Characterizing student engagement with hands-on, problem-based, and lecture activities in an introductory college course
This study examines the interest, motivation, and behavioral engagement of college students in an introductory course relative to three instructional formats used in the course: hands-on, problem-based laboratory stations; problem-based written case studies; and video lectures. Groups of five to seven students were assigned learning activities as treatments in a Latin Square design consisting of three experimental periods. At the beginning of selected laboratory sessions, students completed 10 minutes of the experimental activity immediately followed by a questionnaire. Students rated hands-on, problem-based laboratory stations as more challenging, novel, and attention-grabbing than they rated case studies or video lectures. Interest, intrinsic motivation, and behavioral engagement were greatest for groups completing laboratory stations followed by those completing case studies and lectures, respectively. Overall, the greater situational interest experienced during laboratory stations and case studies indicates that these activities can be leveraged to create learning environments that promote interest, engagement, and achievement.
Abrahams, I. (2009). Does practical work really motivate? A study of the affective value of practical work in secondary school science. International Journal of Science Education, 31(17), 2335-2353. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500690802342836
Ainley M. (2012) Students’ interest and engagement in classroom activities. In S. L. Christenson, A. L. Reschly, & C. Wylie (Eds.), Handbook of research on student engagement (pp. 283-301). Boston, MA: Springer.
Ainley, M., Hidi, S., & Berndorff, D. (2002). Interest, learning, and the psychological processes that mediate their relationship. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94(3), 545-561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-06220.127.116.115
Alexander, P. A., & Jetton, T. (2000). Learning from text: A multidimensional and developmental perspective. In M. L. Kamil, P. B. Mosenthal, P. D. Pearson, & R. Barr (Eds.), Handbook of reading research (Vol. 3) (pp. 285–310). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Alvarez-Bell, R. M., Wirtz, D., & Bian, H. (2017). Identifying keys to success in innovative teaching: Student engagement and instructional practices as predictors of student learning in a course using a team-based learning approach. Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 5(2), 128-146. https://doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.5.2.10
Azevedo, F. S. (2013). The tailored practice of hobbies and its implication for the design of interest-driven learning environments. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 22(3), 462-510. https://doi.org/10.1080/10508406.2012.730082
Barrows, H. S. (1986). A taxonomy of problem-based learning methods. Medical Education, 20(6), 481-486. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2923.1986.tb01386.x
Barrows, H. S. (2000). Problem-based learning applied to medical education. Springfield, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.
Bonwell, C. C., & Eison, J. A. (1991). Active learning: Creating excitement in the classroom. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report no. 1. Washington DC: George Washington University, School of Education and Human Development.
Bergin, D. A. (1999). Influences on classroom interest. Educational Psychologist, 34(2), 87-98. http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15326985ep3402_2
Bernstein, D. A. (2018). Does active learning work? A good question, but not the right one. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 4(4), 290-307. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/stl0000124
Black, A. E., & Deci, E. L. (2000). The effects of instructors’ autonomy support and students autonomous motivation on learning organic chemistry: A self-determination theory perspective. Science Education, 84(6), 740-756. https://doi.org/10.1002/1098-237X(200011)84:6<740::AID-SCE4>3.0.CO;2-3
Blumenfeld P. C., Kempler T. M., Kracjik, J. S. (2006). Motivation and cognitive engagement in learning environments. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (pp. 475-488). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Bronfenbrenner, U. (2005). Ecological systems theory (1992). In U. Bronfenbrenner (Ed.), Making human beings human: Bioecological perspectives on human development (pp. 106-173). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Chen, A., Darst, P. W., & Pangrazi, R. P. (1999). What constitutes situational interest? Validating a construct in physical education. Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science, 3(3), 157-180. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327841mpee0303_3
Chi, M. T. H. & Wylie, R. (2014). The ICAP framework: Linking cognitive engagement to active learning outcomes. Educational Psychologist, 49(4), 219-243. https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520.2014.965823
Dan, Y., & Lan, W. (2010). Measurement and comparison of American college students' history interests. College Student Journal, 44(2b), 424-432.
Daniel, D. B., & Poole, D. A. (2009). Learning for life: An ecological approach to pedagogical research. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4(1), 91-96. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-6924.2009.01095.x
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York: Springer.
