ERIC Number: EJ1077532
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 18
Evidence of Psychological Engagement When Raising a Virtual Child
Symons, Douglas K.; Smith, Kathleen H.
Psychology Learning and Teaching, v13 n1 p52-57 Mar 2014
Students are very familiar with digital media and computers. The aim of this study was to take advantage of this skill-set and examine evidence of psychological engagement in a personalized web-based learning experience, given the more general interest in student engagement of students in Higher Education. In this study, 117 students each raised their own virtual child as a term-long project within a child development course. The website MyVirtualChild© was used, in which students make parenting decisions, receive feedback, and write assignments designed to integrate course material with their simulated parenting experience. Teaching evaluation data showed students felt the program helped with learning and critical thinking skills. In addition, an open-ended question on the final exam was coded for emotional and behavioral content, and showed that most students felt they formed a relationship with their child and had positive feelings such as happiness with and pride towards their child. Some also made comments that showed self-reflection about either their own parenting skills or childhood experiences, and related the program to course content. This suggests that students found the program emotionally engaging and personally meaningful, which are aspects of psychological engagement in learning.
Descriptors: Evidence, Web Based Instruction, Learning Experience, Learner Engagement, Child Development, Computer Simulation, Virtual Classrooms, Child Rearing, Student Projects, Parenting Skills, Thinking Skills, Critical Thinking, Affective Behavior, Affective Measures, Developmental Psychology, Likert Scales, College Students, Teaching Methods, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada