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Education Literature Alerts: Dec. '16 - Student Motivation

Items of interest from VCC Library

Education Literature Alerts

Recommended Books

Articles of Interest

Can colleges manufacture motivation? (2012, April 15). The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from
Motivation is determined by the characteristics of the college environment and the instructor. In one study: The largest drop in the ... students' motivation occurred during the first year, though it ticked up slightly during the following three years of their college experience. In another study: Student's level of motivation varied widely, as reflected by their scores on the test, and their motivation was highly influenced by their perception of the intrinsic value of the material. The author suggests: Department heads and administrators also pay attention to which professors seem to be the best at motivating students, and to assign them to core and introductory courses, where they are more likely to reach a large number of students. Such seemingly minor decisions can have  profound consequences on many students' success. [Summary from Prof. Perry Binder's blog]
Coker, J. S., & Porter, D. J. (2015). Maximizing experiential learning for student success. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 47(1), 66–72.
Several years ago, Elon University set out to better understand experiential learning on campus ... Three best practices related to experiential learning also emerged that would improve teaching and learning on many campuses ... [Abstract excerpt from ERIC]
Fernandes, S., Mesquita, D., Flores, M. A., & Lima, R. M. (2014). Engaging students in learning: Findings from a study of project-led education. European Journal of Engineering Education, 39(1), 55–67.
This study ...  aims to analyse students' perceptions of PLE as a learning device and its implications for faculty and students' role in teaching and learning. Data collection took place in two phases through individual surveys and focus groups to students. Findings suggest the importance of PLE as a device to enhance meaningful learning [Abstract excerpt from the authors]
Fox, J., Cheng, L., & Zumbo, B. D. (2014). Do they make a difference? The impact of English language programs on second language students in Canadian universities. TESOL Quarterly: A Journal for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and of Standard English as a Second Dialect, 48(1), 57–85.​
This article reports on questionnaire responses of 641 L2 students studying in 36 English language programs in 26 Canadian universities. [Abstract excerpt from the authors]
Noland, A., & Richards, K. (2015). Servant teaching: An exploration of teacher servant leadership on student outcomes. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 15(6), 16–38.
Servant leadership is an approach to leadership that embraces the opportunity for the leaders to embrace service to their followers. This approach to leadership puts the goals, needs, and development of "followers" ahead of those of the leader. Applying servant leadership to classroom contexts serves as an opportunity to improve education by positively impacting student learning, development, and deepening the student-centeredness of instruction. [Abstract excerpt from ERIC]
Rudow, S. R., & Finck, J. E. (2015). Pointing with power or creating with chalk. Contemporary Issues in Education Research, 8(3), 123–134.
This study examines the attitudes of students on the use of PowerPoint and chalk/white boards in college science lecture classes. Students were asked to complete a survey regarding their experiences with PowerPoint and chalk/white boards in their science classes. Both multiple-choice and short answer questions were used ... Their responses show that they clearly prefer the use of chalk/white boards and overwhelmingly say that PowerPoint does not keep their attention in comparison. [Abstract excerpt from ERIC]
Samson, P. L. (2015). Fostering student engagement: Creative problem-solving in small group facilitations. Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, 8, 153–164.​
Creative Problem-Solving (CPS) can be a transformative teaching methodology that supports a dialogical learning atmosphere that can transcend the traditional classroom and inspire excellence in students by linking real life experiences with the curriculum. It supports a sense of inquiry that incorporates both experiential learning and the development of critical thinking skills. Incorporating active learning strategies in a way that transcends the classroom and sparks interest and passion for students is an important pedagogical ingredient for educators. [Abstract excerpt from ERIC]
Smart praise for students. (2015, June 17). The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from
This article reviews some of the literature and implications around "ability praise" and "effort praise," as well as "fixed mind-set" versus "growth mind-set."  There are positive as well as debilitating effects associated with each of these pairings. We, as educators should be nudging or encouraging students to adopt a "growth" mind-set, and we ought to be dispensing "effort" praise. At the same, we should realize that  -  as teachers  -  we have probably benefited professionally ourselves in possessing a growth mind-set. Why not help students to also succeed by encouraging this in them? [Summary by BN]

Videos (not strictly literature, but interesting nonetheless!)

Math class needs a makeover: Dan Meyer at TEDxNYED:

"Today's math curriculum is teaching students to expect - and excel at - paint-by-numbers classwork, robbing kids of a skill more important than solving problems: formulating them. Dan Meyer shows classroom-tested math exercises that prompt students to stop and think. [from TEDxNYED]

Ramsey Musallam: 3 rules to spark learning: TED Talks Education:

"It took a life-threatening condition to jolt chemistry teacher Ramsey Musallam out of ten years of 'pseudo-teaching' to understand the true role of the educator: to cultivate curiosity. In a fun and personal talk, Musallam gives 3 rules to spark imagination and learning, and get students excited about how the world works." [from TED]

Easy DIY projects for kid engineers: Fawn Qiu at TED:

"TED Resident Fawn Qiu designs fun, low-cost projects that use familiar materials like paper and fabric to introduce engineering to kids. In this quick, clever talk, she shares how nontraditional workshops like hers can change the perception of technology and inspire students to participate in creating it." [from TED]

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