Differences in regulation and efficiency of learning between traditional and non-traditional students

Bas Agricola, Peter Blind, Ellen Traas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The aim of this study was to research in which aspects of regulation of learning the traditional and non-traditional students enrolled in the Bachelor of Health study program of Physiotherapy at Avans University of Applied Sciences differ, and if non-traditional students learn more efficiently than traditional students.
Significant differences between traditional students (defined as having entered higher education for the first time and under the age of 24) and non-traditional students (defined as those 24 and over who are searching for meaning and relevance connected to their working life and job experience and therefore pursuing higher education), were identified on 13 of the 16 combined MSLQ and ILS scales. On the Rehearsal scale, the traditional students score significant higher than non-traditional students. Non-traditional students performed better on 12 of the 16 scales. Non-traditional students were also found to be more able to regulate their learning than traditional students in the areas of cognition, motivation, behavior and context.
Non-traditional students scored significantly higher on a multiple-choice Physiotherapy test. It can be concluded that non-traditional students learned material more efficiently than traditional students on the measures studied.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-169
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Cosmos
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Regulation of Learning
  • Efficiency of Learning
  • Higher education
  • (Non-)Traditional students
  • MSLQ


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