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Monday, October 18 • 5:15pm - 5:25pm
Will (Public) Sharing Help With Caring? An Open Pedagogy Experiment of Student Motivation

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Having students develop meaningful assignments that have purpose outside of classroom is generally regarded as an effective pedagogical technique. These assignments are referred to as “renewable” or “nondisposable” as they are not disposed of when the course is over. However, whether or not students should be encouraged to publicly share their renewable assignments is debatable. It is possible that students would take more pride and ownership of their work if they know it will be seen by others. Conversely, it is also possible that students would experience anxiety and have concerns about the quality of their work being adequate for public viewing. Furthermore, open pedagogy is a complex concept, which has made examining its effects on students challenging.

The purpose of this study is to compare how students experience renewable assignments that are publicly shared or only shared within the course. Across multiple undergraduate and graduate courses, students created memes to communicate the main points of research articles. Students were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: course-only sharing and course-and-public sharing. In the course-only sharing condition, students only shared their memes with the course. In the course-and-public sharing condition, students shared their memes with the course and their instructor will post on social media (NB: students in the public sharing condition may opt out of public posting and no identifying student information will be public).

Students were asked to complete questionnaires about their renewable assignment. They were asked about the utility value (perceived usefulness) of the renewable assignment (scientific memes) with the expectation that publicly sharing their work will enhance its perceived usefulness. This was not shown in the results. They were also be asked about their pride in their renewable assignments with the assumption that public sharing will foster pride in one’s work, but the opposite was found. However, they were also be asked about anxiety experienced out of concern that public sharing could increase anxiety, even with the option to not have it posted and having no identifiable information on their work. No differences in anxiety or uneasiness were noted. Students in the public sharing condition reported greater benefits to communication skills and scientific knowledge than did their peers. Students were also asked open ended questions about the benefits and downsides of creating memes.

This study has practical implications in terms of decisions about public sharing of renewable assignments. Moreover, the findings will inform theoretical understanding of open pedagogy by examining an isolated component (public sharing).

After participating in this session, attendees will be able to:
  • Understand the empirical evidence on the effects of public sharing on student motivation
  • Determine whether to open pedagogy assignments in their own courses should be publicly shared

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Virginia Clinton-Lisell

Associate Professor, University of North Dakota
Dr. Virginia Clinton-Lisell began her career in education as an ESL teacher in New York City. She then obtained her PhD in Educational Psychology with a minor in Cognitive Science at the University of Minnesota where she was trained in educational research. She has published over... Read More →

Alison Kelly

Assistant Professor, University of North Dakota

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Monday October 18, 2021 5:15pm - 5:25pm EDT
Room F