Deslauriers, L., Schelew, E., & Wieman, C. (2011). Improved learning in a large-enrollment physics class. Science, 332(6031), 862–864. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1201783
Dhanapal, S., & Shan, E. W. Z. (2014). A study on the effectiveness of hands-on experiments in learning science among year 4 students. International Online Journal of Primary Education, 3(1), 29-40. Retrieved from http://www.ijge.info/ojs/index.php/IOJPE/article/view/223
Drinkwater, M. J., Gannaway, D., Sheppard, K., Davis, M. J., Wegener, M. J., Bowen, W. P., & Corney, J. F. (2014). Managing active learning processes in large first year physics classes: The advantages of an integrated approach. Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 2(2), 75-90. https://doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.2.2.75
Erickson, M. G., Guberman, D., Zhu, H., & Karcher, E. L. (2019). Interest and active learning techniques in an introductory animal sciences course. North American College Teachers of Agriculture Journal. 63(2). Retrieved from https://www.nactateachers.org/index.php/current-issues?start=20
Freeman, S., Eddy, S. L., McDonough, M., Smith, M. K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., & Wenderoth, M. P. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(23), 8410-8415. Retrieved from https://www.pnas.org/content/111/23/8410
Frydenberg, E., Ainley, M., & Russell, V. J. (2005). Student motivation and engagement. Canberra: Department of Education, Science and Training.
Fulmer, S. M., & Frijters, J. C. (2009). A review of self-report and alternative approaches in the measurement of student motivation. Educational Psychology Review, 21(3), 219-246. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-009-9107-x
Gokhale, A. A. (1995). Collaborative learning enhances critical thinking. Journal of Technology Education, 7(1), 22-30. Retrieved from https://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/JTE/v7n1/pdf/gokhale.pdf
Guay, F., Vallerand, R. J., & Blanchard, C. (2000). On the assessment of situational intrinsic and extrinsic motivation: The situational motivation scale (SIMS). Motivation and Emotion, 24(3), 175-213. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1005614228250
Guay, F., Boggiano, A. K., & Vallerand, R. J. (2001). Autonomy support, intrinsic motivation, and perceived competence: Conceptual and empirical linkages. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27(6), 643-650. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167201276001
Haigh, M., & Gold, J. R. (1993). The problems with fieldwork: A group‐based approach towards integrating fieldwork into the undergraduate geography curriculum. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 17(1), 21-32. https://doi.org/10.1080/03098269308709203
Hewett, R., & Conway, N. (2016). The undermining effect revisited: The salience of everyday verbal rewards and self‐determined motivation. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 37(3) 436-455. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.2051
Hidi, S. (1990). Interest and its contribution as a mental resource for learning. Review of Educational Research, 60(4), 549-571. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1170506
Hidi, S, & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2000). Motivating the academically unmotivated: A critical issue for the 21st century. Review of Educational Research, 70(2), 151-179. https://doi.org/10.3102/00346543070002151
Hidi, S. & Renninger, K.A. (2006). The four-phase model of interest development, Educational Psychologist, 41(2), 111-127. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15326985ep4102_4
Hidi, S., Renninger, K. A., & Krapp, A. (2004). Interest, a motivational variable that combines affective and cognitive functioning. In D. Y. Dai & R. J. Sternberg (Eds.), Motivation, emotion, and cognition: Integrative perspectives on intellectual functioning and development (pp. 89–115). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (2004). Problem-based learning: What and how do students learn? Educational Psychology Review, 16(3) 235-266. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:EDPR.0000034022.16470.f3
Hmelo-Silver, C. E., Duncan, R. G., & Chinn, C. A. (2007). Scaffolding and achievement in problem-based and inquiry learning: A response to Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark (2006). Educational Psychologist, 42(2), 99-107. https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520701263368
Hodson, D. (1990). A critical look at practical work in school science. School Science Review, 71, 33-40.
