17 posts · 10,191 views
Connections Research Blog provides summaries and commentary on new educational psychology-related research, as well as my commentary on the field
A lot of research into simulated environments sets them up in a “horse race” against hands-on laboratory activities in order to show that learning outcomes with simulations are at least as good as those from hands-on labs. But is it really an either/ or proposition?
Jaakkola & Nurmi (2007) looked at the possibilities of combining simulation [...]... Read more »
Jaakkola, T., & Nurmi, S. (2008) Fostering elementary school students understanding of simple electricity by combining simulation and laboratory activities. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 24(4), 271-283. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2729.2007.00259.x
Despite its promise, a continuing challenge to online learning/ distance learning/ and eLearning is student dropout. Studies have consistently found higher student dropout rates in these courses than in in-person courses. There have been numerous studies attempting to predict dropout, but few have gotten to the holy grail of being able to identify students who [...]... Read more »
Lykourentzou, I., Giannoukos, I., Nikolopoulos, V., Mpardis, G., & Loumos, V. (2009) Dropout prediction in e-learning courses through the combination of machine learning techniques. Computers , 53(3), 950-965. DOI: 10.1016/j.compedu.2009.05.010
Help! How do I…?
The use of help features in computer-based learning has been an issue of recent research. Learning outcomes appear to be at least partially dependent on available support, and help-seeking on the part of students is seen as a positive sign of self-regulated learning. How do students ask for help? Are there developmental [...]... Read more »
Puustinen, M., Volckaert-Legrier, O., Coquin, D., & Bernicot, J. (2009) An analysis of students’ spontaneous computer-mediated help seeking: A step toward the design of ecologically valid supporting tools. Computers , 53(4), 1040-1047. DOI: 10.1016/j.compedu.2008.10.003
OK, stop me if you’ve heard this one… three statisticians walk into a bar…
Is statistics funny? Neumann, Hood, & Neumann (2009) think they can make it funny, and sought to find out how students reacted to including humor in statistics classes. (It should be noted that this article is from a Journal of Statistics Education “Research to Practice” [...]... Read more »
Neumann, D. L., Hood, M., & Neumann, M. M. (2009) Statistics? You Must Be Joking: The Application and Evaluation of Humor when Teaching Statistics. Journal of Statistics Education, 17(2). info:/
When is it good to let students fail? Is there something good that happens when students struggle and don’t succeed? These questions are explored by Kapur & Kinzur (2008) in the International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning.
At a high level, they have groups of students randomly assigned to work on physics problems in triads on [...]... Read more »
What do teachers think is the primary purpose of homework? How much do they think parents should be involved? How do those attitudes effect student effort and achievement?
A group of researchers studying teachers in Switzerland (hey! a non-US study!) conducted a survey of 93 teachers of French as a second language. Their survey included scales [...]... Read more »
Trautwein, U., Niggli, A., Schnyder, I., & Lüdtke, O. (2009) Between-teacher differences in homework assignments and the development of students' homework effort, homework emotions, and achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101(1), 176-189. DOI: 10.1037/0022-06126.96.36.199
How do people interact on discussion boards in an education setting? In my experience, people are much more polite and restrained in classroom discussion boards than on more general boards on the web. It turns out that politeness is actually a construct studied by sociolinguists. They define it in the context of discussion boards as [...]... Read more »
Schallert, D., Chiang, Y., Park, Y., Jordan, M., Lee, H., Janne Cheng, A., Rebecca Chu, H., Lee, S., Kim, T., & Song, K. (2009) Being polite while fulfilling different discourse functions in online classroom discussions. Computers , 53(3), 713-725. DOI: 10.1016/j.compedu.2009.04.009
We usually think of education as reducing misconceptions and poor reasoning. However, it appears this is not always the case. Cognitive biases are those “short cuts” in thinking we take that save cognitive effort, but often cause us to reach erroneous conclusions. For example, the bandwagon effect is the tendency to believe something because many [...]... Read more »
Morsanyi, K., Primi, C., Chiesi, F., & Handley, S. (2009) The effects and side-effects of statistics education: Psychology students’ (mis-)conceptions of probability. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 34(3), 210-220. DOI: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2009.05.001
So what did you do in science class while you were waiting for all those chemical reactions to happen? Did you sit around and chit-chat with your lab partner? What did you talk about? Does it matter?
