Does Using Structured Learning Diaries Affect Self-regulation or Study Engagement? An Experimental Study in Engineering Education

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Previous research suggests that structured learning diaries can increase students’ self-regulation skills. However, learning diaries also imply great effort for students, and more research is needed to understand the effect of diaries on students’ motivation and engagement. In the current study, we investigate whether our approach of using
curricular concept maps as structured learning diaries has an effect on students’ self-regulation or study engagement. 104 first-year engineering master’s students were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The structured learning diary
using a digital tool was a compulsory weekly assignment for the experimental group. Both groups completed pre- and posttest questionnaires on self-regulation and study engagement. Using Repeated Measures ANOVA, we did not find statistically
significant differences between the experimental and the control groups in self-regulation or study engagement. However, with a more fine-grained grouping based on diary usage, we found a statistically significant decrease in passive diary users’ dedication (part of study engagement). Our results indicate that making students actively use reflection tools such as structured learning diaries remains a challenge. Moreover, such an intensive intervention may even have negative effects on study engagement for students who do not actively use the tool.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE 2020), Uppsala, 2020
Number of pages9
Place of Publication[S.l]
Publication date24 Oct 2020
ISBN (Print)978-1-7281-8962-8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-8961-1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2020
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventIEEE Frontiers in Education Conference - Uppsala, Sweden
Duration: 21 Oct 202024 Oct 2020
Conference number: 50

Publication series

NameFrontiers in Education Conference : Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0190-5848
ISSN (Electronic)2377-634X

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences

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