Tuike Iiskala

Interaction of metacognitive regulation. Motivation, affective control and conceptual change in collaborative science learning

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Traditionally metacognitive regulation and conceptual change have been studied in an individual learning focusing on cognitive aspects. However, findings of previous research suggest that motivation and affect may play a crucial role in metacognitive regulation and conceptual change. Furthermore, there is a rapid accumulation of empirical support for the value of focusing on the group to understand the characteristics of productive collaborative learning. Therefore, the first aim of this research is to deepen the understanding of the interaction between metacognitive regulation, motivation, affective control and conceptual change during the collaborative science learning process. The second aim is to explore the relationship between the process and the product of collaborative science learning. That is, to explore if the quality of the learning product in terms of science conceptual understanding, can be explained in relation to metacognitive regulation, motivation, affective control and conceptual change and their interaction during the process.
This research is based on two international and multidisciplinary projects. The Finnish
research project is funded by the Academy of Finland awarded to Prof. Marja Vauras. High
school students (1st and 2nd graders) collaborate in triads in studying ecology of Baltic Sea
using a Virtual Laboratory. The aim is for students to be able to metacognitively regulate their
learning process and combine chemistry, biology, mathematics and statistics to achieve
conceptual understanding and conceptual change through collaborative learning. The
Australian project is funded by the Australian Research Council awarded to Prof. Simone
Volet. In that project, future primary teachers’ (1st year B Ed students) productive engagement
in inquiry-based science as learners are investigated. Students work in small groups of 3-4
students during science activities in chemistry, physics and earth science.
In both research projects, small groups’ collaborative science learning processes are
videotaped and an extensive range of rigorous tests are used. Pre-test–post-test–delayed test
design is used. Analyses of conceptual change acknowledging metaconceptual awareness,
metacognitive regulation, motivation and affective control are in the core. Data is analysed
both quantitatively and qualitatively. Multiple statistical methods (e.g. multilevel analysis) will
be applied. To power the analysis of collaborative science learning processes in a rigorous way,
modern analytic tools are used, such as The Observer XT, State space grid and Dynamic
Karnaugh Map Analysis.


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