Abstract




Student Perceptions of Responsibility for Their Own Learning and for Supporting Peers’ Learning in a Project-based Learning Environment

Nader Ayish
Khalifa University of Science and Technology
(nayish1@yahoo.com)

Tanju Deveci
Khalifa University of Science and Technology
(tanjudeveci@yahoo.com)


Abstract:
While a common refrain among some educators is that many young adults lack personal responsibility for learning, little empirical research exists that examines how tertiary students perceive or operationalize this construct. This research investigated how 124 freshman engineering students perceive responsibility in terms of what responsibility means, its benefits, and the factors that contribute to their own and peers’ learning. Students were surveyed in two project-based learning Communication courses. The survey sought to identify a) students’ perception of responsibility for their own learning and for supporting the learning of their peers, b) particular aspects of the courses that contribute to students’ development of responsibility, and c) the effect responsible behavior has on their own and peers’ learning. Results indicate that most students: 1) believe that they have more responsibility for their own learning than the need to support their peers’ learning; 2) can identify particular tasks and assignments that require them to be responsible for their learning; and 3) can recognize the benefits of being responsible for their own learning and for supporting their peers’ learning, but do not always operationalize this understanding. Results are discussed and recommendations are made as to how to develop students’ personal responsibility in team-based courses.






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