Research Essay

3558 Words 15 Pages
ICOTS-7, 2006: Bijker, Wynants, and van Buuren (Refereed)

A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE EFFECTS OF MOTIVATIONAL AND
ATTITUDINAL FACTORS ON STUDYING STATISTICS
Monique Bijker, Gabriëlle Wynants, Hans van Buuren
Open Universiteit Nederland, the Netherlands mmbijker@planet.nl This study focuses on the differential effects of motivations and attitudes on Critical Thinking and
Self-Regulation. Two different samples of Psychology students of Open Universiteit Nederland have been studied. The first sample is composed of students, confronted with an integrated, research-based teaching and learning design; the second sample is composed of students, exposed to classic service courses in statistics and research methods. Results reveal that
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Our comprehensive study comprises four studies, and our research findings go far beyond the space at our disposal in this paper, so we will emphasize our findings concerning motivations, attitudes, Critical Thinking, Meta-Cognitive
Strategies and achievement in two different learning contexts in this paper, the latter because of the endorsement of the impact and role of instructional design in educational literature.

Research Context
The School of Psychology of Open Universiteit Nederland has been challenged to develop a new curriculum for statistics, in which the content of statistics and research methods has been integrated (Van Buuren, 2006) and linked to psychological research. The goals of this new curriculum are to actively involve students in the research process and to encourage and support students in developing a research competence. Students are challenged to apply research methods and statistics simultaneously in an authentic and integrated way, just like a professional researcher does. Linking the research topics to psychology offers a profound method to trigger and develop student’s interest in the fundamentals of their chosen branch of study (Eccles and
Wigfield, 2002) and to promote their inquisitiveness in psychological subjects, which in its turn is

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