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Article Published In Vol.4 (Jan-Feb-2016)

Impact of family background and Study skills on the Academic Performance of Higher Education Students: The case of Botho University

Author : Dr. B Natarajan, Dr. J A Kasozi, Dr. P Chepete and Mrs. Arundhathi T.

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The academic performance of students may be affected by different factors besides their personal characteristics. It is a general belief that the backgrounds of students and environmental factors have the greatest influence on their academic performance. It is also a general trend that the present generation of students spend less time on their academic work when compared to their predecessors. In this study the authors examined the influence of students’ characteristics, family background, program of study and frequency of class attendance on academic performance as determined by the students’ self- reported GPA. The study also sought to determine the influence of preferred methods of teaching and learning, study skills and approach to examinations on academic performance. The researchers conducted a survey on a stratified sample of 75 students out of a possible population of 139 students from the departments of Accounting, Business and Computing at Botho University, Francistown campus. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20. One-way ANOVA and multiple linear regressions were used to investigate the association between students’ GPA (dependable variable) and the students’ background characteristics which served as predictor variables. The ANOVA results indicated a significant effect on GPA for students who reported having parental support and for those who reported high frequency of class attendance in comparison to those who reported otherwise. The results from the stepwise multiple regression analysis indicated a significant coefficient for composite variable “general study skills” with GPA as the outcome variable. There was no significant difference in the performance of males when compared to females and most students did not subscribe to the traditional notion of pedagogical preferences. Based on the results it is recommended that lecturers and educationists have to take into account the changing habits of 21st century students if they are to be truly student centered in their practices.

Keywords: Academic performance, family background, Study skills

 

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