The effect of feedback and signaling design on students’ self-efficacy and self-regulation for learning nanotechnology in an e-learning environment
According to the results from the TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) in 2011, Taiwanese eighth-grade students had high academic achievement whereas they had low efficacy in learning science. When learning the topics related to emerging technologies, most students revealed misconceptions. For example, most students perceived the concept of nano as a form of the substance instead of a unit of measure. E-learning instruction has become a promising trend in recent years. Although multimedia teaching materials can enhance learners’ motivation, they may distract learners from the process and in turn result in learners’ cognitive overload or cause boredom. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of feedback and signaling design on students’ academic achievement, self-efficacy and self-regulation for learning nanotechnology in an e-learning environment. Participants were 95 junior high school students in northern Taiwan, randomly assigned to either the control group or one of the three experimental groups. The analysis of ANCOVA and t-test were conducted in order to compare the differences in learning outcomes among difference e-learning designs. The results showed that in general, there were no signigicant differences in students’ academic achievement, self-efficacy, and self-regulation for learning nanotechnology. However, comparing students’ learning outcome between pre- and pro-test, it was found that students’ performance from three of the four groups became significantly higher after using the e-learning material. In addition, both high and low performing stuedents improved significantly after using the e-learning material with signaling, feedback or without signaling, only high performing students were improved significantly after using the e-learning materials without feedback. Lastly, students with high self-regulation had significantly higher self-efficacy for learning nanotechnology than those with low self-regulation in an e-learning environment with both feedback and signaling designs. Recommendations for future studies related to e-learning course design and instructions were also provided.