An examination of the Applicability of Biggs' 3P Learning Process Model to Italian University

Massimiliano Barattucci, Stefano Pagliaro, Dario Cafagna, Daniela Bosetto


Academic institutions have gradually structured their policies on the bases their students’ perceptions, satisfaction, and needs. The relationship between academic environment and learning quality has became central, leading to a broad range of studies. In the present study we investigated the applicability of Biggs' 3P learning process model to the Italian context. The sample consists of 874 students mostly enrolled in an undergraduate program in Psychological Sciences in five Italian universities. Students were recruited on campus and asked to complete a questionnaire. We assessed students' characteristics, perceptions of the learning environment, approach to the study and learning outcomes. The relationship between the Presage, Process and Product aspects of the model were investigated using Structural Equation Modelling techniques. Our data showed that students' positive perceptions of the academic environment are related to the adoption of deep approach to study, while negative perceptions are related to the adoption of superficial approach to study. Moreover, students' positive perceptions of the academic environment are related to better study outcomes and, more specifically, with better qualitative outcomes. Results confirmed the relations described by Biggs, and suggested that this theoretical model, considering the cultural differences, can be profitably applied to the Italian academic context.


learning environment, students' perceptions, approach to study, study outcomes, university.

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Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society | ISSN (online) 1971 - 8829 | ISSN (paper) 1826 - 6223 © 2017 Je-LKS - Italian e-Learning Association (SIe-L).