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Praxis II: Principles of Learning & Teaching K-6 & 7-12 Review Session, part 2. Dr. Mark Hawkes Dakota State University. Study Topics. Student Motivation and the Learning Environment Instructional Strategies Assessment Strategies.

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Praxis II: Principles of Learning & Teaching K-6 & 7-12 Review Session, part 2

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Praxis II: Principles of Learning & TeachingK-6 & 7-12Review Session, part 2

Dr. Mark Hawkes

Dakota State University

Study Topics

  • Student Motivation and the Learning Environment

  • Instructional Strategies

  • Assessment Strategies

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . .Motivation

Definition: Forces which energize, direct, and sustain behavior

Situated Motivation: The influence of the environment to motivate a person to behave in particular ways.

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . .Sources of Motivation

  • Extrinsic—motivated by external factors

  • Intrinsic—factors inherent in the task being performed

    • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

    • Deficiency needs prior to growth need

    • Almost always yields better outcomes in terms of learning and understanding

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . .Sources of Motivation

  • Self-Efficacy—The extent to which a student believes they are capable of successfully completing a task.

  • Self-Determination—The extent to which a student believes they can make choices regarding the direction of their lives and choice of activities.


Process information for long-term storage

Realize learning is a process trying hard and working through temporary setbacks

Most benefit from classroom experience


Avoid challenging tasks

Shoot for only minimal performance outcomes

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . . Motivation to Learn: Meaningfulness of Activities Learning Goals vs. Performance Goals

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . .Encouraging Motivation

  • Present subject matter to in ways that relates to the student’s current and future interests (hot cognition)

  • Show personal enthusiasm for the subject

  • Demonstrate to students that you believe they are genuinely interested in the subject and are motivated to learn

  • Focus students’ attention on learning goals

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . . Motivation: Affiliation

Definition: The desire to like and be liked by others, to seek out friendly relationships

Learning Implication: Find ways to help students learn subject matter and meet affiliation needs at the same time

Strategies: Role play, debates, cooperative learning, competitions among two or more teams . . .

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . .Motivation: Approval

Definition: A desire to gain acceptance and positive judgments from other people

Learning Implication: Students may be engage in a task to please an authority figure

Strategies: Praise students frequently for the things they do well keeping in mind the balance of approval student desire from peers as opposed to teachers.

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . .Motivation: Anxiety

Definition: Feeling of uneasiness about an event because you do not know about the outcome

  • State vs. Trait Anxiety

  • Facilitating vs. Debilitating Anxiety

    Learning Implication: Highly anxious students tend to achieve at lower levels that those at which they are capable of achieving

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . . Motivation: Addressing Anxiety

  • Set realistic expectations for performance

  • Challenge students within their “zone of proximal development”—tasks within their reach

  • Teach learning strategies

  • Provide supplementary resources

  • Provide feedback about specific behaviors

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . . Motivation: Locus of Control

Definition: explanations of an “attributes” success or failure

  • Locus

  • Stability

  • Controllability

    Influencing factors on attribution: past successes and failures, rewards and punishment, expectations, messages about success or failure (earned or unearned?)

Attribute accomplishments to own abilities and efforts

Seek challenging goals, seek challenges, persist in failure

Achieve better over the long run.

Attribute successes to to outside and uncontrollable factors

Students generally underestimate their own ability

Students set easy goals, avoid challenges, and respond to failure in counterproductive ways.

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . . Motivation: Locus of Control

Mastery Orientation vs. Learned Helplessness

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . . Motivation: Operant Conditioning

Definition: when behaviors are followed by desirable consequences they tech to increase in frequency. When behaviors produce results, they decrease or disappear.

  • Response precedes reinforcement

  • Reinforcement is contingent on the desired behavior


The response occurs as the result of the stimulus—the learner has no control over whether the response occurs


The response is usually voluntary—the learner can control whether or not it occurs

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . . Motivation: Operant Conditioning

Classical vs. Operant

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . . Motivation: OC Reinforcements

  • Reinforcer: Any response the increases the frequency of a particular behavior

    • Primary vs. Secondary

    • Continuous vs. Intermittent

    • Shaping

  • Positive Reinforcement—concrete, social, activity. Extrinsic/Intrinsic.

  • Negative Reinforcement—increase of behavior through removal of a stimulus.

  • Punishment—Presentation/Removal.

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . . Motivation: Reinforcements

  • Bogus concerns:

    • Reinforcement is bribery

    • Reinforcement develops dependence on concrete rewards for appropriate behavior

    • Reinforcing one student teaches other students to be bad

    • Changing a problem behavior does not change it’s underlying cause

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . . Motivation: Reinforcements

  • Real Concerns:

    • Extrinsic reinforcement may encourage students to accomplish a task in a minimally acceptable way rather than in a maximally beneficial manner

    • Extrinsic reinforcement of a behavior may undermine any intrinsically reinforcing value that the activity has for the students

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . . Motivation: Punishment

  • Presentation Punishment—The presentation of an aversive stimulus after the behavior.

