The influence of perfectionism on student learning: Implications and recommendations for learning developers

Researcher: Dr Jane McKay and Kim Williams

Institution: Glasgow Caledonian University

Research Year: 2020

Project aims:

The aim of the project was to build on a pilot study undertaken to explore the influence of perfectionism on the student learning experience. Results of a pilot project indicated that students with maladaptive levels of perfectionism experienced barriers to academic success such as anxiety, fear of failure and burnout. The present study aimed to explore how perfectionism operates within the academic setting more rigorously, while adding to the extant literature. This was considered an important avenue for learning development research, given that learning developers are likely to come into contact with students who are facing perfectionist related study challenges on a regular basis. Specifically, the project aimed to address the following questions:

- What can be learned about how perfectionism impacts on student learning and the wider student experience?
- How can students with extreme levels of perfectionism be effectively supported in their academic endeavours?