Paul Ginns

Paul Ginns
The University of Sydney · Sydney School of Education and Social Work

BA (Hons), MPsych, PhD

About

116
Publications
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Publications

Publications (116)
Article
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For more than three decades, cognitive load theory has been addressing learning from a cognitive perspective. Based on this instructional theory, design recommendations and principles have been derived to manage the load on working memory while learning. The increasing attention paid to cognitive load theory in educational science quickly culminate...
Article
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Cognitive load theory’s incorporation of evolutionary perspectives has generated several instructional designs based on movement, including the tracing effect, occurring when learners benefit from explicit instructions to trace out specific elements of lesson materials with the index finger. Historical descriptions of children’s tracing behaviours...
Article
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Drawing on the componential theory of creativity, we report on the development of a model for understanding students' experiences of creative school environments, based on survey responses from Grade 7 and 9 Australian students (N = 2538) across 13 high schools. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to test for construct validity of scales, followe...
Article
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To better understand instructional cognitive load, it is important to operationalize and assess it in novel ways that can reveal how different students perceive and experience this load as either challenging or threatening. The present study administered a recently developed instruction assessment tool—the Load Reduction Instruction Scale-Short (LR...
Article
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The expansion of cognitive load theory to include evolutionary perspectives posits that biologically primary knowledge might support the acquisition of biologically secondary knowledge, which needs explicit instruction for novices to construct. Pointing and tracing actions with the index finger may be forms of biologically primary knowledge that ca...
Article
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Among a sample of 472 Indigenous high school students, juxtaposed with 15,884 non-Indigenous students from the same 54 schools, we investigated variation in motivation and engagement from school to school, and the role of motivation and engagement in predicting various academic outcomes (aspirations, buoyancy, homework completion, achievement). We...
Article
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Despite increased popular and research interest in youth development and outdoor education, very little research has focused upon the design principles that enhance the effectiveness of these programs. This article presents a scoping review of the literature discussing youth development activities occurring in outdoor environments, in order to iden...
Article
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Among a sample of 2,071 Australian high school students nested within 188 science classrooms, the present study explored the role of science teachers’ “load reduction instruction” (LRI; instruction that seeks to reduce cognitive load by appropriately balancing explicit instruction with guided autonomy) in student- and classroom-level science engage...
Article
People can make pointing gestures and tracing actions with the index finger with little or no conscious effort. From the perspective of cognitive load theory, such “biologically primary” gestures and actions might help people learn “biologically secondary” concepts and skills requiring extended cognitive effort, such as reading, science, or mathema...
Article
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Given the widespread use of touch screen devices, the effect of the users' fingers on information processing and learning is of growing interest. The present study drew on cognitive load theory and embodied cognition perspectives to investigate the effects of pointing and tracing gestures on the surface of a multimedia learning instruction. Learnin...
Chapter
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Embodied cognition acknowledges that cognition does not only happen in the mind, but also in the body and environment. When they act together, such as when executing or observing human actions, several cognitive processes can be boosted. In this chapter, we describe diverse research perspectives to explain and predict embodied phenomena. We have gr...
Article
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The purpose of the current study was to investigate the potential effects of two social cues on learning outcomes, cognitive load, and intrinsic motivation in a computer-based environment in an Asian context. A total of 98 Chinese college students were randomly assigned into one of four experimental conditions formed by a 2 (agent vs. no agent) X 2...
Chapter
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Gestures using the index finger to point and trace have been found across a variety of studies to benefit learning. This study investigated the effects of pointing and tracing on learning from expository text and diagrams from the perspective of cognitive load theory. Thirty university students were instructed to gesture or not gesture while learni...
Article
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Cognitive load theory has incorporated evolutionary perspectives to consider how biologically primary knowledge (such as physical movement and pointing), acquired through evolutionary processes, might support the acquisition of biologically secondary knowledge (such as reading or writing), requiring explicit teaching. Tracing (a physical movement)...
Article
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For over three decades, cognitive load theory (CLT) has drawn on models of cognitive architecture—including a working memory whose capacity and duration limits can be substantially reduced when domain-specific schemas are activated from long-term memory—to generate and test instructional design hypotheses. The cognitive load construct refers to the...
