Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2015

Publication Title

Journal of Motivation, Emotion, and Personality

Volume

4

First Page

9

Last Page

14

DOI

10.12689/jmep.2015.402

Keywords

lecture engagement, telic vs. paratelic states

Abstract

We studied the underlying motives governing students’ active learning in the classroom. Previous investigations indicate that during a standard lecture, student ratings of engagement decrease along with serious-mindedness (telic state). In each of two studies, a questionnaire packet was distributed to participants at the start of their 75-minute social psychology class. The instructor paused the lecture every 10 minutes (from Time 1 to Time 6) to assess the extent to which students were (a) serious-minded or telic and (b) engaged in the lecture. Results from Study 1 showed that both serious-mindedness and lecture engagement together dropped over the span of the lecture. In Study 2 we reasoned that by introducing a mid-lecture student group activity, both engagement and serious-mindedness would rebound. Between Time 3 and Time 4, students were given a group task to complete and discuss among each other. Compared to prior data (Study 1) without the activity after Time 3, engagement and serious-mindedness were significantly higher at Time 4 before falling again at Time 6. Educational implications and future directions are discussed.

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