  • Removal Punishment—Involves the removal of a pleasant stimulus after the behavior.

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . . Motivation: Punishment Problems

  • May only temporarily suppress the behavior

  • Relationship between the undesired response and punishment may not be recognized

  • Negative emotional responses

  • May lead to aggression

  • Does not illustrate the correct behavior

  • May cause physical or psychological harm

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . . Motivation: Punishment

  • Effective forms:

    • Verbal reprimand

    • Response Cost (withdrawal of a reinforcer)

    • Logical consequence

    • Time out

    • In-house suspension

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . . Motivation: Punishment Guidelines

  • Avoid vindictive kinds of punishment

  • Choose a punishment strong enough to discourage the behavior

  • Identify expectations and consequences

  • Don’t bluff and punish immediately

  • Explain why behavior is unacceptable

  • Punish each and every time the behavior occurs

  • Teach and reinforce desirable alternatives

Student Motivation and the Learning Environment . . . Classroom Management

  • Establish daily routines

  • Promote Self-Regulation (monitoring, selection of tasks, evaluation)

  • Give timely feedback

  • Authoritatively developed classroom rules and consequences

  • Pacing and structure of lesson

Instructional Strategies . . . Organizing Knowledge: Concepts

  • Conceptualizing—mentally grouping or categorizing objects or events.

  • Identifying Defining Features—all positive instances of the objects; correlational feature.

  • Prototyping—constructing an image of a typical example for comparative purposes.

  • Examplars—Many illustrations of the concept.

Instructional Strategies . . . Organizing Knowledge: Schemas and Scripts

  • Schemas: Organized bodies of knowledge about specific topics.

  • Scripts: Predictable sequence of events related to a particular activity.

Instructional Strategies . . . Organizing Knowledge: Personal Theories

General belief system about how the world operates. Theories are composed of the concepts and relationships among components of the belief system.

Instructional Strategies . . . Promoting Effective Knowledge Construction

  • Experimentation—hands-on manipulation

  • Exposure to ideas of others—historical and contemporary

  • Conceptual understanding—integrated, interrelated, meaningful learning

  • Dialogue—verbalize, share, discuss, debate

  • Authentic activities—”real world” application

Instructional Strategies . . . Higher Level Thinking: Transfer

Definition: Applying skills or knowledge from a previous experience in a new situation.

  • Positive—Negative

  • Specific—General

  • Affecting factors . . Instructional time, meaningful learning, practice time, similarity of tasks

Instructional Strategies . . . Higher Level Thinking: Problem Solving

  • Well-defined—Ill-defined

  • Algorithm—Heuristic

    • Teach within the context of specific areas

    • Scaffold difficult problems

    • Induce small-group work to encourage the exchange of ideas and open discussion of issues

  • Problem of “mental-set”

Instructional Strategies . . . Higher Level Thinking: Critical Thinking

Definition: Evaluating information or arguments in terms of their accuracy or worth.

  • Verbal reasoning

  • Argument analysis

  • Hypothesis testing

  • Decision-making

  • Inductive-deductive thinking

Instructional Strategies . . . Higher Level Thinking: Metacognition

Definition: Knowledge and beliefs regarding one’s own cognitive processes and the attempt to regulate these processes to maximize learning and memory.

Successful Strategies: Teach how to study content (note taking, elaboration, summarizing, organizing, identifying important information).

Instructional Strategies . . . Cooperative Learning

  • Definition: An approach to learning where students work in small groups to help one another learn

  • Promotes:

    • Greater comprehension

    • Group reinforcement

    • Increased perspective taking

    • Construct more sophisticate ideas

    • Higher self-efficacy with group work

Instructional Strategies . . . Cooperative Learning

  • Give group members a common goal to work for

  • Identify appropriate group behaviors

  • Structure tasks so that success depends on students helping each other

  • Devise ways to make students both individually and group accountable

  • Have students evaluate their efforts at the end of a task

Instructional Strategies . . . Direct Instruction

  • Teacher led process of review, presentation, rehearsal, practice and assessment with small bits of content.

  • Most suitable for material requiring step-by-step sequencing.

  • Recognizable because of it’s high degree of teacher-student interaction

  • Limitations: not generally suitable for whole class instruction, more successful in small group work.

