If you are a teacher who wants to keep college students motivated in science class, there are a few simple steps you can take to do it. These steps include building a challenge into the learning material, eliciting feedback, and obtaining the student’s parent’s involvement.
Elicit student feedback often
One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your students engaged and enthusiastic about learning is to provide them with a form of feedback. The benefits of this are twofold. First, providing students with some nifty nudges can help them avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. Second, they’ll be able to see the results of their efforts. For example, if they’re making the same mistakes over and over again, you’ll have the opportunity to show them exactly what went wrong and, if they’re really interested, point them in the right direction to fix it. If it’s a particularly challenging assignment, you can even get their input and work together to figure it out.
According to Modern Biology, as for the best time to give this feedback, you’ll have to make a decision based on how many students you’re serving and what your budget is. Thankfully, there are a myriad of ways to do this, such as reading a student’s paper and giving them a quick rundown of the material they’ve done well in.
Attribute student success to effort rather than luck or ease of task
Despite the fact that there is a wide variety of variables that contribute to a student’s academic performance, there is no doubt that there is a relationship between causal attributions and academic achievement. Students who are motivated to do their best are likely to put their energy into reaching their goals. Therefore, it is important to encourage students to verbalize appropriate attributions.
Those who attribute success to ability, for example, are more likely to be high achievers than those who attribute it to luck. However, this is not necessarily an indicator of actual ability. Instead, it represents a learned helpless pattern. Attribution to uncontrollable factors, on the other hand, reflects a negative emotional response, which can lead to lowered motivation and self-efficacy. These patterns can negatively affect academic achievement.
In the current study, the authors analyzed the attributions of 80 eighth-grade students from ten activity-centered science classes. Each student participated in three questionnaires, which included a cultural orientation questionnaire developed by Triandis and Gelfand, as well as a causal attribution questionnaire. Using descriptive statistics, the relationships between academic achievement and attributions were analyzed.
Several subdimensions of the locus of causality were identified as significant predictors of academic achievement. External attributions of failure were significantly correlated with a lower SRA-Math score. On the other hand, internal attributions of success were found to be a positive predictor of academic achievement. The researchers suggest that the relationship between the attributions and academic achievement is driven by the influence of the locus of causality on students’ perceptions of success.
Moreover, the researchers have also suggested that a low attributional style is linked with low academic achievement. This means that a student who is inclined to attribute success to luck or difficulty is less likely to participate in an active learning activity, such as working on an in-class assignment or listening to a teacher. As a result, a student with a low attributional style is more likely to drop out of school. Lastly, the researchers suggest that the effect of causal attributions on academic performance can be improved by providing students with an opportunity to become increasingly independent in learning.
Get parents involved in a home project
If you want to keep college students motivated in science class, you might consider getting parents involved in a home science project. This type of project involves supervision, continual assistance, and the support of peers. It also requires the support of teachers, who can provide instruction.
A good way to get parents involved in a home science project is to allow the parents to supervise the student during lab time. They can then be available to guide the student to a successful conclusion. Parents can also help promote the event through social media. Finally, they may offer to donate funds or materials for the science fair. The ideal scenario would be for the parent to volunteer for a few days to assist the child.
While there are some good ideas for getting parents involved in a home science project, it’s important to remember that the project should be done in a public space, such as the classroom. Some parents have backgrounds in the sciences, such as engineers, and can serve as mentors for their children. Others have the training to become in-school parent volunteers. As a result, they can be trained to be a mentor for the science fair and judge the final event.
By keeping these factors in mind, you can be sure that you will be able to get your parents involved in a home science project. If you are looking for additional ideas, you should check out the book Fostering Equitable Science through Parent Involvement and Technology (ESPRIT). This book examines ways that parents participate in middle school science education, engaging students and parents with technology. And it’s National Science Foundation funded! You can buy a copy of the book on Amazon!
The book highlights how parents can be involved in SLE activities, including a new model for parent involvement. The model, which is applicable to curriculum designers and researchers, addresses behaviors that shift as collaborative activities occur.