Examining context-based task characteristics: the effects of task characteristics on students' motivation and metacognitive experiences

  • Science education has been facing important challenges in the recent years: the decline in student’s interest in scientific topics, and moreover, the decrease of students pursuing science beyond their compulsory studies (Bennett, Hogarth, Lubben, 2003). As a result, research has focus on examining different approaches that could attempt to improve the situation. One of these approaches has been the use of context-based problem-solving tasks (Kölbach & Sumfleth, 2011; Bennett, Hogarth, Lubben, 2003). While research into context-based problem-solving tasks suggest that they are very motivating for students, it is still unclear how they influence motivation. Following an experimental pretest-postest design, two studies examined the effects of context-based task characteristics of contextualization, complexity, and transparency, on students’ motivational variables, performance, and metacognitive experiences. Results from both studies suggest that the task characteristic of contextualization directly influences how students’ interest is triggered and maintained throughout the task. On the other hand, the task characteristics of complexity and transparency had different effects for the other dependent variables of effort, difficulty, and solution correctness. Moreover, data shows that other motivational variables such as anxiety and success expectancies are strongly influenced by the interaction of the parameters under study. The dissertation concludes that appropriate design and use of context-based task characteristics can benefit students’ learning processes and outcomes.

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Author:Marcela Gerardina Pozas Guajardo
Referee:Wolfgang Schnotz, Alexander Kauertz
Advisor:Wolfgang Schnotz, Alexander Kauertz
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of completion:2016/09/30
Date of publication:2016/10/04
Publishing institution:Universität Koblenz, Universitätsbibliothek
Granting institution:Universität Koblenz-Landau, Campus Landau, Fachbereich 8
Date of final exam:2016/07/29
Release Date:2016/10/04
Number of pages:145
Institutes:Fachbereich 8
BKL-Classification:77 Psychologie / 77.45 Motivationspsychologie
80 Pädagogik
Licence (German):License LogoEs gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht: § 53 UrhG