Student Approaches to Learning (SAL) differentiates between student learning objectives/ behaviors that are focused on the memorization of course content (surface approach) or the construction of meaning and comprehension (deep approach). For nearly five decades, researchers have explored Student Approaches to Learning (SAL) as an important framework for understanding, evaluating and guiding learning and instruction.
An evidently robust and generally relevant construct, SAL has spawned numerous instruments to capture its Deep and Surface approaches, most notably the Study Process Questionnaire (SPQ) and its successor the Revised Two-Factor SPQ (R-SPQ-2F).
Despite its history, there are few comprehensive reviews of its utility. Here we present the results of a systematic review of the literature describing how deep and surface approaches to learning are associated with different assessment practices.