.