Participation in the community of scientific practice: - Motivational aspects of project work in large enrollment classes

Bidragets oversatte titel: Deltagelse i det naturvidenskabelige praksisfællesskab: Motivationsmæssige aspekter af projektarbejde på store hold

Nadia Dyrberg

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftPosterForskningpeer review

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With an increasing number of students enrolled at the universities every year follows a student mass that is greatly diverse. The poster presentation will introduce a concrete study element from the University of Southern Denmark that is designed to embrace several aspects of students’ motivation as well as their diversity and plurality.
The First Year Project is a mandatory project at the end of first year at the Science Faculty, where approximately 400 students conduct a (real) research project. The students prioritise projects from a broad selection of abstracts and are assigned a project in groups of 3-6 students. With inspiration from Deci and Ryans (1985) and Eccles and Wigfields (1995) theories of motivation the objective is to create:
1) feeling of competence; the students use their knowledge to perform actual research and convey this in both a report and at a poster session
2) sense of autonomy; the students chose the subject themselves and decide the course of action,
3) sense of relatedness; by group work and relations to the supervisors and the research groups
4) positive task value; the students works with their own interests doing authentic research and in many cases make a valuable contribution to an actual research project.
In compliance with the idea of legitimate peripheral participation (Lave and Wegner, 1991), the students are invited into the world of scientific research and thereby taking the first step towards memberships of this community of practice. The project constitutes authentically research based teaching to a larger extent than teaching traditionally offers.
Results from an exploratory pilot study of the motivational aspects of the First Year Project will be presented. With the focus described above a questionnaire has been constructed to reveal development potentials before a thorough evaluation of the fulfilment of the motivational objectives is completed in 2015. For statistical analyses, indexes of the feeling of competence, autonomy, relatedness and task value will be created. This will be supplemented with qualitative comments.
Preliminary results suggest that the students are excited to work with a project of their own choice and interest, proud to present their result at the poster session and that the relation with the supervisor is critical to the feeling of being a part of and gaining insight into the world of scientific research.
Bidragets oversatte titelDeltagelse i det naturvidenskabelige praksisfællesskab: Motivationsmæssige aspekter af projektarbejde på store hold
Publikationsdato9. dec. 2014
StatusUdgivet - 9. dec. 2014
BegivenhedSRHE Annual Research - Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales, Newport, Storbritannien
Varighed: 10. dec. 201412. dec. 2014


KonferenceSRHE Annual Research
LokationCeltic Manor, Newport, Wales


  • Motivation
  • Projektbaseret undervisning
  • Praksisfællesskaber