Mindfulness and Coaching to Improve Learning Abilities in University Students: A Pilot Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Mar 16;17(6):1935. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17061935.


This pilot study investigated the effects of a short 10-module intervention called MEL (Mindful Effective Learning), which integrates mindfulness, coaching, and training on study strategies, to improve learning abilities among university students. Inspired by ample research on the learning topics that points out how effective learning and good academic results depend simultaneously on self-regulation while studying combined with emotional and motivational factors, the intervention aimed to train students simultaneously in these three aspects. The intervention group participants (N = 21) and the control group participants (N = 24) were surveyed pre- and post-intervention with the Italian questionnaire AMOS (Abilities and Motivation to Study) and the Italian version of the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). The results showed that, regarding self-regulation in study, trained students improved their self-awareness, self-evaluation ability, metacognition skills, and organizational and elaborative ability to manage study materials; regarding emotional aspects, they improved their anxiety control; regarding motivation they developed an incremental theory of Self and improved their confidence in their own intelligence. Moreover, two follow-up self-report surveys were conducted, and trained students reported positive assessments of the MEL intervention. Findings suggest that a short intervention based on mindfulness and coaching and training on study strategies may improve students' effective learning.

Keywords: academic emotions; anxiety for studying; effective learning; mindfulness; mindfulness-based coaching; self-regulated learning; self-regulated study; study motivation; study strategies; study techniques.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Italy
  • Learning*
  • Mentoring*
  • Mindfulness*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Students* / psychology
  • Universities