Supporting Students’ Productive Choices When Learning Gets Difficult

Project: Research

Layman's description

There is limited knowledge on students’ choices of action and their meaning-making of situations when they do not make progress or when things get difficult. By the methods used in this project we get close to the learning processes in terms of students’ choices and ways of reasoning without interfering. Furthermore, we will be able to collect these forms of data for a large sample of students.

The goals of the project are:
1) To explore student’s behaviour when they encounter resistance in their learning process:
– What do they choose to do, such as: prepare more in order to try again; return to a simpler, previously mastered level, take a break and do something else, quit/give up?
– How do they make meaning of the situation and their own choice of action? Do they reason in terms of motivation (fun/boring), resignation, challenge, competition, duty, etc.? Do they view failure on a task as due to i) themselves in static terms (e.g. I can’t do this; I have no talent in this), ii) themselves in dynamic terms (e.g. I did not try hard enough; I was unfocused) or iii) external circumstances (e.g. This is a stupid/meaningless task)?
2) To explore whether the choices and meaning-makings referred to above can be affected by different pedagogical approaches.
– Specifically, we compare the two pedagogical approaches “learning by teaching someone else” (LBT) and the more standard approach “learning by learning for oneself” (LFO). Both approaches are implemented in an educational software in history for 10-11 year olds, developed by the Educational Technology Group.
3) To develop and exploit learning technology in the R&D international frontline. The educational software – in the project primarily used as research instrument – represents a novel generation of pedagogical tools and can as such serve as inspiration.
Effective start/end date2015/01/012018/12/31