Active Listening Strategies of Academically Successful University Students

Assistant, Mustafa Kemal University, Faculty of Education, Department of Primary EducationMinistry of Education.
Doi: 10.14689/ejer.2015.60.10


Problem Statement: In formal educational environments, the quality of student listening affects learning considerably. Students who are uninterested in a lesson listen reluctantly, wanting time to pass quickly and the class to end as soon as possible. In such situations, students become passive and, though appearing to be listening, will not use listening strategies that promote productive and permanent learning. By contrast, when students willingly participate in lessons by listening to instructors, asking questions, and holding discussions, they practice active listening that allows them to achieve more productive and more permanent learning.

Purpose of Study: The aim of this study was to identify active listening skills that academically successful university students use in classes and to analyze these students’ opinions on active listening skills.

Methods: This qualitative research involved a case study by which academically successful university students were observed in a classroom environment and their thoughts on active listening skills examined. According to the model, participants were evaluated without any intervention by researchers in the classroom environment.

Findings: Findings from observations and interviews were organized under three subheadings: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor-based strategies. Cognitive strategies included paying attention, taking notes, making associations and analogies, asking questions, integrating information, making inferences, getting the main idea, and setting an objective; affective strategies included attending class on time, being motivated, staying calm, and enjoying the lesson; and psychomotor-based strategies included being close to the board, following along with both the head and eyes, making eye contact, generating feedback, sitting up straight, and paying attention to gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice, and stresses in speech. Conclusion and Recommendations: According to data collected during the study, academically successful university students used different cognitive, affective, and psychomotor-based strategies in practicing active listening.

Keywords: Active listening, university students, academic success, listening strategy.