Hofstein, A., & Lunetta, V. N. (2003). The laboratory in science education: Foundations for the twenty-first century. Science Education, 88(1), 28-54. https://doi.org/10.1002/sce.10106
Holstermann, N., Grube, D., & Bögeholz, S. (2009). Hands-on activities and their influence on students’ interest. Research in Science Education, 40(5), 743-757. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-009-9142-0
Izard, C. E. (2007). Basic emotions, natural kinds, emotion schemas, and a new paradigm. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2(3), 260–280. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-6916.2007.00044.x
Jeno, L. M., Raaheim, A., Kristensen, S. M., Kristensen, K. D., Hole, T. N., Haugland, M. J., & Mæland, S. (2017). The relative effect of team-based learning on motivation and learning: A self-determination theory perspective. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 16(4). https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.17-03-0055
Jonassen, D. H., & Hung, W. (2008). All problems are not equal: Implications for problem-based learning. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 2(2). https://doi.org/10.7771/1541-5015.1080
Kempa, R. F., & Diaz, M. M. (1990). Motivational traits and preferences for different instructional modes in science. Part 1: Student’s motivational traits. International Journal of Science Education, 12(2), 195-203. https://doi.org/10.1080/0950069900120208
Kintsch, W. (1980). Learning from text, levels of comprehension, or: Why anyone would read a story anyway. Poetics, 9(1/3), 87-98. https://doi.org/10.1016/0304-422X(80)90013-3
Kirby, S., Byra, M., Readdy, T., & Wallhead, T. (2015). Effects of spectrum teaching styles on college students’ psychological needs satisfaction and self-determined motivation. European Physical Education Review, 21(4), 521–540. https://doi.org/10.1177/1356336X15585010
Kontra, C., Lyons, D. J., Fischer, S. M., & Beilock, S. L. (2015). Physical experience enhances science learning. Psychological Science, 26(6), 737-749. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797615569355
Krapp, A. (2005). Basic needs and the development of interest and intrinsic motivational orientations. Learning and Instruction, 15(5), 381-395. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2005.07.007
Krapp, A., Hidi, S., & Renninger, A. (1992). Interest, learning, and development. In K. A. Renninger, S. Hidi, & A. Krapp (Eds.), The role of interest in learning and development (pp. 3–25). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
LaGuardia, J. G., Ryan, R. M., Couchman, C. E., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Within-person variation in security of attachment: A self-determination theory perspective on attachment, need fulfillment, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(3), 367–384. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.1687
Landis, J. R., & Koch, G. G. (1977). The measurement of observer agreement for categorical data. Biometrics, 33(1), 159-174. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2529310
Lane, E. S., & Harris, S. E. (2015). A new tool for measuring student behavioral engagement in large university classes. Journal of College Science Teaching, 44(6), 83-91. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/43632000
Lewalter, D., Krapp, A., Schreyer, I., & Wild, K-P. (1998). Die Bedeutsamkeit des Erlebens von Kompetenz, Autonomie und sozialer Eingebundenheit für die Entwicklung berufsspezifischer Interessen [The relevance of experiencing competence, autonomy and social relatedness for the development of job-related interests]. In K. Beck & R. Dubs (Eds.), Kompetenzentwicklung in Der Berufserziehung: Kognitive, motivationale und moralische Dimensionen kaufmännischer Qualifizierungsprozesse (pp. 143-168). Stuttgart: Steiner.
Lewis, M. D., & Granic, I. (2000). Introduction: A new approach to the study of emotional development. In M. D. Lewis & I. Granic (Eds.), Emotion, development, and self-organization: Dynamic systems approaches to emotional development (pp. 1-15). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Linn, M. C., & Slotta, J. D. (2006). WISE science. In L. Abbeduto (Ed.), Taking sides: Clashing views on controversial issues in educational psychology (4th ed., pp. 310-316). Dubuque, IA: McGraw-Hill.
Linnenbrink-Garcia, L., Durik, A. M., Conley, A. M., Barron, K. E., Tauer, J. M., Karabenick, S. A., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2010). Measuring situational interest in academic domains. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 70(4), 647-671. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013164409355699
McDonald, F., Reynolds, J., Bixley, A., & Spronken-Smith, R. (2017). Changes in approaches to learning over three years of university undergraduate study. Teaching and Learning Inquiry, 5(2), 65-79. http://dx.doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.5.2.6
McHugh, M. L. (2012). Interrater reliability: The kappa statistic. Biochemia medica, 22(3), 276-282. Retrieved from https://www.biochemia-medica.com/en/journal/22/3/10.11613/BM.2012.031
Middleton, J. A. (1995). A study of intrinsic motivation in the mathematics classroom: a personal constructs approach. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 26(3), 254-279. https://www.jstor.org/stable/749130
Prince, M. (2004). Does active learning work? A review of the research. Journal of Engineering Education, 93(3), 223-231. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/j.2168-9830.2004.tb00809.x
Renninger, K. A. (2000). Individual interest and its implications for understanding intrinsic motivation. In C. Sansone & J. M. Harackiewicz (Eds.), Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation: The search for optimal motivation and performance (pp. 373-404). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Renninger, K. A., & Hidi, S. (2011). Revisiting the conceptualization, measurement, and generation of interest. Educational Psychologist, 46(3), 168-184. https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520.2011.587723
Rigby, C. S., Deci, E. L., Patrick, B. C., & Ryan, R. M. (1992). Beyond the intrinsic-extrinsic dichotomy: Self-determination in motivation and learning. Motivation and Emotion, 16(3), 165–185. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00991650
Roberts, J. C. (2015). Situational interest of fourth-grade children in music at school. Journal of Research in Music Education, 63(2), 180–197. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022429415585955
Rotgans, J. I., & Schmidt, H. G. (2011). Cognitive engagement in the problem-based learning classroom. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 16(4), 465-479. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10459-011-9272-9
Rotgans J. I. & Schmidt H. G. (2012) Problem-based learning and student motivation: The role of interest in learning and achievement. In G. O’Grady, E. Yew E., K. Goh, & H. Schmidt (Eds.) One-day, one-problem: An approach to problem-based learning (pp. 85-101). Singapore: Springer.
