Oscillating between Conservation and Investment: A Grounded Theory of Students’ Strategies for Optimizing Personal Resources
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Students’ use of time and effort during their studies has been discussed exhaustively in mass media and educational research. In most cases, researchers try to give advice to teachers on how to get their students to become more active and engaged. The grounded theory presented in this article, however, challenges this approach by focusing on the students’ point of view. When interviewing students for this study, I soon realized that students only have a limited amount of time and effort at their disposal. Optimizing these personal resources emerged as their main concern. For the students, investing resources into one study activity always means having to reduce the amount of time and effort they can spend on other activities. They resolve their main concern by oscillating between conservation and investment strategies. Their decision regarding which type of strategy to use depends strongly on the students’ evaluation of their current situation.