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ERIC Number: ED397840
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Dimensions of Interest and Boredom in Instructional Situations.
Small, Ruth V., And Others
Stimulating interest and reducing boredom are important goals for promoting learning achievement. This paper reviews previous research on interest and boredom in educational settings and examines their relationship to the characteristics of emotion. It also describes research which seeks to develop a model of learner interest by identifying sources of "boring" and "interesting" learning situations through analysis of learners' descriptions. Participants in the study were 512 undergraduate and graduate students from two universities. Descriptive responses were elicited from 350 students through brainstorming sessions on past learning experiences. The remaining 162 students answered written questionnaires. The students who completed the questionnaire also undertook subjective evaluation by completing two Likert-type scales rating their "boring" and "interesting" learning situations and emotions during those situations. Responses were categorized using Keller's ARCS Model motivation components--Attention (A), Relevance (R), Confidence (C), and Satisfaction (S)--and also grouped by where respondents felt the responsibility lay for the learning situation--instructor, learners, materials, or environment. One interpretation of the results indicates that feelings of pleasure and arousal are linked to generating and sustaining current learning interest. Competence and self-determination, on the other hand, are more closely related to fostering a continuing motivation to learn. The major findings include: (1) colorful instruction that incorporates a variety of attention-gaining and maintaining strategies appears to be the most effective way to generate interest and prevent boredom; (2) instruction that incorporates surprise, novelty, and variety may help reduce predictability, which appears to promote learning boredom; (3) instructional materials that do not capture students' attention and are not relevant to content and goals of the instruction may promote boredom; and (4) instructors are perceived by learners as having the prime responsibility for learner interest or boredom. (Contains 49 references.) (SWC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A