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Academic Goals and Learning Quality in Higher Education Students


In this paper, the relations between academic goals and various indicators that define the quality of the learning process are analyzed. The purpose was to determine to what extent high, moderate, or low levels of academic goals were positively or negatively related to effort regulation, the value assigned to academic tasks, meta-cognitive self-regulation, self-efficacy, beliefs about learning control, and management of time and study environment. The investigation was carried out with a sample of 632 university students (70% female and 30% male) and mean age of 21.22 (SD=2.2).The results show that learning goals, or task orientation, are positively related to all the indictors of learning quality considered herein. Although for other kinds of goals—work-avoidance goals, performance-approach goals, and performance-avoidance goals—significant relations were not found with all the indicators, there was a similar tendency of significant results in all cases; the higher the levels of these goals, the lower the levels of the indicators of learning quality.

En este trabajo se analizan las relaciones de las metas académicas con varios indicadores que definen la calidad del proceso de aprendizaje. Se trata de comprobar hasta qué punto el tener niveles altos, moderados o bajos en las metas académicas se relaciona positiva o negativamente en la regulación del esfuerzo, en el valor asignado a las tareas académicas, en la autorregulación metacognitiva, en la autoeficacia, en las creencias de control y en la gestión del tiempo y ambiente de estudio. La investigación se llevó a cabo con una muestra de 632 estudiantes universitarios (70% mujeres y 30% hombres) con una edad media de 21.22 (SD=2.2). Los resultados encontrados demuestran que las learning goals, o de aproximación a la tarea, se encuentran relacionadas positivamente con todos los indicadores de calidad del aprendizaje contemplados. En los otros tipos de metas —work-avoidance goals, performance-approach goals and performance-avoidance goals—, aún no habiendo una relación significativa con todos los indicadores, la tendencia de los resultados significativos es la misma en todos los casos, cuanto más altos son los niveles de estas metas, más bajos son los niveles indicadores de calidad del aprendizaje.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: Antonio Valle, Departamento de Psicología Evolutiva y de la Educación, Universidad de A Coruña, Campus de Elviña s/n, 15071 A Coruña, Spain. E-mail:
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The Spanish Journal of Psychology
  • ISSN: 1138-7416
  • EISSN: 1988-2904
  • URL: /core/journals/spanish-journal-of-psychology
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