Case Study of a Learner
The learner’s feelings towards group work, need for cognition, self efficacy, anticompetitive awareness and the study process questionnaires show a strong link to the learner’s childhood and how they learn today.
The learner had medium to high scores In their feelings towards group work and the need for cognition questionnaire which relates directly to the learner’s family situation.
This is also evident in the self efficacy and anticompetitive awareness questionnaires, where the learner reported high scores, indicating that the learner is confident in their own abilities and that anxiety or self doubt is not a problem for them. This is also reflected in the results the learner achieved in the study process questionnaire, with the learner feeling competitive towards their results thus interpreting good grades as winning and bad as losing.
The learner’s feelings towards group work and their need for cognition suggests that although the learner did not score very highly In reference to enjoying group work, they still feel more comfortable when working In a group environment than individually. This may be due to the learner’s history of participating In team sports s well as coming from a large family of seven boys. This could also explain why the learner scored low in regards to distress in group work and individual work, preferring the team aspect of group environment.
The learner’s preference for group work is reflected in their high score obtained in the need for cognition questionnaire which also reflects the theory by Cantle & Andrews that a high score in need for cognition relates to the often difficult and complex task associated with group work with the learner feeling comfortable with their ability to present their ideas and information to the group (Cantle & Andrews, 2002).
The learner enjoys complex and difficult tasks, gaining satisfaction when a challenging and mentally stimulating task Is completed. The learner relates their high need for cognition with their past and current situation, enjoying and exceeding In subjects at high school such as Math, History and English, which involve a multitude of differing skills in the intellectual thought process. The learner currently studies History in a Bachelor of Education/Arts degree. Which requires a high need of cognition to be successful in the course.
The feelings towards the self efficacy and anticompetitive awareness questionnaires suggest that the learner prefers tasks that require the search for deeper meaning, the learner has belief In their own capabilities to learn and therefore is able to plan and achieve their learning goals and tasks related to the subject.
The learner scored highly In both the self efficacy and anticompetitive awareness questionnaires Indicating that they would persist with any difficult task until completed and would not give up until satisfied that the task Is done to the best of their ability.
Although he learner was not in the highest level classes at school, as a high scorer in both the methodological awareness Ana sell menace quaternaries ten learner still canceled high grades, which reflects the learner’s persistence and belief in their own ability O©t, Usher & Pressure, 2011). Through their scores the learner showed low levels of anxiety when it came to being in new learning environments and needing to self motivate and regulate their own learning.
This is evident in their current situation at university as the learner has not studied since leaving high school ten years ago yet till believes in their capabilities to plan and achieve their goals as a learner at a tertiary level. This relates to Joe©t, Usher & Pressure who believes that certain learners in certain emotional and physiological states such as stress and anxiety relate this as an indicator to their learning capabilities O©t, Usher & Pressure, 2011).
The study process questionnaire (Biggs, 1987) suggests that the learner, with medium to high scores in all of the scale indicators is motivated more by a deep and achievement approach to learning than by a surface approach.
The learner is highly competitive and sees failure or success as their main motivations so therefore prefers to gain a more personal and deeper understanding of the subject in order to succeed. The learner’s higher scores in the deep and achievement based approaches to learning can be related to the learner’s childhood where competition and achievement were related to popularity and success.
The learner was one of seven boys who all played sport, the learner often felt most activities were a competition, from swimming in the pool to getting the leg of lamb bone. As five of he learners brothers were older than himself, the learner often felt the need to prove themselves in school, sport and socially. This meant that the learner felt the need to live up to certain expectations set before them by older siblings, this relates back to the learner’s strong competitive streak, seeing success in learning as a necessity (Ghana & Watkins, 2001).
The learner relates scoring higher in the deep approach to learning from their interest and study in the subject of history, which involves the learner gaining a personal understanding in the subject matter, forming heir own arguments and questions.
The learner’s preference for a deeper approach to the learning according to Ghana & Watkins relates back to their high score in the need for cognition questionnaire, this is related to the learner’s life experiences including childhood, travel and work (Ghana & Watkins, 2001).
The learner’s results in the questionnaires although shaped by their childhood experiences are also related to their current situations and future goals. The learner did score highly in the anticompetitive awareness and self efficacy yet did not score hat highly in the study process or the feeling towards group work questionnaires which suggests the learner may need to change their epistemological beliefs to see them achieve greater results and fulfillment.