Helping Students Become More Self-Regulated Learners


Published on

Published in: Education
No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Need to develop self-directed or self-regulated students. This strategic view of learning is distinct from previous models of learning because it shifts the focus of educational analyses from students’ learning abilities and environment at college or home as fixed entities and moves the focus to students personally initiated strategies to improve learning outcomes. There is evidence that a major cause of underachievement is the inability of students to control themselves effectively. Researchers have demonstrated that is possible to teach self-regulated learning processes, and these processes will enhance both students achievement and their perceptions of self-efficacy.
  • Think about the large array of tools a plumber brings to each job. If he arrived at jobs with only a few wrenches or pliers, he would not be able to complete many jobs. Just like there are different tools for different jobs; there are different learning strategies for different academic tasks (Levin, 1986). Successful learners also need a large number of "tools" to make schoolwork easier and to increase the probability of their success. Many students who have difficulty learning in school attribute their problem to a lack of ability when the problem actually may be that they have never been properly taught how to learn. Some students use one or two major learning strategies for all tasks in all courses. These students often do not have the necessary tools to learn the complex material they encounter in the courses they are required to take. Educational psychologists use the term self-regulation to identify the different learning and motivation strategies need to acquire to control their own learning. They include strategies for reading comprehension, note taking, dealing with procrastination, help seeking, seeking productive environments for studying.
  • Motivation– Goal setting
  • The research on teaching and learning is consistent: The more information you provide your students about the goals of a course, their responsibilties, and the criteria you will use to evaluate their performance, the more successful they will be as students and the more successful you will be as an instructor.
  • Identify goals and objectives for your course Explain how students can meet these goals. Send a message about what students can expect from you and the campus community to support their learning during the term. Communicate positive expectations for student success Establish the criteria for judging students’ performance. Explaining how students can benefit from working in groups and identify group assignments.
  • Dieckmeyer (2007) interviewed community college students about their classroom behavior and reported the following: Juan referred to himself as ‘hidden.’ He explained that he did not like to ask questions; it made him nervous, and he preferred to remain just ‘another face in the class. Similarly, when Anna was asked why students, including herself, didn’t like to ask questions in class, she revealed, ‘they probably don’t want to be in competition. I think they feel more pressure because when they ask a question everyone turns around to look at them.’ Enid was also afraid to ask questions or seek help during class. Sighing deeply she said, ‘I just don’t want to seem like I’m really stupid, asking questions and all that stuff.’
  • Problem: Many students feel isolated in college and do not spend time in learning and study sessions with others. One of the most productive sources of social support is working in learning and/or study groups. Tinto (1997) makes the argument that for community college students, activities within the classroom are crucial to promoting social and academic integration. Thus, a key implication from this study was the importance of utilizing learning communities as a means of establishing a safe environment in which students can ask for help. In a learning community students collaborate together regularly, and/or take paired classes together. Minkler (2002) explains that such classrooms also foster active engagement in learning, and promote critical thought processes, while creating a sense of classroom community. A substantial number of studies have consistently reported that cooperation has positive effects on achievement and attitudes toward learning (e.g., Johnson & Johnson, 1989; Johnson et al., 1981   Solution: We should attempt to develop a productive learning community in each class where students learn how to work together in attaining their academic goals. This goal will be attained by cooperative learning assignments and teaching students the necessary skills needed for success in cooperative learning tasks. These experiences and skills will be reinforced in other content courses where instructors will provide opportunities for students to work cooperatively completing assignments.  
  • It takes two things to be successful in life: skill and will. The skill is the competencies and strategies needed to do things well. The will is the desire and motivation to do things well. In college, the skill component is the cognitive aspect of learning. It involves setting goals and plans and trying to enact them. It also involves working to become proficient at reading, writing, studying, note-taking, and test-taking. The will component is the motivational aspects of learning. It involves motivating yourself with different goals and plans, and trying hard, persisting, and finding what things motivate your to excell –p. x111 Vanderstoep and Pintrich, 2003). The problem is that educational programs attempt to improve learning by focusing entirely on improving the quality of instruction omitting students’ motivation. Understanding students’ motivation to learn, especially if the students have not been successful in school, is an important component of learning.