Del Carlo & Bodner think it does matter. They completed a participant observation of four chemistry classes over the [...]... Read more »
Del Carlo, D. I., & Bodner, G. M. (2009) The "Chemistry Mafia": The Social Structure of Chemistry Majors in Lab. Electronic Journal of Science Education, 13(1). info:/
I think there is a lot of potential for use of wikis in classrooms, particularly in the area of collaborative writing. There are a number of articles out there extolling the possible virtues of the tool. However, I also think it is important to look at potential pitfalls so they can (hopefully) be addressed during [...]... Read more »
Neumann, D. L., & Hood, M. (2009) The effects of using a wiki on student engagement and learning of report writing skills in a university statistics course. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 25(3), 382-398. info:/
Trentin, G. (2009) Using a wiki to evaluate individual contribution to a collaborative learning project. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 25(1), 43-55. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2729.2008.00276.x
COLE, M. (2009) Using Wiki technology to support student engagement: Lessons from the trenches. Computers , 52(1), 141-146. DOI: 10.1016/j.compedu.2008.07.003
Cronin, J. (2008) Upgrading to Web 2.0: An Experiential Project to Build a Marketing Wiki. Journal of Marketing Education, 31(1), 66-75. DOI: 10.1177/0273475308329250
Wheeler, S., Yeomans, P., & Wheeler, D. (2008) The good, the bad and the wiki: Evaluating student-generated content for collaborative learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(6), 987-995. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2007.00799.x
Podcasting is a relatively new addition to many classrooms and as such, research on it is somewhat limited. McGarr recently reviewed existing studies and identified three types of usage:
Substantial – delivering full lectures
Supplemental – reviewing and/or synthesizing material
Creative – having students create podcasts
Podcasting is interesting to me because although it uses new technology, it largely [...]... Read more »
McGarr, O. (2009) A review of podcasting in higher education: Its influence on the traditional lecture. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 25(3), 309-321. info:/
Educational Psychology Review devoted a recent issue to cognitive load theory. I recently blogged about an article relating the theory to collaborative learning. A second article looks at how our neurons may be helping us reduce cognitive load.
Van Gog, Paas, Marcus, Ayres & Sweller remind us about mirror neurons. These are the neurons that fire [...]... Read more »
Gog, T., Paas, F., Marcus, N., Ayres, P., & Sweller, J. (2008) The Mirror Neuron System and Observational Learning: Implications for the Effectiveness of Dynamic Visualizations. Educational Psychology Review, 21(1), 21-30. DOI: 10.1007/s10648-008-9094-3
Who uses textbooks? Do students actually read the text? A study out in Teaching Educational Psychology by Derryberry & Wininger looked at the relationship between student motivation and textbook selection and use.
The authors combine a group of measures to create a group of “internal motivation” measures, including need for cognition (enjoying effortful thinking), mastery goal [...]... Read more »
Derryberry, W. P., & Wininger, S. R. (2008) Relationships among textbook usage and cognitive-motivational constructs. Teaching Educational Psychology, 3(2), 1-11. info:/
I usually stick to education research topics, but part of what influences what I see there is what actually gets published. And that is influenced by peer review. Peer review is a hotly debated topic in academia. This is probably not surprising since so much of professors’ evaluation, both formal (within the university) and informal (prestige [...]... Read more »
Aarssen, L., Lortie, C., Budden, A., Koricheva, J., Leimu, R., & Tregenza, T. (2009) Does Publication in Top-Tier Journals Affect Reviewer Behavior?. PLoS ONE, 4(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006283
Although many educators have probably accepted that collaborative learning is a good thing for learning. The research is, in fact, mixed. This is one of those clear examples where we need to move past the research question of, “Is collaborative learning better than individual work?” and get into when collaborative learning is the best strategy [...]... Read more »
Kirschner, F., Paas, F., & Kirschner, P. (2008) A Cognitive Load Approach to Collaborative Learning: United Brains for Complex Tasks. Educational Psychology Review, 21(1), 31-42. DOI: 10.1007/s10648-008-9095-2
If you’ve ever taught an online course, or used a discussion board feature in any class, you may have wondered as I did whether to require students to respond to other students. Also, should I, as the instructor, respond to all the students’ posts or does that inhibit other students from responding? An article by [...]... Read more »
An, H., Shin, S., & Lim, K. (2009) The effects of different instructor facilitation approaches on students’ interactions during asynchronous online discussions. Computers , 53(3), 749-760. DOI: 10.1016/j.compedu.2009.04.015
There has been a long debate about the best way to teach math, and very recent discussion about high schools preparing college-ready students. Both issues were raised by a recent article in the American Educational Research Journal.
In the early 1990’s the National Science Foundation funded the creation of 13 mathematics programs that were mostly problem [...]... Read more »
Harwell, M., Post, T., Cutler, A., Maeda, Y., Anderson, E., Norman, K., & Medhanie, A. (2008) The Preparation of Students From National Science Foundation-Funded and Commercially Developed High School Mathematics Curricula for Their First University Mathematics Course. American Educational Research Journal, 46(1), 203-231. DOI: 10.3102/0002831208323368
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