When the Tail Wags the Dog: Perceptions of Learning and Grade Orientations in, and by, Contemporary College Students and Faculty Howard R. Pollio University of Tennessee at Knoxville Hall P. Beck Appalachian State University
Learning Orientation Items • I find the process of learning new material fun. • I enjoy classes in which the instructor attempts to relate material to concerns beyond the classroom. • I browse the library even when not working on a specific assignment.
Learning Oriented Students Tend To: • Display effective study skills. • Exhibit above average reasoning skills. • Have high levels of self motivation. • Possess other positive educational attributes.
Grade Orientation Items • I think that without regularly scheduled exams I would not learn and remember very much. • I think that grades provide me a good goal to work toward. • I try to find out how easy or hard an instructor is before signing up for a course.
Grade Oriented Students Tend To: • Be inefficient in their study habits. • Find little pleasure in reading. • Have below average Scholastic Aptitude Test scores for their university. • Receive poor grades.
LOGO F: Learning Orientation Items • I think that students should be encouraged to cooperate rather than to compete. • I design course assignments that encourage students to read outside my discipline. • I encourage students to raise questions in class that are topic related but which also go beyond the scope of the tests which I prepare.
LOGO F: Grade Orientation Items • Without regularly scheduled exams most students would not learn the material that I present. • I emphasize in my conversations with students the importance of studying to obtain “good grades.” • I think that college grades are good predictors of success in later life.
Purpose: Assess the Positive and Negative Values Attached to Learning and Grade Orientations From Three Perspectives Study 1: Students View Of Their Orientations Study 2: Students View Instructors’ Orientations Study 3: Instructors View Students’ Orientations
Study 1 Objectives • To assess the extent that students are dissatisfied with their level of LO. • To assess the extent that students are dissatisfied with their level of GO.
Study 1 Method • Students indicate on the LOGO II the extent that the items are currently descriptive of them, providing current LO and current GO scores. • Same students complete the LOGO II a second time as they would “ideally like to be,” yielding ideal LO and ideal GO scores.
Study 1 Measures • Current LO score • Ideal LO score • Current GO score • Ideal GO score
Why Are Students Dissatisfied With Their Orientations? • Instructors prevent students from achieving their high learning oriented and low grade oriented ideals. • Most instructors encourage grade orientation. • Most instructors give scant attention to learning orientation.
Study 2 Objectives • To determine if most students believe that instructors overly emphasize grade orientation and are unconcerned with promoting learning orientation in their courses.
Study 2 Methods • On LOGO F students indicate how “they believe a typical ASU instructor would respond.” • Students answer the LOGO F as they “would ideally like their instructors to respond.”
Study 2 Measures • Typical Faculty LO score and Ideal Faculty LO score • Typical Faculty GO score and Ideal Faculty GO score
Study 3 Objectives • To determine if instructors would like for students to be more grade oriented. • To test the hypothesis that instructors are unconcerned with promoting learning orientation.
Study 3 Method • On LOGO II instructors indicate how “they believe a typical ASU student would respond.” • Instructors answer the LOGO II as they “would ideally like their students to respond.”
Study 3 Measures • Typical Student LO score and Ideal Student LO score • Typical Student GO score and Ideal Student GO score
Learning and Grade Orientations From the Students’ Perspective • Students are highly dissatisfied with their own orientations. They want to be more learning oriented and less grade oriented. • Results of Study 2 are consistent with the premise that students believe instructors pressure them to be more grade oriented and less learning oriented than they desire.
Learning and Grade Orientations From the Instructors’ Perspective • Many instructors are dissatisfied with the learning and grade orientations displayed by their students. • Instructors want their students to be more learning oriented and less grade oriented.
Why Do Students and Faculty Misjudge One Another: A Lover’s Quarrel? • Fundamental Attribution Error • Need for Student-Instructor Dialogue • Reactance