  • An important component in the teaching-learning process is the belief systems of both instructors and students. Students beliefs systems influence their motivation and learning strategies during instruction. Instructors’ belief systems influence their teaching strategies and relationship with students, especially when students face difficulty in learning.
  • Information is often not processed accurately by anxious individuals. Students’ beliefs and perceptions interfere with their motivation to act on the information. Faculty and staff needs to assess the accuracy of their own mindsets about students on campus. Faculty and staff need to act on their improved understanding of students beliefs and behavior to improve intervention programs. The dominant paradigm – The student as the author of his or her success. Student success –human beings and their experiences are explained independent of context. Studies of minority students indicate that teacher-student relationships and teacher encouragement are critical “resources” for motivating them…for working hard in school. African-American students have been found to perceive the college environment and their relationships with faculty more negatively than other groups and to believe that faculty do not take their academic ability seriously, even when they are high achieving.
  • Research identifies the importance of self-perceptions in the achievement motivation of students These self=beliefs are not innate characteristics but are fashioned through person-environmental transactions with various person and contextual factors playing a role. The answer to the problem of underachievement of students lies in these self-processes influence to a great extent from the classroom policies, procedures, and instruction that students’ experience. School and classroom instructional practices may foster negative effort and ability motivational patterns. Many instructors view motivation as something that happens within the student, i.e., as a personality trait. That is to say, that if the student is not motivated there is little an instructor can do.   Motivation is not within the head of the individual but in the interaction of the student with others in a meaningful activity.“ In other words, we can’t discuss a student’s motivation apart from the social context he or she is experiencing.        
  • It is important for instructors to understand that their goal is not only to dispense knowledge but also to help equip students with self-regulated strategies that will provide them with the tools necessary for becoming independent thinkers and learners for life.
  • We can not forget that when low-achieving students enter an instructional program, many bring with them faulty belief systems that impact their learning.
  • This slide identifies a number of belief systems that impact learning
  • There is no single answer that will explain underachievement among college students nor problems in the motivation to learn. Defensive Dimitri – avoids failure more than desires to succeed, uses failure-avoiding strategies – call on students to name a few from the last lecture! Safe Susan – underachiever, takes easy courses and keeps it safe – to have high grades. She rarely reads any thing that is not r equired. Hopeless Henry – learned helplessness – nothing will bring success so why try? Satisfied Sheila – failure acceptor, does not seek high grades – just give me a “C” Anxious Alberto – high anxiety, low self-confidence The notion that educators need to increase student motivation is an inaccurate statement. Motivation is not one characteristic or any one behavior.
  • Setting and Implementing Academic and Career Goals Problem: Each year many students begin taking classes at a community college without any specific goals or purposes. Yet, we expect them to be motivated to achieve at high levels in their academic courses. Unfortunately, many students who attend college without any goals are more likely to drop out than those who have goals (Hagedorn, Maxwell, & Hampton, 2002). Researchers report that when learning is related to future purposes and outcomes, students are more motivated to set personal goals and invest the necessary effort to meet their goals (see Schunk, Pintrich & Meece, 2008).  
  • Ideas about what one might become in the future and what he or she fears becoming Motivation to learn is influenced by individual’s beliefs, interests, and goals When learning is tied to future purposes and outcomes, motivation to set goals and invest effort to meet goals is enhanced. Markus and Nurris (1986) have discussed the importance of the psychological construct “possible selves,” which are ideas about what one might become in the future. They believe that these ideas can be very motivating. Individuals with clear ideas and goals about what they want to do, be, and be like appear to work harder to attain these hoped-for ideals (Hock, Schumaker, & Deshler, 2003). For example, a student who has identified becoming an occupational therapist as a possible self is more likely to want to get the necessary training for that career than a student who has never thought about a career. When youth from backgrounds of poverty had more academically focused possible selves and strategies to attain them, they had significantly higher grades when compared with youth lacking these possible selves (Oyserman, Bybee, Terry, & Hart-Johnson, 2004). Based on this literature, it appears that we need to help students identify personal goals when they begin their college career even if we know that these goals may change over time. We can’t simply direct students to the career or counseling centers on campus and hope they will use the services to accomplish this important educational outcome.  
