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Does self-regulated learning-skills training improve high-school students' self-regulation, math achievement, and motivation while using an intelligent tutor?

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This study empirically evaluated the effectiveness of the instructional design, learning tools, and role of the teacher in three versions of a semester-long, high-school remedial Algebra I course to determine

This study empirically evaluated the effectiveness of the instructional design, learning tools, and role of the teacher in three versions of a semester-long, high-school remedial Algebra I course to determine what impact self-regulated learning skills and learning pattern training have on students' self-regulation, math achievement, and motivation. The 1st version was a business-as-usual traditional classroom teaching mathematics with direct instruction. The 2rd version of the course provided students with self-paced, individualized Algebra instruction with a web-based, intelligent tutor. The 3rd version of the course coupled self-paced, individualized instruction on the web-based, intelligent Algebra tutor coupled with a series of e-learning modules on self-regulated learning knowledge and skills that were distributed throughout the semester. A quasi-experimental, mixed methods evaluation design was used by assigning pre-registered, high-school remedial Algebra I class periods made up of an approximately equal number of students to one of the three study conditions or course versions: (a) the control course design, (b) web-based, intelligent tutor only course design, and (c) web-based, intelligent tutor + SRL e-learning modules course design. While no statistically significant differences on SRL skills, math achievement or motivation were found between the three conditions, effect-size estimates provide suggestive evidence that using the SRL e-learning modules based on ARCS motivation model (Keller, 2010) and Let Me Learn learning pattern instruction (Dawkins, Kottkamp, & Johnston, 2010) may help students regulate their learning and improve their study skills while using a web-based, intelligent Algebra tutor as evidenced by positive impacts on math achievement, motivation, and self-regulated learning skills. The study also explored predictive analyses using multiple regression and found that predictive models based on independent variables aligned to student demographics, learning mastery skills, and ARCS motivational factors are helpful in defining how to further refine course design and design learning evaluations that measure achievement, motivation, and self-regulated learning in web-based learning environments, including intelligent tutoring systems.

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  • 2013

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Conditions that promote the academic performance of college students in a remedial mathematics course: academic competence, academic resilience, and the learning environment

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Researchers have postulated that math academic achievement increases student success in college (Lee, 2012; Silverman & Seidman, 2011; Vigdor, 2013), yet 80% of universities and 98% of community colleges require

Researchers have postulated that math academic achievement increases student success in college (Lee, 2012; Silverman & Seidman, 2011; Vigdor, 2013), yet 80% of universities and 98% of community colleges require many of their first-year students to be placed in remedial courses (Bettinger & Long, 2009). Many high school graduates are entering college ill prepared for the rigors of higher education, lacking understanding of basic and important principles (ACT, 2012). The desire to increase academic achievement is a wide held aspiration in education and the idea of adapting instruction to individuals is one approach to accomplish this goal (Lalley & Gentile, 2009a). Frequently, adaptive learning environments rely on a mastery learning approach, it is thought that when students are afforded the opportunity to master the material, deeper and more meaningful learning is likely to occur. Researchers generally agree that the learning environment, the teaching approach, and the students' attributes are all important to understanding the conditions that promote academic achievement (Bandura, 1977; Bloom, 1968; Guskey, 2010; Cassen, Feinstein & Graham, 2008; Changeiywo, Wambugu & Wachanga, 2011; Lee, 2012; Schunk, 1991; Van Dinther, Dochy & Segers, 2011). The present study investigated the role of college students' affective attributes and skills, such as academic competence and academic resilience, in an adaptive mastery-based learning environment on their academic performance, while enrolled in a remedial mathematics course. The results showed that the combined influence of students' affective attributes and academic resilience had a statistically significant effect on students' academic performance. Further, the mastery-based learning environment also had a significant effect on their academic competence and academic performance.

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  • 2013

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Improving adolescent writing quality and motivation with Sparkfolio, a social media based writing tool

Description

Writing instruction poses both cognitive and affective challenges, particularly for adolescents. American teens not only fall short of national writing standards, but also tend to lack motivation for school writing,

Writing instruction poses both cognitive and affective challenges, particularly for adolescents. American teens not only fall short of national writing standards, but also tend to lack motivation for school writing, claiming it is too challenging and that they have nothing interesting to write about. Yet, teens enthusiastically immerse themselves in informal writing via text messaging, email, and social media, regularly sharing their thoughts and experiences with a real audience. While these activities are, in fact, writing, research indicates that teens instead view them as simply "communication" or "being social." Accordingly, the aim of this work was to infuse formal classroom writing with naturally engaging elements of informal social media writing to positively impact writing quality and the motivation to write, resulting in the development and implementation of Sparkfolio, an online prewriting tool that: a) addresses affective challenges by allowing students to choose personally relevant topics using their own social media data; and b) provides cognitive support with a planner that helps develop and organize ideas in preparation for writing a first draft. This tool was evaluated in a study involving 46 eleventh-grade English students writing three personal narratives each, and including three experimental conditions: a) using self-authored social media post data while planning with Sparkfolio; b) using only data from posts authored by one's friends while planning with Sparkfolio; and c) a control group that did not use Sparkfolio. The dependent variables were the change in writing motivation and the change in writing quality that occurred before and after the intervention. A scaled pre/posttest measured writing motivation, and the first and third narratives were used as writing quality pre/posttests. A usability scale, logged Sparkfolio data, and qualitative measures were also analyzed. Results indicated that participants who used Sparkfolio had statistically significantly higher gains in writing quality than the control group, validating Sparkfolio as effective. Additionally, while nonsignificant, results suggested that planning with self-authored data provided more writing quality and motivational benefits than data authored by others. This work provides initial empirical evidence that leveraging students' own social media data (securely) holds potential in fostering meaningful personalized learning.

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  • 2014