Instructional Strategies . . . Direct Instruction: Methods

  • Direct Instruction

    • Madeline Hunter’s “Effective Teaching Model”

    • David Ausubel’s “Advance Organizers”

    • Mastery learning

    • Demonstrations

    • Mnemonics

    • Note-taking

    • Outlining

    • Use of visual aids

Instructional Strategies . . . Direct Instruction: Methods

  • Madeline Hunter “Effective Teaching Model” –

    • Get students set to learn

    • Provide information effectively

    • Check for understanding and give guided practice

    • Allow for independent practice

Instructional Strategies . . . Discovery Learning

  • Bruner’s approach, in which students work on their own to discover basic principles

  • Student interaction with the physical or social environment (manipulatives, discussion groups, experiments)

  • Criticisms: Incorrect constructions of content may occur; Requires a considerable time investment

  • Provide structure to activities and help students relate their learning to key concepts and principles to maximize the effect of discovery learning.

Instructional Strategies . . . Whole Group Discussion

  • Can be applied to many disciplines

  • Helps students see information as dynamic, evolving understanding and not simply fact.

  • Leads to meaningful understanding of concepts and to subsequently better transfer to new situations and problems

Instructional Strategies . . . Whole Group Discussion

  • Tips:

    • Make sure students have sufficient prior knowledge of the topic.

    • Make sure students feel comfortable sharing differing viewpoints

    • Use combinations of small and whole class discussion

    • Let students help control the pace and direction of the discussion

    • Apply pro/con or judiciary structures

Instructional Strategies . . . Expository Instruction

  • Being “exposed” to the content, verbally, textually, etc in its “final” form.

  • Organization, visual aides, pacing, signals, and summaries facilitate students learning from expository instruction.

  • Criticism: Puts students in passive roles as learners.

Instructional Strategies . . . Mastery Instruction

  • Ensuring each student masters the content before moving to more complex ideas.

  • Criticisms: Assumes all students can comprehend ideas on an equal level; requires frequent adjustment in instructional pacing

  • Benefits: Research shows better student achievement on standardized tests, more confidence, enjoyment, and interest in subjects are a result of Mastery Learning.

Instructional Strategies . . . Computer-Based Instruction

  • Programmed Instruction: Active responding, shaping, intermediate reinforcement—linear.

  • Computer-assisted instruction: sequencing optioned on learners responses—branching.

  • Hypertext/Hypermedia: Computer-based instruction that allows student to progress through material at their own pace and direction—auto-instructional.

  • Limitations: Given the breadth of information available through CBI, some students may not be able to identify relevant learning content.

Instructional Strategies . . . Computer-Based Instruction

  • Computer-supported instruction has proved able to help students: solve problems, construct knowledge and produce products, communicate ideas better and encode factual information.

  • Secondary issues of computer-supported instruction include increased student attendance, increased time on task, less behavioral problems, and more collaboration.

  • Caveat: Technology itself is not a school-reform solution.

Instructional Strategies . . . Reciprocal Teaching

  • Peer tutoring

  • Useful at the small group and large group levels

  • Replicates the summarizing, questioning, clarifying and predicting process that is helpful in teaching students to read

  • Effective for all age levels of students

Instructional Strategies . . . Reciprocal Teaching: Advantages

  • Both teacher and learner model effective reading and learning strategies

  • Students internalize the learning process that they use in their discussions with others

  • The structured nature of a reciprocal teaching session scaffolds students’ efforts to make sense of the things they see and hear

Instructional Strategies . . . Peer Tutoring

  • Definition—Students who have mastered a topic teaching those who have not

  • Encourages active responses

  • Encourages students to organize and elaborate on what they have learned

  • Gives students an opportunity to ask more questions of the content

  • Promotes cooperation and other social skills

  • Benefits tutors as well as those being tutored

Instructional Strategies . . . Peer Tutoring

  • Make sure students understand the material they are teaching and that they use effective instructional techniques

  • Include special needs students in peer tutoring activities

  • Make sure all students have the opportunity to be both tutor and tutee

  • Structure the interaction so that students are aware of their tasks and learning outcomes

Instructional Strategies . . . Inquiry and Simulation

  • Inquiry method – Approach in which the teacher presents a puzzling situation and students solve the problem by gathering data and testing their conclusions

  • Simulations – The idea that skills and knowledge are tied to simulation in which they were learned and difficult to apply in new settings.

Instructional Strategies . . . Concept Mapping

  • Concept Mapping – A diagram of concepts within an instructional unit and the interrelationships among them.

Darci LoveHuron, 8th GradeOrganizing the Study of 8th grade history

Rachel RassmussenRapid City Central HS

9th grade Geophysical Science

Jason Smidt, Medary Elem. BrookingLevel: 5th Grade

This diagram is a wonderful way to explain the ecological food pyramid.  It uses graphics to easily show what animals are in each group.  It also show the sun and shows photosynthesis.

