[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to give an insight to the motivation processes and learning strategies of the students of the Library and Information Systems (LIS) Department of Alexander Technological Educational Institute (ATEI), Thessaloniki, in courses encompassing Information Technology (IT). Design/methodology/approach – The students participated in the study between the 10th and 12th week of a 13-week semester. Data were collected with the Science Motivation Questionnaire (SMQ) and the Self-Regulated Learning Strategies component of the Motivational Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ). Independent samples t-tests were used to indicate any associations between motivation to learn and learning strategies, with students' background characteristics. Multiple regression analysis was used to predict students' levels of motivation from the background characteristics, and their intention to continue their studies and to work as librarians/information professionals. Findings – Results showed that participants reported relatively increased levels of motivation and employment of effective learning strategies. Participants' intention to continue their studies in library/information science emerged as the only variable that significantly contributed to the equation for predicting self-regulated learning from the whole set of predictors and also to the prediction of motivation to learn. Research limitations/implications – The SMQ was originally designed for science courses and the use of the translated and slightly modified version did not seem to be very sensitive in the IT learning context. A follow up study with different methodologies, would add to the weight of the present findings. In addition, future studies could focus on the particular factors that motivate students to learn IT and to achieve the learning objectives of the IT courses. Practical implications – The intended outcome of this survey was to provide LIS students and instructors with an assessing tool to evaluate motivation to learn IT and the effectiveness of the strategies employed in the process of acquiring knowledge and skills. Based on the results, faculty members can provide learning environments that promote motivation towards learning and encourage students to select and use more advanced and effective learning strategies. In addition, the results of the study provide an additional argument for organizing a postgraduate program at the LIS Department of ATEI, Thessaloniki. Originality/value – Empirical research on learning attitudes of LIS students is limited. Moreover, motivation and learning strategies use have never been studied in the Greek context of library education, although IT literacy is an essential task and all LIS Departments' instructors share the important goal of fostering students' motivation to learn IT.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Israel suffers from a growing problem of socio-economic gaps between those who live in the center of the country and residents of outlying areas. As a result, there is a low level of accessibility to higher education among the peripheral population. The goal of the Sidney Warren Science Education Center for Youth at Tel-Hai College is to strengthen the potential of middle and high school students and encourage them to pursue higher education, with an emphasis on majoring in science and technology. This study investigated the implementation and evaluation of the enrichment science academic program, as an example of informal learning environment, with an emphasis on physics studies. About 500 students conducted feedback survey after participating in science activities in four domains: biology, chemistry, physics, and computer science. Results indicated high level of satisfaction among the students. No differences were found with respect to gender excluding in physics with a positive attitudes advantage among boys. In order to get a deeper understanding of this finding, about 70 additional students conducted special questionnaires, both 1 week before the physics enrichment day and at the end of that day. Questionnaires were intended to assess both their attitudes toward physics and their knowledge and conceptions of the physical concept “pressure.” We found that the activity moderately improved boys’ attitudes toward physics, but that girls displayed decreased interest in and lower self-efficacy toward physics. Research results were used to the improvement of the instructional design of the physics activity demonstrating internal evaluation process for effective intervention.
Journal of Science Education and Technology 11/2012; · 0.94 Impact Factor
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