  • A possible selves intervention program Solution: We need to provide students with an opportunity to explore their possible selves and goals early in their college experience. We need to determine how to focus on goals and purposes. Should the main introduction be included in a specific content course or two or should it be introduced as part of an extended orientation program. The focus of this program can use Hock, Deshler and Schumaker‘s (2003) possible selves program. As students explore the questions about themselves, they can use the career and/or counseling center to learn more about programs at the college, requirements, and career opportunities. The end result is for the students to identify goals that may motivate them to persist in college and improve their academic performance.
  • explain the purpose for lessons and assignments --explain why mastering certain skills or learning the information is important Why are we learning about this and how it is useful—
  • Self-efficacy beliefs are predictive of such motivational outcomes as students’ choice of activities, expenditure of efforts, and persistence. Efficacious students work harder and persist longer than students who doubt their capabilities. There is growing consensus on how instructional practices can enhance students’ self-efficacy and help students assume control over their own learning, develop achievement goals, learn how to value learning, and relate well to teachers and peers in their classrooms. For example, students self-efficacy is enhanced when they experience success on different kinds of tasks and receive feedback that helps them understand that their success was because of their own efforts (Schunk & Pajares, 2002).
  • When instructors emphasize the importance of hard work, improvement, and persistence rather than ability as keys to success students’ attributions for their performance are more positive (Dweck, 2002). Educators can facilitate effective self-regulation by providing attributional feedback to students that stresses factors that they can control—such as effort and strategy use—that will help improve students’ self-regulated learning.
  • Goal theory is particularly important to understanding the motivation of students. It suggests that the possibility that the desire to win or outperform others may actually trigger defensive acts of avoiding challenging asks and undermine intrinsic motivation to learn. They raise the issue of how students’ incentive or goal orientations are developed and regulated in the service of their achievement motivation. 3. When people believe in fixed traits, they are always in danger of being measure by a failure. It can define them in a permanent way. Smart or talented as they may be, this mindset seems to rob them of their copying resources. ….From the point of view of the fixed mindset, effort is only for people with deficiencies. And when people already know they’re deficient, they have nothing to lose by trying. But if you claim to fame is not having any deficiencies—if you’re considered a genius, a talent, or a natural—then you have a lot to lose Entity theorists believe that having ability is a sufficient condition for learning—that if you have ability, you should not need effort. They agree with statements like: “If you are good at something, you should not have to work hard on it.” 5. A view of intelligence that is not fixed: “Intelligent people, to me, are people that spend time. They dedicate their time. They want something and they are going to achieve it by pursuing it.” Student statement: “If a person is smart in the class…he or she really doesn’t have to study.” Upon asking how she felt if she had to work on an assignment she replied; “Maybe if I was working harder on it and trying extremely hard I would feel a little dumb, because I’m trying to work on it.” Yet, another student reported: “ Intelligent people, to me, are people who spend time. They want something and they are going to achieve it by pursuing it.” She described the high effort she exerted in her school work. Not only did she study hard herself, but she admired others who did so as well. Many low-achievers mistakenly believe that effort is as sign of lack of ability and they feel ashamed of having to work hard to increase their skills. This belief, in turn, resulted in her reluctance to make any extra effort to succeed in her English class. Given this fixed mindset, why would a student seek help?
  • Poor students are reluctant to seek help because it can expose their limitations. Zimmerman and Schunk, p. 4 students who placed great importance in attaining goals and completing tasks involving math attended math lab tutoring more frequently. students who held high interest; task value in their writing assignments were found to be more likely to seek help,
  • Teaching students content knowledge is not sufficient. It is important for instructors to teach students self-regulated strategies that will provide them with the tools for life long learning. Poor learners are reluctant to seek help because e it can expose their limitations.
  • Many students value individual attention from their instructors. One student mentioned that “she appreciated when her reading instructor walked around the room because she could then ask for help. “I kind of whisper she said, “because if it’s in front of the class, I get embarrassed.”
  • Solution: Since help seeking is such an important learning strategy, it is important that the instructional program in community colleges deal with student fears and concerns about asking help from instructors and attending tutoring and other academic services provided by the college. This intervention requires that instructional programs deal with students’ beliefs and motivation about seeking help, and teaches them specific help seeking skills such as what questions to ask when visiting instructors during office hours. There is considerable literature available that provides guidelines for how to teach students to give and receive help (see Karabenick & Newman, 2006). Each course syllabus can deal with student fears and anxieties about help seeking in class discussions and writing assignments. More important, students can be introduced to the various academic support services on campus by visiting the services individually or in pairs, and/or writing observational reports of their experiences at the locations. The goal is to emphasize that errors and mistakes help us to learn, and when we seek help, we are likely to acquire the knowledge and skills to become more successful students.
