An intrapersonal approach to education

We investigated sequences of learning experiences by collecting intensive longitudinal data (i.e., a “large” number of repeated measures over a relatively short period of time) to be analysed using state-of-the-art statistical methods (e.g., multilevel structural equation modelling, MSEM).

Inspired by developmental research in other fields (e.g., emotion) and available, relatively inexpensive, and user-friendly technology for data-collection (Personal Digital Assistants, PDAs), two projects were carried out.

The Learning Every Lesson (LEL) study

The aim of the Learning Every Lesson Study was to investigate how children think about themselves as learners both in specific learning situations and in general. Students in Years 5 and 6 completed the Learning Experience Questionnaire (LEQ; Malmberg, Woolgar, & Martin, in press) 15.4 times on average (SD = 4.7; Range = 2-34; nstudents = 323; nexperiences = 4,972) during a week. Students’ experiences of competence, difficulty and how much effort they exerted varied from one situation to the next (around three quarters of the variance was found within students and a quarter of the variance found between students). Using MSEM we found that higher achieving students exerted more effort when they encountered tasks they found difficult, while lower achievers did not (Malmberg, Walls, Martin, Little, & Lim, 2013).

  • Malmberg, L-E., Walls, T., Martin, A. J., Little, T. D., & Lim, W. H. T. (2013). Primary school students’ learning experiences of, and self-beliefs about competence, effort, and difficulty: Random effects models. Learning and Individual Differences, 28, 54–65.
  • Malmberg, L-E., Woolgar, C., & Martin, A. (in press). Quality of measurement of the Learning Experience Questionnaire for Personal Digital Assistants. International Journal of Quantitative Research in Education, IJQRE, 00, 000-000.

The Teaching Every Lesson (LEL) study

The TEL study was designed to investigate secondary school teachers’ situation-specific experiences of teaching. Forty-three teachers reported their mastery experiences of supporting students learning and manage their behaviour, during 1055 lessons in 385 student groups, using electronic questionnaires in Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) during a period of two weeks (Malmberg, Hagger, & Webster, in press). The findings provide new insights into teachers’ real-time experiences of their everyday practice in two UK schools.

  • Malmberg, L-E., Hagger, H., & Webster, S. (in press). Teachers’ situation-specific mastery experiences: teacher, student group and lesson effects. European Journal of Educational Psychology, 00, 000-000.