ERIC Number: ED394421
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Relation of Perceived Instructional Goals and Incentives to College Students' Use of Learning Strategies.
Karabenick, Stuart A.; Collins-Eaglin, Jan
This paper describes college classes according to their prevailing goals and incentive structures to determine the extent that they can be characterized as emphasizing mastery and performance goals and individualistic, cooperative, and competitive incentives. A second focus is on the relationship between these goals and incentives. Participants were 1,037 college students from 54 small- to medium-sized lecture or lecture/discussion classes at a large midwestern, public university. Students responded anonymously to a questionnaire described to them as a way to learn more about their learning environment. Fifty-four instructors, experienced from 1 to 30 years, assisted in the task. With the exception of a moderately high emphasis on grades, students perceived their classes' goals and incentives as having characteristics that have been found to facilitate engagement in learning: an emphasis on learning the material, outcomes based on individual performance criteria, opportunities for learning in groups, and less emphasis on competition and ability comparisons. Variability among classes was related to the level of student engagement in learning; working together, cooperating students who placed less emphasis on grades used more higher-order learning strategies of elaboration and critical thinking. Findings support the hypothesis that a learning atmosphere that encourages cooperation with less emphasis on grades creates a higher level of student engagement in learning. (Contains 33 references.) (NAV)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-13, 1996).