Article
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Recent research has demonstrated chewing gum can enhance various cognitive processes associated with learning, but most studies have used cognitive functioning tasks (e.g., selective attention, working memory) as outcomes. Across two experiments, we investigated effects of chewing gum on self‐reports of alertness and test performance following stud...
Article
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Biggs’ Presage-Process-Product (3P) model provides a flexible model for testing hypotheses about intra-psychic and contextual effects on student learning processes and outcomes; however, few empirical studies have effectively tested the longitudinal and reciprocal effects implied by the model. The current study provides an empirical test of theoriz...
Article
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The aim of this study was to test a process model of students’ learning in higher education, linking anxiety, course experience (positive and negative), self-worth protection (SWP) (self-handicapping, defensive expectations, reflectivity), student approach to learning (SAL) (deep/surface), and achievement. Path and bootstrap analyses of data from 8...
Article
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We tested relations between high school students’ personal characteristics and how they perceive teaching in their school (Presage), their learning strategies (Process), and the outcomes of learning (Product), based on data from 2,002 students across 12 Australian high schools surveyed one year apart. Confirmatory factor analysis established the co...
Article
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Personal Best (PB) goals are defined as specific, challenging, and competitively self-referenced goals involving a level of performance or effort that meets or exceeds an individual’s previous best. Much of the available research underpinning arguments for PB goal-setting is self-report-based; thus, the causal effect of PB goals on learning outcome...
Article
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AbstractIndividual differences are theorised as being key predictors of students? lecture attendance. Understanding students? (lack of) motivation for studying is an essential first step in supporting these individual differences and potentially increasing class/lecture attendance. The current study explored the role of students? deficits in motiva...
Article
Museums promote co-learning through the construction of a social community, one that involves personal, physical, and sociocultural contexts. As researchers and museum educators, we report some of our contextual reflections and recommendations that emerged from our collaborative learning experience of conducting research in a medical science museum...
Technical Report
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https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/article/science-education-surviving-the-zombie-apocalypse
Article
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Based on a sample of 5,432 high school students, findings from CFA showed that well-established constructs can be demarcated into adaptive and maladaptive motivation and engagement. SEM showed there is commonality in the extent to which socio-demographic, prior achievement, and personality variables predict motivation and engagement, but there are...
Article
A primary goal our study was to explore whether relations between academic anxiety and students’ use of a range of learning strategies (memorisation, elaboration, personal best [PB] goals and cooperation) were mediated by academic buoyancy. We were also interested in extending knowledge of anxiety and its role in students’ learning strategy use. Gi...
Article
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While researchers have proposed a reciprocal relationship between why and how students study, scant research has effectively tested this model. The current study tests this model with first-year students, after one month at university and again in the final month of their first year. Participating students (n = 933) enrolled across 6 faculties were...
Article
Learning from complex instructional materials typically requires sustained attention, but many learners — both children and adults — may find their minds ‘wandering’ when learning. Drama educators have argued that ‘mirroring’ exercises, where students in pairs or groups mirror each other's movements, improve attention; but, to date, evidence for th...
Article
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Building on the future oriented and regulated nature of instrumental goals, Lens and colleagues developed a 2 (proximal-distal) x 2 (internal-external) motivational framework. The current study aimed to test this framework from a person-centred perspective, while equally taking into account students' lack of motivation as to extend the empirical an...
Article
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We investigated academic buoyancy (a response to challenge) and adaptability (a response to change) among a sample of 12–16-year-olds in China (N = 3617) compared with same-aged youth from North America (N = 989) and the United Kingdom (UK; N = 1182). We found that Chinese students reported higher mean levels of buoyancy and adaptability. We also f...
Article
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Informal learning settings such as museums have been identified as opportunities to enhance students' knowledge and motivation in science and to optimize the connection between science and everyday life. The present study assessed the role of a self-paced science education program (situated in a medical science museum) in enhancing students' progra...
Article
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The role parents can play in supporting early reading attainment is well documented. There is still, however, a need to understand what motivates parents to become involved in reading at home with their child. Past research, based upon correlational studies, has mixed findings regarding the influence of the teacher and the child on parents’ motivat...
