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    Students’ motivation and learning approach : cultural diversity and personality differences
    This dissertation presents two empirical studies that investigate variations in motivation, approaches to learning and academic achievement and their relations between various subgroups of students. Adopting a self-determinant perspective, the first study focussed on contextual differences whilst the second study focussed on personality differences. The sample in both studies were 401 diploma students studying at a private educational institute in Singapore.

    Study 1 examined motivational and learning differences between local and international students. Results of independent t-tests showed that there was a significantly higher level of intrinsic motivation, identified regulation, external regulation, deep learning, surface learning and academic achievement in international students. Multi-group path analysis also showed similarities and differences in the relations among perceived psychological need support, motivation, learning strategies and achievement between local and international students.

    Study 2 examined motivational and learning differences between personality types. Results of a cluster analysis indicated that students can be grouped into three personality types, namely undercontrolled, average and resilient. A one-way ANOVA showed that undercontrolled students had significantly lower level of perceived psychological needs support, identified regulation and deep learning but a higher level of amotivation than average and resilient students. Multi-group path analysis also showed similarities and differences in the relations among perceived psychological need support, motivation, learning strategies and achievement across the three personality types.

    The findings from both studies demonstrates the importance of being aware of cultural and individual differences between various subgroups of students so that the appropriate motivational and learning strategies can be applied.
      623  337
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Development and validation of a critical thinking disposition scale.
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2020) ;
    The purpose of the research study was to develop and validate a critical thinking disposition scale based on the definition provided by Ennis (1996). The research questions are: 1. What type of dispositions contribute towards critical thinking? 2. Is the critical thinking dispositional scale that is developed valid and reliable?
      374  26
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Exploring associations of positive relationships and adolescent well-being across cultures
    A recurrent dimension occurring in wellbeing models pertains to positive relationships of individuals. Yet there is little information elucidating the link between positive relationships and subjective wellbeing in different cultures. Thus, the aims of this paper were (1) to examine whether there is an association between positive relationships and adolescent wellbeing across several culturally distinct countries and (2) explore whether the association between positive relationships and adolescent wellbeing differed for these countries along the cultural dimensions of individualism/collectivism and indulgence/restraint. Well-being measures were obtained from the large-scale assessment PISA 2018 and cultural dimensions indices were obtained. The results provide compelling evidence that positive relationships are positively associated with both affective and eudemonic wellbeing. Furthermore, there may be a greater association between positive relationships and positive affect in collectivist-indulgent countries than in collectivistic restraint countries. The study furthers our understanding of adolescent wellbeing across different cultural dimensions.
    WOS© Citations 3  74  147
  • Publication
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    A self-determination theory perspective on online lessons
    (Springer, 2023)

    As technology progresses, online learning is becoming prevalent in schools as a tool for education. Teachers can now develop their teaching content that enhances learning in both synchronous and asynchronous online environments. Teachers who implemented these learning models have had to grapple with unfamiliar challenges, such as the lack of student motivation. Although there have been past recommendations for the development and conduct of effective online lessons, very few studies have viewed it from a motivational perspective. Thus, this chapter complements these suggestions by recommending strategies based on the motivational framework of self-determination theory. Self-determination theory posits that an individual’s motivation lies along a continuum ranging from amotivation to extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation. For a student to develop intrinsic motivation, the structural and interpersonal environment must be conducive to facilitate a sense of autonomy, competence and relatedness. Notably, there are sufficient differences between face-to-face and home-based learning such that additional strategies may need to be implemented. Three additional strategies that are aligned to the tenets of self-determination theory are suggested for home-based learning. As more schools embark on the practice of online learning, it is important for these strategies to be utilized and tested in the online environment.

