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Instructional conceptions Their nature and impact Jan Elen, Rebecca Léonard, Geraldine Clarebout & Joost Lowyck CIP&T, K.U.Leuven TECFA, Université de Genève 12-02-04 Introduction Instructional conceptions: definition

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Instructional conceptions l.jpg

Instructional conceptions

Their nature and impact

Jan Elen, Rebecca Léonard, Geraldine Clarebout & Joost Lowyck

CIP&T, K.U.Leuven

TECFA, Université de Genève

12-02-04


Introduction l.jpg

Introduction

Instructional conceptions: definition

(general and specific) ideas of students about (aspects and / or components of)

learning environments

Prototypical example : Salomon (1984)

television is “easy”; print is “tough”


Introduction3 l.jpg

Introduction

  • Related constructs / approaches

    • “cognitional knowledge for classroom teaching and learning” (Peterson, 1988)

    • “beliefs about pedagogy” (Van Etten, Van Etten, & Pressley, 1997)

    • “attitude toward educational use of the Internet” (Ness, Duggan, Morgan, Kim & Wilson, 1999)

    • “beliefs about how teaching should take place” (Kember, 2001)

    • “preference; what students hope for” (Sander, Stevenson, Kind & Coates, 2000)


Structure l.jpg

Structure

  • Why?

  • Theoretical framework

  • Nature of instructional conceptions

  • BooiZ-study : methodological essentials

  • Discussion and conclusions


Why study instructional conceptions l.jpg

instructional optimism / the ‘negative’ answer

learner optimism / the ‘positive’ answer

Why study instructional conceptions ?

Instructional devices not (adequately) used

Growing importance in ID of process variables

Kabisa 2004

Martens et al.

Learners become co-designers (open learning environments; CSCL, learning communities)


Theoretical framework simplified l.jpg

Other moderating variables

Feedback loops

Other contextual elements

Theoretical framework (simplified)

Instructional conceptions

Learning Activities/ Processes

Perceptions

Learning Environment


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The nature of instructional conceptions

  • Particular category of (metacognitive) knowledge(Elen, Proost, & Lowyck, 1996)

    • declarative (elements, demands, affordances)/ procedural (function attribution, use)

  • Mediates perceptions(e.g., Trigwell & Prosser, 1999)

  • Moderates impact of instructional environment (e.g., Elen, 1995)


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The nature of instructional conceptions

  • Different objects

    • general (‘high quality instruction’)

      • goals

      • role of students / instructional agents

    • specific

      • tools / approaches (characteristics, functions)

      • features (tools / approaches)

    • [not included : task]


Booiz study methodological essentials l.jpg

BooiZ-study: methodological essentials

  • Questionnaire

    • 2 parts

      • instructional conceptions (3 educational goals [descriptions of LE], 41 features)

      • perceptions / activities

    • N= 2132 / 8 departments (1st, 3rd (5th) year)

  • Construction task

    • students are asked to design a course

    • 6 categories / 52 instances

    • N = 41 / 8 departments(1st, 3rd (5th) year)


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Substance: some findings

  • Van Etten et al. (1997)

    • ‘crucial role that instructors play in the educational process’

  • Kember (2001)

    • distinction between didactic/reproductive and facilitative/transformative view

  • Stebler & Reusser (1996)

    • clear ideas about benefits of small-group collaborative work


Substance own studies l.jpg

Substance: own studies

  • Essay-type (Elen & Lowyck, 2000a) [qualitative study, 244 freshmen]

    • ‘good education’ when instructional agent considers needs of students and directs them

    • distinction between learning and studying

    • specific ideas about quality features specific instructional elements

  • University – college study (Elen et al., 1999; Clarebout, et al., 2000) [quantitative (n= 414); sophomores; 2 universities, 2 colleges, 9 programs]

    • 2 scales : encompassing support (9 items; alpha = .75) >encouraging independent work (2 items, alpha = .67)


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Substance: own studies

  • Efficiency – effectiveness study (Elen & Lowyck, 1998; Elen & Lowyck, 2000b) [quantitative n= 489 / university]

    • 2 scales : contribute to reduction of study time / contribute to study results

    • different results on both scales for specific interventions

    • highest scores for traditional interventions (lectures, practical sessions, exercises) lowest for ‘new type of interventions (looking up on the Internet, going to the library)


Substance booiz l.jpg

Substance: BooiZ

  • Factor analysis on 41 items

    • Two-factor solution (41,32% explained variance)

    • Two scales:

      • ‘a learning environment with safe challenges’-scale

        40 items, loadings > .40;  = .96

      • ‘the students memorize a lot of information’

        1 item, loading = .56


Substance booiz14 l.jpg

Substance: BooiZ

  • Second factor analysis on 40 items

    • Six-factor solution (53,62% explained variance) + oblique rotation

    • Six scales: (factor loadings > .40)

      • ‘a student-centred LO’-scale (9 items,  = .87)