Rowles, C. J. (2012). Strategies to promote critical thinking and active learning. In D. M. Billings & J. A. Halstead (Eds.), Teaching in nursing: A guide for faculty (4th ed.) (pp. 283-315). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55(1), 68-78. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.68
Savin-Baden, M. (2000). Group dynamics and disjunction in problem-based contexts. In S. Glen & K. Wilkie (Eds.), Problem-based Learning in Nursing (pp. 87-106). Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Schraw, G., Bruning, R., & Svoboda, C. (1995). Sources of situational interest. Journal of Reading Behavior, 27(1), 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1080/10862969509547866
Schraw, G., & Dennison, R. S. (1994). The effect of reader purpose on interest and recall. Journal of Reading Behavior, 26(1), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1080/10862969409547834
Serrano-Cámara, L. M., Paredes-Velasco, M., Alcover, C., & Velazquez-Iturbide, J. Á. (2014). An evaluation of students’ motivation in computer-supported collaborative learning of programming concepts. Computers in Human Behavior, 31, 499-508. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2013.04.030
Silvia, P. J. (2008). Interest—The curious emotion. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17(1), 57–60. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8721.2008.00548.x
Tavakol, M., & Dennick, R. (2011). Making sense of Cronbach’s alpha. International Journal of Medical Education, 2, 53-55. http://dx.doi.org/10.5116/ijme.4dfb.8dfd
Underhill, K. (2016). Extrinsic incentives, intrinsic motivation, and motivational crowding-out in health law and policy. In I. G. Cohen, H. F. Lynch, & C. T. Robertson (Eds.), Nudging health: Health law and behavioral economics (pp. 190-201). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Vallerand, R. J., Blais, M. R., Brière, N. M., & Pelletier, L. G. (1989). Construction et validation del’échelle de motivation en éducation (EME)/Construction and validation of the motivation toward education scale. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science/Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement, 21(3), 323–349. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0079855
Webb, Jeff, & Engar, Ann. (2016). Exploring classroom community: A social network study of reacting to the past. Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 4(1), 1-17. http://dx.doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.4.1.4
Wild, K-P. (2000). Die Bedeutung betrieblicher Lermungebungen für die langfristige Entwicklung intrinsischer und extrinsischer Lernorientierungen [The role of learning environments in vocational education for the development of intrinsic and extrinsic motivational orientations]. In U. Schiefele & K-P. Wild (Eds.), Interesse und Lernmotivation: Untersuchungen zu Entwicklung, Förderung und Wirkung (pp. 73-93). Münster: Waxmann. Retrieved from http://digitale-objekte.hbz-nrw.de/storage/2007/05/16/file_216/1809593.pdf
Yu, S., Levesque-Bristol, C., & Maeda, Y. (2018). General need for autonomy and subjective well-being: A meta-analysis of studies in the US and East Asia. Journal of Happiness Studies, 19, 1863–1882. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-017-9898-2
Yuretich, R. F., Khan, S. A., Leckie, R. M., & Clement, J. J. (2001). Active-learning methods to improve student performance and scientific interest in a large introductory oceanography course. Journal of Geoscience Education, 49(2), 111- https://doi.org/10.5408/1089-9995-49.2.111
Zacharia, Z. C., Loizou, E., & Papaevripidou, M. (2012). Is physicality an important aspect of learning through science experimentation among kindergarten students? Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27(3), 447-457. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2012.02.004
Zimmerman, B. J. (1985). The development of “intrinsic” motivation: A social learning analysis. In G. J. Whitehurst (Ed.), Annals of Child Development, vol. 2 (pp. 117-160) Greenwich, CT: JAI.
Copyright (c) 2020 MaryGrace Erickson, Danielle Marks, Elizabeth Karcher
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.