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Developing Student Driven Learning: Impact on Knowledge and Attitude

A. Vyas, C. W. Leung, and W. O. Wong
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR

Abstract—It has been identified that some teaching strategies when applied encourage behavioral changes among students that will lead to better performance. Current teaching strategy in most engineering curricula is teacher-centered which gives scope to invent ways to enhance students learning by training them to self-consciously adopt behaviours that can generate excellent outcomes. The main objective of this study is to investigate if self-driven learning, within a course format, can generate higher level of learning, motivation and attitude. In this view, the investigation was conducted on two levels. Firstly, students were given autonomy to self-select the laboratory work within the scope of the study in contrast to the traditional way where the laboratory work is assigned to the students by the lecturer. Secondly, in most cases students have little prior experience of the topics that are covered in the lecture thus, students were required to do pre-lecture reading on those specific topics to assess if it resulted in better understanding. Later, students submitted reading summaries on specific topics prior to the lecture and participated in quiz later on. The strategies executed were developing a multidimensional survey, that was run twice, that is pre-laboratory and post-laboratory to evaluate any measureable effect on student’s learning, motivation and self-efficacy. The results indicated a growth in self-efficacy and motivation and ability to perform task right from collection of data to interpretation and projecting application of knowledge. Pre- and post- survey data plugs at statistically significant margin in self-efficacy of students with p  0.03. In addition, pre-lecture reading led to a better understanding of the assigned topics which became evident by extensive questions, arguments taking place during the class. Survey of post- strategies also showed motivation and confidence in the subject resulting in median=5 out of 5 and mean=4.19. Additionally, evidence suggest boosting the quality of learning generates positive attitudes, higher levels of confidence and problem solving abilities. Survey results and classroom discussions also indicate that students can engage into more in-depth and need-based learning that can improve the overall quality of both learning and teaching.
Index Terms—teaching strategies; Student motivation; enhanced learning

Cite: A. Vyas, C. W. Leung, and W. O. Wong, "Developing Student Driven Learning: Impact on Knowledge and Attitude," International Journal of Learning and Teaching, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 356-360, December 2018. doi: 10.18178/ijlt.4.4.356-360