  • Helping Students Become More Self-Regulated Learners

    1. 1. Helping Students Become More Self-Regulated Learners <ul><li>Myron H. Dembo, Ph.D </li></ul><ul><li>University of Southern California </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>January 20, 2010 </li></ul>
    2. 2. What is academic self-regulation? <ul><li>The ability of learners to control the factors or conditions affecting their learning. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Learning is not something that happens to students, it is something that happens by </li></ul><ul><li>students.” - Zimmerman </li></ul>
    3. 3. Academic Toolbox “ It is not that students don’t have the ability to succeed. The problem is that they have not acquired all the tools necessary to learn.”
    4. 4. What are the major components of academic self-regulation? <ul><li>Motivation (Why?) </li></ul><ul><li>Methods of learning (How?) </li></ul><ul><li>Use of time (When?) </li></ul><ul><li>Control of one’s physical environment (Where?) </li></ul><ul><li>Control of one’s social environment (With whom?) </li></ul><ul><li>Control of one’s performance (What?) </li></ul><ul><li>From Dembo, M., & Seli, H. (2008). Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success (3 rd ed.). Mahway, NJ: Erlbaum </li></ul>
    5. 5. From Zimmerman and Risemberg (1997) Self-Regulatory Processes of Underachievers and Achievers Processes Underachievers Achievers Time use Are more impulsive Manage study time well Goals Set lower academic goals Set higher specific and proximal goals Self-monitor Monitor less accurately Monitor more frequently and accurately Self-reactions Are more self-critical Set a higher standard for satisfaction Self-efficacy Are less self-efficacious Are more self-efficacious Motivation Give up more readily Persist despite obstacles
    6. 6. The Psychology of the First Day of Class <ul><li>What are students thinking about when they first enter your class? </li></ul><ul><li>What information are they looking for? </li></ul><ul><li>What are your purposes and goals for the first day? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you do to attain these purposes and goals? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you think students say to each other when they leave your class the first day. </li></ul>
    7. 7. “ A learning-centered syllabus requires that you shift from what you, the instructor are going to cover in your course to a concern for what information, tools, assignments, and activities you can provide to promote your students’ learning and intellectual development” (p. xiv) From O’Brien, J. et al. (2008). The course syllabus: A learning-centered approach. San Francisco: Wiley.
    8. 8. Developing a Learning-Centered Syllabus <ul><li>A commitment how each aspect of your course will support student learning. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Teach the students you have, not the students you wish you had” (Kuh et al. 2005, p. 78). </li></ul><ul><li>In addition to providing information about the content and requirements of the course, the learning-centered syllabus, it can help you: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Convey to your students what matters to you about learning. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Set a tone for learning and how to learn that students will accept. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Send a message about what students can expect from you and the campus community to support their learning during the term. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Checklist for Developing a Syllabus <ul><li>Instructor information </li></ul><ul><li>Student information form </li></ul><ul><li>Statement of teaching philosophy </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose of the course </li></ul><ul><li>Course description </li></ul><ul><li>Course objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Readings </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Course calendar </li></ul><ul><li>Course requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Policy and expectations: Attendance, late papers, missed tests, and class behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Policies and expectations: Academic honestly, disability access, and safety </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Grading procedure </li></ul><ul><li>How to succeed in this course: Tools for study and learning </li></ul>From O’Brien, J. et al. (2008). The course syllabus: A learning-centered approach. San Francisco: Wiley.
