246 research outputs found

    Regular Online Assessment, Motivation and Learning

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    In 2002 regular online assessment was introduced as one of the pillars of an improved course in economics for business students. These online tests were introduced in the context of the problem-based teaching format used at Universiteit Maastricht, where students work in small groups guided by tasks. In this student-centred approach it is important that students come well-prepared to their group meetings. For students this is a type of Prisoner’s Dilemma, because students can free-ride on the preparation of other students. It has also characteristics of an Assurance Game, because if a large part of the group is not well-prepared, the students that did prepare well will also get not much out of the group discussion and therefore will be less motivated to prepare for themselves, too. The risk that such an Assurance Game arises is higher when the majority of students is not intrinsically motivated at the start of the course. The interest in the subject matter of the course will certainly not increase when students do not study enough. Regular online assessment may help to solve these dilemmas by forcing students to prepare at least the textbook they have to read before the group meetings.In this paper we discuss the role of online testing in the context of problem-based learning and show that after the introduction of online learning and other innovations students worked harder, had the feeling that they learned more and reported to be more interested in the subject-matter of the course (i.e. economics). It is obvious that the increase in work effort and motivation as the consequence of online testing is not limited to the context of a problem-based learning environment.Economics ;

    A multi-modal study into students’ timing and learning regulation: time is ticking

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    Purpose This empirical study aims to demonstrate how the combination of trace data derived from technology-enhanced learning environments and self-response survey data can contribute to the investigation of self-regulated learning processes. Design/methodology/approach Using a showcase based on 1,027 students’ learning in a blended introductory quantitative course, the authors analysed the learning regulation and especially the timing of learning by trace data. Next, the authors connected these learning patterns with self-reports based on multiple contemporary social-cognitive theories. Findings The authors found that several behavioural facets of maladaptive learning orientations, such as lack of regulation, self-sabotage or disengagement negatively impacted the amount of practising, as well as timely practising. On the adaptive side of learning dispositions, the picture was less clear. Where some adaptive dispositions, such as the willingness to invest efforts in learning and self-perceived planning skills, positively impacted learning regulation and timing of learning, other dispositions such as valuing school or academic buoyancy lacked the expected positive effects. Research limitations/implications Due to the blended design, there is a strong asymmetry between what one can observe on learning in both modes. Practical implications This study demonstrates that in a blended setup, one needs to distinguish the grand effect on learning from the partial effect on learning in the digital mode: the most adaptive students might be less dependent for their learning on the use of the digital learning mode. Originality/value The paper presents an application of embodied motivation in the context of blended learning

    Getting the balance right in intercultural groups: a dynamic social network perspective

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    Problem: A common assumption is that students prefer to select their friends for group-work. The prime goal of this study was to understand the impact of two group selection methods on how students from diverse cultural backgrounds build learning and work relations. Method: Social Network Analysis in a pre-post test manner in a quasi-experimental design of 81 vs. 70 third-year students. Solution: In this study, we “disrupted” this group selection process after Day 1 by balancing students from different parts of the social network together. In one condition the students were “balanced” into groups by staff to encourage structural hole formation, and in the other condition students were allowed to self-select their group members to encourage network closure. Results: Students in the self-selected condition primarily selected their friends from a similar cultural background. In both conditions the learning networks after 11 weeks were primarily predicted by the group allocation and initial friendships. However, students in the balanced condition developed more cross-cultural learning links. These results indicate that teachers can actively intervene in the cross-cultural dynamics in- and outside the classroom
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