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  • Publication
    Open Access
    Longitudinal teamwork measurement in Singapore Polytechnic: Initial steps and findings
    (2022)
    Pee, Suat Hoon
    ;
    Teamwork skill is recognised by many governments and international agencies as an essential life skill and critical competency. In Singapore, teamwork is considered as a critical core skill by Skills Future SG and is reflected in MOE framework for 21st Century Competencies and Life skills Framework. In Singapore Polytechnic (SP), teamwork skill is identified as one of our graduate attributes. To holistically foster teamwork skill development, SP embarked on a poly wide educational teamwork research project in AY20/21. In this initial phase, the focus is on the systematic measurement of teamwork skill while the long term goal is to obtain psychometrically reliable and valid teamwork measurements to facilitate the development of teamwork skill in SP. This paper presents initial steps and findings of this longitudinal teamwork project.
      70  112
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Academic resilience and test anxiety: The moderating role of achievement goals
    (2023)
    Lim, May Li
    ;
    The present study examined the associations of academic resilience and achievement goals with test anxiety, and the moderating role of achievement goals in the relation between academic resilience and test anxiety among 1632 secondary one students from eight secondary schools in Singapore. Results showed that students who reported lower levels of academic resilience also reported higher levels of cognitive test anxiety, and those who reported higher levels of avoidance-goal endorsement reported higher levels of cognitive test anxiety. Importantly, the relationship between academic resilience and test anxiety was moderated by avoidance-based goals endorsement level. Specifically, this relationship was stronger for those who endorsed higher levels of avoidance-based goals. Approach-based achievement goals did not significantly interact with academic resilience to influence test anxiety. Implications of the findings are discussed.
      67  314
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Using the Rasch model to examine pre-service teachers approach to learning profiles
    Examining the manner in which learning is organized for educators is an important aspect of educational research. However, one main overarching methodological concern with previous studies was the consistent treatment of Likert scales as an interval type data, that may have resulted in slight inaccuracies in the results. This study thus aims to introduce an alternative method using a Rasch model that may be more suitable to understand the learning profiles of educators. Participants were 352 students (106 male, 246 female) enrolled in a postgraduate program in education. The theoretical framework was based on deep and surface learning approaches and was measured using the instrument RASI. The measurement tool was first validated using the Rasch Rating Scale model and the ability measures of deep learning and surface learning for each student were computed. Analysis indicated that the data was an excellent fit for the Rasch model and that the categories for all items were clearly ordered. Both of the subscales captured most of the spread of person measures. Subsequently, a person-orientated approach was used on the ability measures to categorize the pre-service teachers. The cluster analysis on these ability measures indicated that four groups of students differing in their levels of deep and surface approach to learning were obtained, namely D+/S−, D+/S+, D/S−, and D−/S. Comparisons across clusters for age and gender showed that students with a high deep and low surface approach were significantly older than others. In summary, the present study has demonstrated an alternative method of cluster analysis to identify different learning profiles, by transforming ordinal survey data to an interval level data.
      53  29
  • Publication
    Embargo
    Modifying the PERMA profiler to assess student well-being
    Student well-being is inexorably bound to modern educational systems and schools have an inherent responsibility to examine student well-being. It is vital that schools have at their disposal a valid and reliable measurement tool to assess student well-being. A popular conceptual framework of well-being is the PERMA model (positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and a sense of accomplishment). The PERMA-Profiler is a scale that focuses exclusively on measuring these factors. However, results from previous validation studies have been mixed with issues arising from items on engagement and its model structure. Thus, the aims of the present study were to (1) modify the PERMA-Profiler to assess student well-being in secondary schools, and (2) evaluate the psychometric properties of the modified PERMA-Profiler. Study one included focus group discussions with 5 teachers and 20 students, followed by a preliminary trial to 387 secondary one (year 7 equivalent) students (194 boys, 193 girls). Several items were modified after analysing the results from study one. Study 2 aimed to validate the amended questionnaire by extending its administration to 3788 secondary one students (2202 boys, 1586 girls) over 17 schools. Results indicated that the questionnaire exhibited good psychometric properties, namely (a) it had excellent reliability indices of coefficient omega, (b) convergent validity was established with school satisfaction and test anxiety and (c) it demonstrated excellent fit with a five-factor model. Furthermore, there was measurement invariance between gender. The modified PERMA-Profiler shows promise as a valid and reliable measurement of student well-being in secondary schools.
    WOS© Citations 2Scopus© Citations 2  92
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Study orchestrations and motivational differences in a mathematical context
    The aims of this study are to examine the learning approach profiles, or study orchestrations, of 357 pre-university students and its relations to academic achievement and motivation. As study orchestrations are context-specific, the current research is based on the subject of mathematics. Results indicated that four types of study orchestrations emerged: high-high, high-low, high-mid and low-low in deep and surface learning. Students with a high-high and high-low study orchestration had the highest academic achievement and intrinsic motivation. The level of identified regulation differs across all clusters whereas there were no significant differences in introjection except for the low-low study orchestration. External regulation is associated mainly with surface learning. Amotivation is associated mainly with a lack of deep learning.
    WOS© Citations 3Scopus© Citations 4  406  182
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Differentiated instruction: A comparison of motivation and perceived competence between students with high and low readiness levels
    (2022)
    Wong, Bing Sum
    ;
    ;
    Rosmawati Ali
    ;
    Lee, Prisca
    Nowadays, differentiated instruction (DI) has become a widely discussed topic in many schools and educational institutes. However, whilst the notion of DI is not new, studies on the effectiveness of DI with respect to student outcomes remain relatively unclear. This may be due partly to the operationalization of DI as well as the narrow focus of many studies on academic performance, thus neglecting other pertinent student outcomes. To address this, the current study aims to examine the impact of a specific DI strategy, namely differentiating according to readiness level and student interest, on intrinsic motivation and perceived competence. Two classes of Primary Six (Year 6 equivalent) students participated in the study, of which one class was pre-classified as high readiness, whilst the other class was pre-classified as low readiness. The research design followed a quasi-experimental single group pre–post-test design and took place in English language classes over a period of five lessons. Results indicated that there was an increase in the level of students’ intrinsic motivation and perceived competence in both classes. However, there were no differences in the impact between students with high and low readiness levels. This study demonstrates the effectiveness of a specific DI strategy on intrinsic motivation and perceived competence.
    WOS© Citations 2Scopus© Citations 2  71