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Opportunities and barriers for tutor learning: Knowledge-building, metacognition, and motivation

Roscoe, Rod David (2008) Opportunities and barriers for tutor learning: Knowledge-building, metacognition, and motivation. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Peer tutoring is an educational intervention in which students tutor other students. An important finding from peer tutoring research is that tutors can learn by tutoring. This tutor learning effect applies across tutoring formats, student populations, and domains. Unfortunately, the average magnitude of these gains is underwhelming.This finding may arise because peer tutors do not often engage in knowledge-building activities as they teach (i.e. self-monitoring, integrating new and prior knowledge, and generating new ideas) which are associated with stronger tutor learning outcomes. Instead, peer tutors display a knowledge-telling bias by primarily summarizing the materials with little elaboration or self-monitoring.A critical goal for tutor learning research is to understand the sources of this bias. A metacognitive hypothesis is that tutors do not adequately monitor their understanding, thus preventing them from recognizing and revising comprehension failures. A motivational hypothesis is that tutors choose less productive strategies because they possess negative attitudes towards the material or tutoring task. These hypotheses were assessed using objective assessments of tutor learning, coding of tutors' behaviors at multiple grain-sizes, and self-report measures of self-efficacy and interest. Previous findings were replicated to show that reflective knowledge-building activities were associated with significantly higher post-test scores. Peer tutors also showed a clear knowledge-telling bias by primarily generating unelaborated summaries and reviews of the material, which were not associated with higher scores. Mixed support was found for the metacognitive hypothesis. Although self-monitoring was positively associated with knowledge-building, high and low-performing tutors did not differ in their overall self-monitoring, nor in specific kinds of self-monitoring statements. However, high-performing tutors' self-monitoring was more likely to occur in conjunction with elaboration of the material. Clearer support was found for the motivational hypothesis. Tutors' interest and self-efficacy were positively associated with test scores and more frequent reflective knowledge-building. Thus, peer tutors' decisions about to teach and think about the material were seemed to be influenced by their attitudes. Suggestions for designing tutoring programs to support interest and self-efficacy are discussed.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Roscoe, Rod Davidroscoe@pitt.eduROSCOE
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairChi, Michelenechi@pitt.eduCHI
Committee Member Schunn, Christianschunn@pitt.eduSCHUNN
Committee MemberSchofield, Janetschof@pitt.eduSCHOF
Committee MemberVanLehn,
Date: 29 January 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 16 August 2007
Approval Date: 29 January 2008
Submission Date: 24 August 2007
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: learning-by-teaching; metacognition; motivation; peer tutoring; self-regulated learning; verbal protocol analysis
Other ID:, etd-08242007-112406
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:01
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:49


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