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.