Article
The psychological teaching-learning contract (PTLC) model of academic integrity, presented herein, features a social contract-based mechanism for moral judgment that is hypothesized to underlie the ‘belief-behavior incongruity’ (BBI), that is, the noted frequency with which students who believe cheating is immoral still cheat. High school students...
Article
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Informed by self-determination theory, the aims of this study were to examine the extent to which students' interpersonal relationships (a basic psychological need) with teachers, parents, and peers are associated with personal best (PB) goals and academic engagement, as well as the extent to which PB goals are associated with academic engagement b...
Chapter
Touch-based educational technology, that is, the use of tablet technology for learning, is perceived as intuitive to use but poses an important question about the efficacy of using finger-based gestures to support learning. Insights from the theoretical perspectives of cognitive load theory and embodied cognition purport that gestures make minimal...
Technical Report
This study collected intensive intra-individual real-time longitudinal motivation and engagement data using mobile electronic devices for one month. A four-level model consisted of within-day ratings at the first level (3 ratings per day), between-day ratings at the second level (5 days per week), between-week ratings at the third level (4 weeks),...
Article
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Gesturally controlled information and communication technologies, such as tablet devices, are becoming increasingly popular tools for teaching and learning. Based on the theoretical frameworks of cognitive load and embodied cognition, this study investigated the impact of explicit instructions to trace out elements of tablet-based worked examples o...
Article
Cognitive load theorists have only recently begun to test the role of the body in learning. Tracing the index finger over the surface of instructions while reading, an embodied pedagogy based on Montessori's sandpaper letters, may hold substantial promise for learning by reducing cognitive load. Two experiments tested whether students who traced th...
Article
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Currently, parental involvement research considers parents as individuals, and gives little consideration to them as a collective body, including how, as a group, they might influence each other. This study examined the influence of parent social norms on parents’ home reading behaviour with their child. Two quasi-experiments conducted in two eleme...
Conference Paper
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OBJECTIVES: The link between academic buoyancy and achievement is unclear. We sought to determine whether control might link academic buoyancy and student achievement. DESIGN: The study analyzed data from 2,971 students attending 21 Australian high schools. METHODS: We conducted longitudinal structural equation modeling (SEM) as a means of disentan...
Article
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A concern for social justice pervades the espoused curriculum of many pre-service teaching programmes, but the extent to which that curriculum influences the beliefs students hold is an open question. With the goal of developing an instrument suitable for evaluating such beliefs at the degree programme level, the present study analysed responses to...
Article
Embodied cognition and evolutionary educational psychology perspectives suggest pointing and tracing gestures may enhance learning. Across two experiments, we examine whether explicit instructions to trace out elements of geometry worked examples with the index finger enhance learning processes and outcomes. In Experiment 1, the tracing group solve...
Article
Full-text available
The present study collected intensive intra-individual real-time longitudinal motivation and engagement data using mobile electronic devices at multiple points in each school day for one month. Data were conceptualized as a four-level model, consisting of within-day ratings at the first level (3 ratings per day), between-day ratings at the second l...
Article
Full-text available
Background Previous research has indicated that although academic buoyancy and student's achievement are associated, the relationship is relatively modest.AimsWe sought to determine whether another construct might link academic buoyancy and student's achievement. Based on prior theoretical and empirical work, we examined a sense of control as one p...
Article
Available at http://issuu.com/museumsaustralia/docs/mam_vol23_2-3_-autumn_winter_2015_w/30?e=2140540/12438633
Article
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Most educational climate research is conducted among (day school) students who spend the bulk of their young lives outside of school, potentially limiting the amount of climate variance that can be captured. Boarding school students, on the other hand, spend much of their lives at school and thus offer a potentially unique perspective on educationa...
Article
Structural validity studies of Big Five measures using confirmatory factor analysis often yield mixed levels of fit. However, substantial evidence of criterion-related validity also exists for such measures. We investigated the structural and concurrent validity of a recently developed, short, trait-descriptor-based Big Five measure with a large sa...
Article
This article orients a recently proposed alienation-based framework for student learning theory (SLT) to the empirical basis of the approaches to learning perspective. The proposed framework makes new macro-level interpretations of an established micro-level theory, across three levels of interpretation: (1) a context-free psychological state (alie...