Lorna Hofer, Tech FacilitatorWatertown School District

Assessment Strategies . . . Contrasts

Assessment Grades


Diagnostic Final

Non-Judgmental Evaluative

Private Administrative

Often Anonymous Identified

PartialIntegrative SpecificHolistic

Mainly Subtext Mostly Text Suggestive Rigorous

Goal-Directed Content-Driven


During instructional phase

Gauging understanding


Assessment Strategies . . . Purposes

  • Summative

    • After instruction

    • Evaluating understanding and comprehension

    • Evaluating mastery

    • Higher stakes

    • Formal

Form: Observations, questioning

Very practical, usually spontaneous

Good for assessing students “interest” in a subject

Flexible to spur of the moment changes and adjustments

Will rarely, if ever, be standardized

Focus on assessing understanding within a specific content domain

Very much planned in advance

Closely tied to guiding instructional objectives

Bases results on “samples” of content

Assessment Strategies . . . Formal vs. Informal

Suitable for both recall and recognition tasks

Easily standardized

Can sample knowledge on many topics in a short time

Students should understand scoring process

Portray the assessment as an opportunity to improve skills

Efficiently uses class time

Formatively oriented

Helps reduce the “evaluative” climate

Difficult to achieve standardization and reliability

Often time-consuming to administer and score

Assessment Strategies . . . Paper/Pencil vs. Performance

Tells us what the students have achieved in relation to specific instructional objectives

Oriented to achieving mastery

Diagnoses weaknesses very well

Assessment Strategies . . . Criterion vs. Normed

  • Compares a students’ performance on a task with the performance of other students

  • Frequently used in standardized tests

  • Can undermine the sense of community and create undo competitive situation

Assessment Strategies . . . Types: Portfolio

  • Definition—A systematic collection of student work assembled over time

  • Integrates instruction and assessment

  • Can be useful in promoting students self-evaluation

  • Can illustrate the complex nature of students’ achievement

  • Often have low reliability and validity

  • Almost impossible to standardize

Assessment Strategies . . . Types: Objective

  • Multiple Choice: Stem—alternatives. Recognition task. Can measure a variety of learning levels, easy to grade.

  • True/False: Statements a student judges as correct or incorrect. Easy to write and grade, tests recognition with a high probability of guesses.

  • Matching: Identify relationships. Asks students to apply discrimination skills. Tests a large amount of information in a short space.

Assessment Strategies . . . Types: Constructed Response

Tests high-level cognitive skills, but, time-consuming to grade and difficult to ensure reliability.

  • Short answer: Requires a single word, set of words, or sentence or complete.

  • Essay: Requires learners to organize and express their thoughts over several or more paragraphs.

  • Problem-solving: Presents situation for the learner to diagnose and solve.

Assessment Strategies . . . Other Types

  • Aptitude tests

  • Structured observations

  • Anecdotal notes

  • Journals

  • Self and peer evaluation

  • Case study analysis

Assessment Strategies . . . Assessment Characteristics

  • Reliability—consistency of results

  • Standardization—consistency in content, format and scoring

  • Validity—the assessment measures what it is supposed to measure

  • Practicality—The feasibility of the assessment in terms of development time, administration time, cost, etc.

Assessment Strategies . . . Construction Tips

  • Target the specific behaviors and thought processes you want them to learn

  • Be difficult enough that students must expend energy to succeed.

  • Show students where and why their answers might have been wrong, and how they might improve on their answers.

  • Demonstrate, where appropriate, how several paths to the right answer might be taken.

Assessment Strategies . . . Scoring

  • Mean - The arithmetic average of a set of scores. It is calculated by adding all scores and then dividing by the total number of people who have obtained those scores.

  • Median – Middle score in a group of scores

  • Mode – Most frequently occurring score

  • Sampling strategy

Assessment Strategies . . . Scoring

  • Analytical scoring – Scoring students’ performance on an assessment by evaluating various aspects of their performance separately

  • Holistic scoring – Summarizing students’ performance on an assessment with a single score

  • Rubrics – A list of components that performance on an assessment task should ideally include; used to guide the scoring of students’ responses

Assessment Strategies . . . Reporting Results

  • Percentile rank – A test score that indicates the percentage of people in the norm group getting a raw score equal to a particular student’s raw score.

  • Mastery levels

  • Raw score – A test score based solely on the number or point value of correctly answered items

  • Grade equivalent score – Measure of grade level based on comparison with norming samples for each grade

  • Standard deviation – A statistic that reflects how close together or far apart a set of scores are and thereby indicates the variability of the scores

  • Scaled Score

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