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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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Date Created
  • 2013

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Modeling gameplay enjoyment through feature preferences, goal orientations, usage, and gender

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The gameplay experience can be understood as an interaction between player and game design characteristics. A greater understanding of these characteristics can be gained through empirical means. Subsequently, an enhanced

The gameplay experience can be understood as an interaction between player and game design characteristics. A greater understanding of these characteristics can be gained through empirical means. Subsequently, an enhanced knowledge of these characteristics should enable the creation of games that effectively generate desirable experiences for players. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between gameplay enjoyment and the individual characteristics of gaming goal orientations, game usage, and gender. A total of 301 participants were surveyed and the data were analyzed using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). This led to an expanded Gameplay Enjoyment Model (GEM) with 41 game features, an overarching Enjoyment factor, and 9 specific components, including Challenge, Companionship, Discovery, Fantasy, Fidelity, Identity, Multiplayer, Recognition, and Strategy. Furthermore, the 3x2 educational goal orientation framework was successfully applied to a gaming context. The resulting 3x2 Gaming Goal Orientations (GGO) model consists of 18 statements that describe players' motivations for gaming, which are distributed across the six dimensions of Task-Approach, Task-Avoidance, Self-Approach, Self-Avoidance, Other-Approach, and Other-Avoidance. Lastly, players' individual characteristics were used to predict gameplay enjoyment, which resulted in the formation of the GEM-Individual Characteristics (GEM-IC) model. In GEM-IC, the six GGO dimensions were the strongest predictors. Meanwhile, game usage variables like multiplayer, genre, and platform preference, were minimal to moderate predictors. Although commonly appearing in games research, gender and game time commitment variables failed to predict enjoyment. The results of this study enable important work to be conducted involving game experiences and player characteristics. After several empirical iterations, GEM is considered suitable to employ as a research and design tool. In addition, GGO should be useful to researchers interested in how player motivations relate to gameplay experiences. Moreover, GEM-IC points to several variables that may prove useful in future research. Accordingly, it is posited that researchers will derive more meaningful insights on games and players by investigating detailed, context-specific characteristics as compared to general, demographic ones. Ultimately, it is believed that GEM, GGO, and GEM-IC will be useful tools for researchers and designers who seek to create effective gameplay experiences that meet the needs of players.

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Date Created
  • 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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Date Created
  • 2014