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Using Expectancy Value Theory as a Framework to Reduce Student Resistance to Active Learning: A Proof of Concept

    Authors: Katelyn M. Cooper1, Michael Ashley1, Sara E. Brownell1,*
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    Affiliations: 1: Biology Education Research Lab, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85281
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Received 15 December 2016 Accepted 17 February 2017 Published 09 June 2017
    • ©2017 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, PO Box 874501, Tempe, AZ 85260. Phone: 480-965-9704. E-mail: sara.brownell@asu.edu.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. June 2017 vol. 18 no. 2 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v18i2.1289
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    Abstract:

    There has been a national movement to transition college science courses from passive lectures to active learning environments. Active learning has been shown to be a more effective way for students to learn, yet there is concern that some students are resistant to active learning approaches. Although there is much discussion about student resistance to active learning, few studies have explored this topic. Furthermore, a limited number of studies have applied theoretical frameworks to student engagement in active learning. We propose using a theoretical lens of expectancy value theory to understand student resistance to active learning. In this study, we examined student perceptions of active learning after participating in 40 hours of active learning. We used the principal components of expectancy value theory to probe student experience in active learning: student perceived self-efficacy in active learning, value of active learning, and potential cost of participating in active learning. We found that students showed positive changes in the components of expectancy value theory and reported high levels of engagement in active learning, which provide proof of concept that expectancy value theory can be used to boost student perceptions of active learning and their engagement in active learning classrooms. From these findings, we have built a theoretical framework of expectancy value theory applied to active learning.

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References & Citations

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2017-06-09
2017-07-25

Abstract:

There has been a national movement to transition college science courses from passive lectures to active learning environments. Active learning has been shown to be a more effective way for students to learn, yet there is concern that some students are resistant to active learning approaches. Although there is much discussion about student resistance to active learning, few studies have explored this topic. Furthermore, a limited number of studies have applied theoretical frameworks to student engagement in active learning. We propose using a theoretical lens of expectancy value theory to understand student resistance to active learning. In this study, we examined student perceptions of active learning after participating in 40 hours of active learning. We used the principal components of expectancy value theory to probe student experience in active learning: student perceived self-efficacy in active learning, value of active learning, and potential cost of participating in active learning. We found that students showed positive changes in the components of expectancy value theory and reported high levels of engagement in active learning, which provide proof of concept that expectancy value theory can be used to boost student perceptions of active learning and their engagement in active learning classrooms. From these findings, we have built a theoretical framework of expectancy value theory applied to active learning.

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Figures

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FIGURE 1

Model of expectancy value theory applied to student achievement-related choices in active learning classrooms, adapted from Wigfield and Eccles ( 5 ). Expectation of success in active learning relates to student self-efficacy in doing activities in active learning. Perceived value of participating in active learning is the extent to which a student perceives that the activities in which they are asked to engage have value to them. Perceived cost of participating in active learning relates to a student’s resistance toward active learning. All of these factors are predicted to influence a student’s decision to participate fully in active learning.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. June 2017 vol. 18 no. 2 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v18i2.1289
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Image of FIGURE 2

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FIGURE 2

Expanded model of expectancy value theory applied to student achievement-related choices in active learning classrooms. Interviews with students identified novel student factors that contribute to the value, self-efficacy, and cost associated with active learning, which subsequently influence students’ achievement-related choices in active learning classrooms.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. June 2017 vol. 18 no. 2 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v18i2.1289
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