Carnegie Mellon University

Eberly Center

Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation

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What’s the Eberly Center reading and thinking about this month?

The Research and Scholarship Digest, published the first Monday of each month, consists of short summaries of recently peer-reviewed studies on teaching and learning topics. This digest offers a view into what we are reading and thinking about at the Eberly Center that:

• adds to our understanding of how students learn
• is potentially generalizable across teaching contexts in higher education
• provokes reflection on implications for our teaching and educational development practices.

We hope the readers of this digest will find it a useful resource for staying in-tune with the rapidly expanding education research literature.

August 2019

Exploring sequences of learner activities in relation to self-regulated learning in a massive open online course

Researchers tested whether interventions aimed at encouraging Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) impacted students’ performance and retention. N=655 participants took the MOOC and N=222 were in the treatment condition where they viewed SRL video prompts every week. Researchers found a significant difference between the intervention group and the control group with participants who viewed the SRL videos having interacted with more course activities and followed the course structure more closely.

Wong, J., Khalil, M., Baars, M., de Koning, B. B., & Paas, F. (2019). Computers & Education140.
[link to article]


What changes, and for whom? A study of the impact of learning analytics-based process feedback in a large course

Researchers observed the differences in self-regulated learning behaviors of (N=784) undergraduate students in a first-year biology class. The experimental group received learning analytics based feedback messages in weeks 4 and 8 of the semester while the control group did not receive any such feedback. The feedback reminded students how they did on the previous quiz as well as a reminder that using the online textbooks was crucial for success in the course. Looking at the online metrics, researchers concluded that the treatment group interacted more frequently with the online tools of the class after the intervention and performed better in their final grades than the control group. There was no difference in the impact of this feedback for students based on varying background characteristics.

Lim, L. A., Gentili, S., Pardo, A., Kovanović, V., Whitelock-Wainwright, A., Gašević, D., & Dawson, S. (2019). Learning and Instruction.
[link to article]

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