    10. 10. Methods of learning <ul><li>Types of strategies </li></ul><ul><li>--rehearsal </li></ul><ul><li>copying, taking verbatim notes, reciting words and definitions </li></ul><ul><li>--elaboration </li></ul><ul><li>summarization, annotation, </li></ul><ul><li>elaborative interrogation </li></ul><ul><li>--organizational </li></ul><ul><li>visual representations </li></ul>
    11. 11. Successful readers <ul><ul><li>Determine importance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Summarize information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Draw inferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generate questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitor comprehension </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Components of monitoring comprehension <ul><li>Knowing when you know </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing when you don’t know </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing what to do about it when you don’t know </li></ul>
    13. 13. What is this material about? <ul><li>The procedure is actually quite simple. First you arrange things into different groups depending on their makeup. Of course, one pile may be sufficient depending on how much there is to do. If you have to go somewhere else due to lack of facilities that is the next step, otherwise you are pretty well set. It is important not to overdo any particular endeavor. That is, it is better to do too few things at once than too many. In the short run this may not seem important, but complications from doing too many can easily arise. A mistake can be expensive as well. The manipulation of the appropriate mechanisms should be self-explanatory, and we need not dwell on it here. At first the whole procedure will seem complicated. Soon, however, it will become just another facet of life. It is difficult to foresee any end to the necessity for this task in the immediate future, but then one never can tell. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Using Headings to Generate Questions <ul><li>Federation vs. Confederation </li></ul><ul><li>In a federation, the national government is fully sovereign; the states may not withdraw without the consent of the national authorities; and the people create both the national government and the state governments, delegate powers to both, and may restrict both through the written constitution. The national government may act directly on the people; it can tax and draft them. In contrast, in a confederation, the states are sovereign; they may join the nation or withdraw from it at will. They delegate specified powers to national institutions and reserve all others to themselves. The national &quot;government&quot; is a creature of the states and can deal only with the states, not directly with their citizens. </li></ul><ul><li>Confederation is an ancient form of government; it has bound people together throughout history, from the time of the alliances of the Israelite tribes to the Renaissance and the confederacies which flourished in what is today Germany, Italy...Federalism is more modern; it was developed first in the United States and later was adopted by one-third of the countries of the world, including the Soviet Union, Brazil, India, Nigeria Mexico... </li></ul>
    15. 15. Mirror and summary questions <ul><li>Mirror </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If the information in my notes was an answer to a question, what would the question be? (Unlimited quantity) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Summary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is one major question that reflects the purpose of today’s lecture? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(usually no more than 1-2 per lecture) </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. What is the difference between a federal and unitary government? Federalism authority is divided bet. nat. and regional level Did not exist before 1787 US has been gov. as confederacy-- auth. given to states Unitary authority solely in nat. gov . Ex. Japan and Sweden
    17. 17. Types of Questions <ul><li>What is…? (that is, “define”) </li></ul><ul><li>What is the relationship between…? </li></ul><ul><li>Compare and contrast… </li></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><li>How does …work? </li></ul><ul><li>What was the effect of …? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the structure and function of…? </li></ul><ul><li>Combine several small questions into one major question – turn a lower level question into a higher level question. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Problems in Large Lecture-Based Courses <ul><li>Some students are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ passive observers” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ uninvolved” or “unengaged” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ disinterested” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ have low or no motivation to participate” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We wish they were: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>active and engaged </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>interested </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>contributors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>problem-solvers </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Asking Questions in Class <ul><li>Reasons for asking questions : </li></ul><ul><li>Need to increase their understanding of course material (60%) </li></ul><ul><li>Curiosity (15%) </li></ul><ul><li>Reasons for not asking questions : </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipated negative consequences –fear of appearing unintelligent and avoiding embarrassment ( 33%) </li></ul><ul><li>Not having a question to ask or not knowing enough to ask a question (28%) </li></ul><ul><li>Too busy taken notes or didn’t want to interrupt the lecture (15%) </li></ul>
