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Title: Goal orientation in tutoring systems
Author: Martinez Miron, Erika Annabel
ISNI:       0000 0001 3410 9491
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2007
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Attempts to model a student's motivational state by educational systems have ignored an important factor relevant to the learning process: the type of goal orientation preferred by the student. Students with mastery goals aim to develop new skills and competencies, whereas students with performance goals try to demonstrate competence or achieve high levels of normative ability. Much of the research suggests that a mastery orientation fosters an adaptive pattern of achievement, whereas performance goals promote a maladaptive pattern (associated with a low level of learning engagement, frequent use of shallow processing strategies, less frequent use of self-regulatory strategies, ability attribution for failure and a low level of persistence after failures); however other authors propose that more research needs to be done before discarding multiple goal orientation, which also promotes a performance goal orientation, This thesis explores the role of goal orientation in the context of educational software. We argue that if a particular goal orientation is emphasized by a computer program that matches the student's goil! orientation, then a h~gh level of student's motivation can be maintained and the possibilities of enhanced learning gains are increased. In order to determine whether the application of goal theory in educational software could affect students' learning gains, an existing system, Ecolab II, for teaching children about food webs and chains was extended. This system is based on a Vygotskian learning model. Two versions of the Ecolab II were implemented. Each version emphasizes either a mastery (moEcolab) or a performance goal orientation (poEcolab). An empirical evaluation study was undertaken �·with children aged between 9 and 11 years old. Students were randomly allocated into three groups and were asked to interact either with moEcolab, poEcolab or Ecolab II. The res1Jlts of this study suggest that students' goal orientation in a computer interaction context plays an important role. In particular the evaluation found evi- . dence that highlighting achievement goals in a computer context helps to positively affect the way children interact and learn from the system. In brief, the main research contribuitons of this thesis are: �� Proposing forms to provide goal-oriented contexts in software. �� Finding out some evidence that supports the consideration of goal orientation issues in the design and implementation of ITSs. �� Suggesting ways to help to clarify the issues of dimensionality and dispositional/situational aspects of goal orientation theory when interacting with a piece of software.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available