Article
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To build on prior correlational research into personal best (PB) goals and motivational outcomes, an experimental study was conducted to assess the role of PB goal setting in gains (or declines) in students’ motivation in science (viz. biology, anatomy, health). The study (comprising N = 71 elementary/primary and secondary school students) applied...
Article
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Boarding school has been a feature of education systems for centuries. Minimal large-scale quantitative data have been collected to examine its association with important educational and other outcomes. The present study represents one of the largest studies into boarding school conducted to date. It investigates boarding school and students’ motiv...
Article
Background Experimental/correlational studies have consistently demonstrated that the contents of an individual's goals play an important role within future motivations, learning processes, and outcomes.AimsThe aim of the study was to extend past findings by employing a three-point, cross-lagged latent simultaneous structural model in the examinati...
Article
Full-text available
Biggs’ 3P (Presage–Process–Product) model, a key framework in Student Learning Theory, provides a powerful means of understanding relations between students’ perceptions of the teaching and learning environment, learning strategies, and learning outcomes. While influential in higher education, fewer tests of the model in secondary education context...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Currently, instructional effects generated by Cognitive load theory (CLT) are limited to visual and auditory cognitive processing. In contrast, "embodied cognition" perspectives suggest a range of gestures, including pointing, may act to support communication and learning, but there is relatively little research showing benefits of suc...
Article
Full-text available
This study explored motivation and engagement among North American (the United States and Canada; n = 1,540), U.K. (n = 1,558), Australian (n = 2,283), and Chinese (n = 3,753) secondary school students. Motivation and engagement were assessed via students' responses to the Motivation and Engagement Scale-High School (MES-HS). Confirmatory factor an...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive load theory seeks to generate novel instructional designs through a focus on human cognitive architecture including a limited working memory; however, the potential for enhancing learning through non-visual or non-auditory working memory channels is yet to be evaluated. This exploratory experiment tested whether explicit instructions to t...
Article
Full-text available
PurposeAboriginal students experience disproportionate academic disadvantage at school. It may be that a capacity to effectively deal with academic setback and challenge (academic buoyancy) can reduce the incidence of academic adversity. To the extent that this is the case, academic buoyancy may also be associated with positive educational intentio...
Article
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This article reviews research on the effects of conversational style on learning. Studies of conversational style have variously investigated “personalization” through changing instances of first-person address to second or third person, including sentences that directly address the learner; including more polite forms of address; and making the vi...
Article
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Based on hypothesized reciprocal relations between psychological risk and academic buoyancy (dealing with ‘everyday’ academic setback in the ordinary course of school life), the present study used cross-lagged structural equation models to examine the relative salience of (1) prior academic buoyancy in predicting subsequent psychological risk and (...
Article
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In the context of “academic momentum,” a longitudinal study of university students (N = 904) showed high school achievement and ongoing university achievement predicted subsequent achievement through university. However, the impact of high school achievement diminished, while additive effects of ongoing university achievement continued. Deferred en...
Article
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To date, there has been little research in non-Western contexts exploring the research experience of research higher degree (RHD) students and the effect of research experience on student outcomes. The purposes of this study were to validate the Student Research Experience Questionnaire (SREQ) developed in Australia in the Hong Kong context and to...
Conference Paper
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HIGHLIGHTS: • Cross-lagged SEM examined prior academic buoyancy predicting psychological risk. • Cross-lagged SEM also examined prior psychological risk predicting academic buoyancy. • Analyses confirmed a reciprocal effects model. • Psychological risk impacts academic buoyancy and academic buoyancy impacts psychological risk.
Article
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Background. Student learning theory (SLT) has established associations between students' approaches to learning and their perceptions of the learning environment. SLT may provide a useful framework for researching student learning within the Japanese tertiary sector. Aims. The study aims to explore and validate the Course Experience Questionnaire...
Article
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Inductive reasoning is a core cognitive process of fluid intelligence, predicting a variety of educational outcomes. The Cognitive Training for Children (CTC) program is an educational intervention designed to develop children's inductive reasoning skills, with previous investigations finding substantial effects of the program on both inductive rea...
Article
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Personal best goals (PB goals) articulate a target performance standard that matches or exceeds one’s previous best. This study examined the role of PB goals in academic and social functioning. Alongside academic and social outcome measures, PB goal items were administered to 249 high-school students at the beginning and end of their school year. L...