    20. 20. Strategies to Improve Student Involvement During Lecture <ul><li>Show students what good notes looks like </li></ul><ul><li>Teach students how to read content textbook </li></ul><ul><li>Ask students for their summary question from the last lecture </li></ul><ul><li>Use cooperative learning—two students go over their notes, the first students would paraphrase and explain the first page of notes. Then they would switch and the second member of the pair would go over the next section </li></ul><ul><li>Stop the lecture and allocate 10 minutes of time for students to work in learning groups to review the material and generate a question that would focus on some material they may not understand. </li></ul><ul><li>Use study buddies </li></ul>
    21. 21. Strategies to Improve Student Involvement During Lecture <ul><li>Ask students to turn in a question about the readings in a box in from of the lecture room. </li></ul><ul><li>Plan your lecture around a series of questions that the lecture answers </li></ul><ul><li>Turn-to-your partner discussions. Divide the lecture into 10 to 15 minute segments. Use different discussion tasks: </li></ul><ul><li>Summarize the answer to the question being discussed </li></ul><ul><li>Solve a problem </li></ul><ul><li>Give a reaction to the theory, concepts, or information being </li></ul><ul><li> presented. </li></ul><ul><li>Elaborate the material being presented. </li></ul><ul><li>Predict or explain </li></ul><ul><li>Attempt to resolve the conceptual conflict the presentation has aroused. </li></ul><ul><li>Hypothesize answers to the question being posed. </li></ul>
    22. 22. Strategies to Improve Student Involvement During Lecture <ul><li>U se a personal response system </li></ul><ul><li>Instructor shows a PowerPoint slide which poses a question to students. Students select an answer using their clickers, a small, portable device that uses infrared or radio frequency technology to transmit and record student responses to questions. </li></ul><ul><li>The answers are collected by a USB receiver (RF receiver) and tabulated directly within Powerpoint via Turning Technologies TurningPoint system applications. </li></ul><ul><li>Within seconds, the class can view a histogram of responses and instructors can save this data for further analysis and/or grading. </li></ul><ul><li>Currently, several software companies are launching software where you use your cell phone to register your answer choice – so the trend is moving away from hardware (i.e., the real clicker) completely. </li></ul>
    23. 23. When it comes to academics, I am mostly a.. ….
    24. 24. Promoting Effective Helping Behavior in Groups <ul><li>Effective help seekers: </li></ul><ul><li>Ask precise questions </li></ul><ul><li>Persist in seeking help </li></ul><ul><li>Apply the explanations received </li></ul><ul><li>Effective help givers: </li></ul><ul><li>Provide detailed explanations and opportunities for help recipients to apply the help received </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor student understanding </li></ul>
    25. 25. Some Comments By Students Working in Collaborative Groups <ul><li>“ I like the group sessions, it depends on a lot of communication and that’s something my group does well in.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We worked well because we taught one another what we knew. So if someone got something wrong and another one got it right then we would teach one another.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Group work is working well I am learning what I do wrong and how to correct it.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We helped each other figure out how to solve the equations and communicated well.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I like this group problems together.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We all participated in getting the answer. Those that didn’t understand – was explained to them.” </li></ul>
    26. 26. Questions to consider… <ul><li>What changes can I and my department make to improve students’ academic performance? </li></ul><ul><li>How do I (we) implement these changes? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the next steps? </li></ul>
    27. 27.
    28. 28. Improving Students’ Motivation and Academic Performance in the Classroom Myron H. Dembo, Ph.D Emeritus Professor of Educational Psychology University of Southern California [email_address] January 25, 2010
    29. 29. Academic Interventions <ul><li>Setting and implementing academic and career goals </li></ul><ul><li>Seeking help in college: Use of academic support services and meeting with instructors </li></ul><ul><li>Learning how to work with others </li></ul><ul><li>Acquiring learning and motivational strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Improving the course syllabi and classroom instruction </li></ul>
    30. 30. Learning Skills and Abilities Do Not Fully Explain Academic Achievement Learning = Skill (content knowledge and learning strategies)+ Will (motivation influenced by students’ beliefs and perceptions)
    31. 31. What do you like most about the students you teach?
