When Academic Technology Fails : Effects of Students' Attributions for Computing Difficulties on Emotions and Achievement
2018-11-07, Maymon, Rebecca, Hall, Nathan C., Götz, Thomas
As education experiences are increasingly mediated by technology, the present research explored how causal attributions for academic computing difficulties impacted emotions and achievement in two studies conducted with post-secondary students in North America and Germany. Study 1 (N = 1063) found ability attributions for computer problems to be emotionally maladaptive (more guilt, helplessness, anger, shame, regret, anxiety, and boredom), with strategy attributions being more emotionally adaptive (more hope, pride, and enjoyment). Study 2 (N = 788) further showed ability attributions for computer problems to predict poorer academic achievement (grade percentage) over and above effects of attributions for poor academic performance. Across studies, the effects of effort attributions for computer problems were mixed in corresponding to more negative computing-related emotions despite academic achievement benefits. Implications for future research on students’ academic computing attributions are discussed with respect to domain-specificity, intervention, and technical support considerations.
Technology, attributions, and emotions in post-secondary education : An application of Weiner's attribution theory to academic computing problems
2018, Maymon, Rebecca, Hall, Nathan C., Götz, Thomas, Chiarella, Andrew, Rahimi, Sonia
As technology becomes increasingly integrated with education, research on the relationships between students’ computing-related emotions and motivation following technological difficulties is critical to improving learning experiences. Following from Weiner’s (2010) attribution theory of achievement motivation, the present research examined relationships between causal attributions and emotions concerning academic computing difficulties in two studies. Study samples consisted of North American university students enrolled in both traditional and online universities (total N = 559) who responded to either hypothetical scenarios or experimental manipulations involving technological challenges experienced in academic settings. Findings from Study 1 showed stable and external attributions to be emotionally maladaptive (more helplessness, boredom, guilt), particularly in response to unexpected computing problems. Additionally, Study 2 found stable attributions for unexpected problems to predict more anxiety for traditional students, with both external and personally controllable attributions for minor problems proving emotionally beneficial for students in online degree programs (more hope, less anxiety). Overall, hypothesized negative effects of stable attributions were observed across both studies, with mixed results for personally controllable attributions and unanticipated emotional benefits of external attributions for academic computing problems warranting further study.