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Thursday, December 5 • 11:00am - 11:30am
Investigating the benefits of embedding motivational messages in online exercises (30m)

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This proposal bridges research on MOOCs and online education with research in the disciplines of cognitive science and psychology, including both theoretical insights about motivation and learning, and methodological expertise in computational modeling and experimental design. The proposal focuses on how to improve student motivation when learning from online exercises, by providing messages that encourage students to believe intelligence is malleable, and therefore work harder. An experimental comparison that ran on Khan Academy’s platform inserted different kinds of motivational messages into online mathematics exercises accompanied by worked-out example solutions, in order to increase student engagement and learning. We propose to conduct in-depth statistical modeling and analysis of this data set to statistically confirm and characterize what these precise learning benefits are, how they are influenced by the kind of message provided, and identify potential moderator and mediational variables. We also propose a separate line of experiments that will be conducted as laboratory-style online experiments (using convenience samples of participants from the general Internet population). Since such experimental paradigms have complementary affordances to the design and data collection features of Khan Academy’s platform, these experiments will also allow us to easily investigate novel questions about the effects of motivational messages, such as the impact of providing such messages *after* incorrect responses are made, in order to directly motivate students who have made mistakes.



Thursday December 5, 2013 11:00am - 11:30am
Meeting Room 12

Attendees (5)