    32. 32. My Concerns About The Learning Behavior and Motivation Of My Students……
    33. 33. Belief Systems <ul><li>… influence students’ motivation and learning </li></ul><ul><li>… influence instructors’ interaction with students and classroom instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Interventions to improve learning and instruction must deal with both students and instructors’ belief systems. </li></ul>
    34. 34. My Beliefs About Learning and Motivation <ul><li>Do you agree or disagree with the following statements? </li></ul><ul><li>A student needs to feel some pressure to be motivated to learn. </li></ul><ul><li>Competition is a great motivator. </li></ul><ul><li>College students have a natural desire to learn. </li></ul><ul><li>Human intelligence is fixed by the time a student begins school. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure is helpful in motivating students. </li></ul><ul><li>It is the responsibility of students to know how to learn; it is the responsibility of instructors to deliver quality instruction. </li></ul>
    35. 35. Academic Success is Determined Primarily by Individual Effort: Fact or Fiction? <ul><li>Students lack motivation : </li></ul><ul><li>“ It is not that we as an institution are failing them. We have so many support systems around here. I just wonder how many don’t pay attention…because at orientation they hear all about the resources we offer.” </li></ul><ul><li>Students are lazy : </li></ul><ul><li>“ We have fantastic programs…But I think that if you tell the average student, ‘Here is something else you need to do,’ they don’t want to have to do something else that sounds like more work. That is the mindset a lot of student have.” </li></ul>From Bensimon (2007)
    36. 36. A social cognitive model of achievement motivation (Dai et al., 1998) Effort, choice, level of activity and persistence Educational experiences, social contexts, gender role socialization, institutional policy and procedures, etc. Aptitudes, temperaments, personality, etc. Self-efficacy, values, goal orientation, attributions, self-worth, attitudes, interests, etc. Social—contextual factors Personal factors Self—Processes Achievement behaviors
    37. 37. Beliefs of Instructors <ul><li>The role of the instructor is to present the content of the course in the most concise and clear manner. </li></ul><ul><li>In addition to teaching content knowledge, the instructor has a responsibility to teach students how to learn the content and , whenever possible, assist students in overcoming obstacles in learning. </li></ul>Instructor A Instructor B
    38. 38. Beliefs of Instructors <ul><li>It is important from the first day of class to communicate to students what they need to do and the consequences of not following directions and completing assignments. Students need to understand that success in my course involves hard work. </li></ul><ul><li>It is important from the first day of class to communicate my expectations. However, I also want to communicate that my job is helping students become successful in my course. This is a belief that I try to reinforce throughout the course. </li></ul>Instructor A Instructor B
    39. 39. Some students bring to class faulty beliefs and inappropriate academic behavior that limit their success in college , Some instructors misperceptions about students lead to inappropriate instructional practices.
    40. 40. I don’t want to take this course. I can’t solve this problem. I messed up on the last exam because I am not smart enough to learn this material. I don’t understand this problem but I don’t want to ask a dumb question? Beliefs That Interfere With Students’ Motivation to Learn How do community college instructors or staff deal with these beliefs?
    41. 41. Different Types of Motivational Problems <ul><li>Defensive Dimitri – more motivated to avoid failure than to succeed. </li></ul><ul><li>Safe Susan – underachiever, plays it safe </li></ul><ul><li>Hopeless Henry – learned helplessness </li></ul><ul><li>Satisfied Sheila – does not seek high grades </li></ul><ul><li>Anxious Alberto – high anxiety, low self- confidence </li></ul>
    42. 42. Key Self-Beliefs that Influence Students' Motivation to Learn <ul><li>Personal goals </li></ul><ul><li>Value orientation </li></ul><ul><li>Self-efficacy </li></ul><ul><li>Causal attributions </li></ul><ul><li>Self-worth </li></ul><ul><li>Goal orientation </li></ul>
    43. 43. Do students know where they are going?
    44. 44. How one thinks about the self and the future Hoped-for possible self we would like to become (e.g., teacher, attorney, professional athlete) Feared possible self we wish to avoid becoming (e.g., a dropout, homeless, unemployed) Expected possible self we are fairly sure we can become (e.g., college graduate) Possible Selves
    45. 45. Possible Selves Intervention Program <ul><li>Discovering –What are my strengths and weaknesses? </li></ul><ul><li>Thinking – Who am I? What are my hopes and fears? </li></ul><ul><li>Sketching - What am I like? </li></ul><ul><li>Reflecting – What can I be? </li></ul><ul><li>Growing – How can I reach my goals? </li></ul><ul><li>Performing – How am I doing? </li></ul>
    46. 46. Value orientation <ul><li>Intrinsic value ( = enjoyment one gets from the activity) </li></ul><ul><li>Extrinsic value (=utility or usefulness in terms of future goal) </li></ul><ul><li>Attainment value (= importance of doing well on the task) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A student can have different value orientations for different tasks. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He or she can also have them all for the same task. </li></ul></ul>