      • ‘a challenged LO’-scale (5 items,  = .76)

      • ‘an individualized LE’-scale (2 items,  = .73)

      • ‘an active contribution LE’-scale (2 items,  = .73)

      • ‘an exercise’-item (1 item, factor loading = .71)

      • ‘a teacher-centred LO’-scale (6 items,  = .80)

        => 25 items; 15 items removed

    • intercorrelation .36 - .70


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Substance: BooiZ

  • questionnaire


Substance booiz16 l.jpg

SCLE

Challen-ging LE

Differen-tiation

Active contri-bution

Exerci-sing

LCLE

SCLE

1,00

-

-

-

-

-

challenging LE

0,64

1,00

-

-

-

-

Differentia-tion

0,66

0,51

1,00

-

-

-

Active contribution

0,58

0,48

0,46

1,00

-

-

exercising

0,51

0,43

0,43

0,36

1,00

-

LCLE

0,70

0,60

0,58

0,45

0,42

1,00

Substance: BooiZ

  • Pearson correlations between the six scales


Substance booiz17 l.jpg

r1, r5, gen1, gen3, gen5, ger1, ger5, p1, p3, p3, p5, go1

G

k3, go1

r1,r3, r3, ger1, ger3, ger3, ger3, ger5,b1, b3, b5,w3,gen1, gen5, k1, k1, k3, p1

w1, b5

D

E

F

r5, b3

r1

w1, w3, go3, p5

A

B

C

- support

- student-characteristics

- student-activities

1

2

3

- content

- method

4

- evaluation

5

Substance: BooiZ

  • Construction task


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Relationship with other (process) variables: some findings

  • Kember (2001)

    • beliefs about teaching closely linked to beliefs about the nature of knowledge and conceptions of learning


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Relationship with other (process) variables: own studies

  • Parents study (Clarebout, Elen, & Goolaerts, 2003) [quantitative; 536 parents; questionnaire 50 items]

    • Instructional conceptions and epistemological beliefs in same scales (modern vs. classical beliefs)

  • University - college study

    • Instructional conceptions - perceived goal orientation

    • ‘encompassing support’ less important when goal relates to acquisition of meaningful / applicable knowledge

    • 15% of variance in encompassing support-scale explained by learning style scales


Relationship with other process variables booiz l.jpg

Relationship with other process variables: BooiZ

  • Questionnaire

    • sign. influence of study behavior on memorizing (small ES)

    • Sign. influence of goal orientation on memorizing (big ES)


Development some findings l.jpg

Development: Some findings

  • Kember (2001): beliefs do change over time

    • “… it does appear necessary to confront students with the incompatibility of their current beliefs. They cannot come to appreciate a facilitative/transformative model of the teaching and learning process unless exposed to teaching based upon these premises.” (p. 218)

  • Stebler & Reusser (1996) :

    • clear agreements among students and teachers of the same class (benefits of small-group collaborative work)


Development own studies l.jpg

Development : own studies

  • Short-term

    • ParlEuNet-project (Elen & Clarebout, 2001) [quantitative, 139 students (aged 15-17)]

      • after participation : less favorable towards collaboration and use of technology

  • Long-term

    • University - college study

      • Encompassing support regarded to be less important by university students

      • differences between institutions

      • Engineering < communication-education, economics < biomedical for encompassing support


Development booiz l.jpg

Development: BooiZ

  • Questionnaire

    • sign. influence of department on ALL scales (small to big ES)

    • sign. influence of study year on : safe challenges LE, memorizing, SCLE en activity (small ES)

  • Construction task

    • Indications of development


Impact some findings l.jpg

Impact : Some findings

  • Hess et al. (1999)

    • behavioral correlates for attitudes towards Internet e.g., favorable attitude associated (no causal relationship !) with

      • choosing classes that use the Internet,

      • greater frequency of Internet use both in general and for educational purposes,

      • greater number of reasons for using the Internet for education,

      • greater number of Internet features used


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Impact : Some findings

  • Kember (2001)

    • “It was found that the attitudes to and ability to cope with study were influenced by a coherent set of beliefs about knowledge and the process of teaching and learning”


Impact booiz l.jpg

Impact : BooiZ

  • Questionnaire

    • sign. influence of instructional conceptions on perceptions (small ES)


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Discussion and conclusions

  • Lack of consistent and generally agreed upon theoretical framework

  • No research agenda : ad hoc research; highly descriptive

  • Lack of clear definition (distinction between: instructional conceptions, instructional beliefs, instructional perceptions)

  • Mixture of research instruments


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Some forthcoming studies

  • Unified theoretical framework

  • Unified instrument

  • Systematic studies on impact


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Some forthcoming studies

  • Impact on use of adjuncts aids (South-Africa) [with F. Louw]

  • Moderating role of instructional conceptions on effects of PLE versus traditional LE (Ghana) [with F.K. Sarfo]

  • Impact on tool use in LE for complex learning, interaction with pedagogical agent (Belgium)


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