    47. 47. Self-Efficacy <ul><li>Key aspect of self-regulatory strategies </li></ul><ul><li>--Students with higher self-efficacy set higher goals and expend more effort </li></ul><ul><li>--Students with higher self-efficacy use more cognitive and metacognitive strategies and persist longer </li></ul>
    48. 48. Attributions <ul><li>Perceptions of causes for success or failure </li></ul><ul><li>Attribution theory explains why individuals respond differently to the same event </li></ul>
    49. 49. Goal Orientation Mastery Orientation Performance Orientation Success defined as… Improvement, progress, mastery, innovation High grades, high performance compared with others Error viewed as… Ability viewed as… Part of the learning process, informational Developing through effort Failure, evidence of lack of ability Fixed
    50. 50. Goal orientation <ul><li>Mastery </li></ul><ul><li>“ I really get frustrated, but I want to get it right, just to challenge myself.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I review my mistakes so I can do better next time.” </li></ul><ul><li>Performance </li></ul><ul><li>“ I want to see how good I’m compared to other students in my class.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I always try to do well, I guess it makes me look good…builds up my reputation.” </li></ul>
    51. 51. Goal Orientation <ul><li>Mastery </li></ul><ul><li>Our instructor thinks mistakes are okay as long as we are learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Our instructor wants us to understand our work, not just memorize it. </li></ul><ul><li>Performance </li></ul><ul><li>Our instructor tells us how we compare to other students. </li></ul><ul><li>Only a few students do really well. </li></ul>
    52. 52. Self-worth = ability = performance <ul><li>Self-worth is based on ability, BUT if one can demonstrate that his or her performance does not reflect on ability, then self-worth is maintained. This is why students often use failure-avoidance strategies. </li></ul>Excuses,procrastination Covington’s Self-Worth Theory (1992)
    53. 53. Why Don’t Some Students Seek Help? <ul><li>Help seeking can imply inadequacy and threaten self-worth </li></ul><ul><li>Help seeking can expose learners to public scrutiny </li></ul><ul><li>Students often fail to adequately judge their skills level so they believe that they can succeed without assistance </li></ul><ul><li>Students incorrectly contribute their poor performance to a lack of ability rather than effort </li></ul>
    54. 54. Students Beliefs Regarding the Use of Support Services and Possible Solutions <ul><li>Possible Causes Based on Research </li></ul><ul><li>Students feel embarrassed and/or don’t want to feel incompetent. Thus, help seeking can threaten self-worth. </li></ul><ul><li>Students fail to adequately judge their skill level so they believe that they succeed without assistance. </li></ul><ul><li>Possible Solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Take class to visit appropriate tutoring center </li></ul><ul><li>Train tutors to understand and deal with students’ beliefs about tutoring </li></ul><ul><li>Allow students to talk about strengths during first session with tutors </li></ul><ul><li>Consider having students visit tutoring center in pairs or small groups </li></ul><ul><li>Have instructors discuss how errors help us learn and conduct error analysis lectures in class </li></ul>
    55. 55. Real Men Don’t Ask for Directions: Male Students Attitudes Toward Peer Tutoring <ul><li>A statement by a math tutor: </li></ul><ul><li>“ They will (women) come out and ask questions more easily: I don’t have to look for them. And the guys, I can’t read them, whether or not they’re picking it up. They just kinda sit there. The girls just seem like they’re not as worried about knowing something…where as the guys are-seem like they don’t want to let you know they haven’t picked up on something. For whatever reason, the girls get into it (a tutoring session) more” </li></ul>
    56. 56. Real Men Don’t Ask for Directions: Male Students Attitudes Toward Peer Tutoring <ul><li>Statements by students who failed but did not go to tutoring : </li></ul><ul><li>“ You have to say you need help and you don’t want to admit it.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We’re afraid to ask for help because people will think we’re stupid or something like that.” </li></ul><ul><li>None of the students wanted to admit to lack of ability. </li></ul>
    57. 57. Preparing for a Meeting with an Instructor <ul><li>What not to do: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I don’t get it!” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What to do: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Determine what you do not understand about the material </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make an appointment with your TA, instructor, tutor, learning assistant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Review content and make a list of specific questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make summary notes soon after you leave the meeting. </li></ul></ul>
    58. 58. Questions to Consider… <ul><li>Did I hear any ideas this morning that helped me to better understand my students’ motivation and behavior? </li></ul><ul><li>What are these ideas? </li></ul><ul><li>How will these ideas influence my instruction? </li></ul><ul><li>How can our community college better respond to the needs of our students? </li></ul>