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Editorial: Cultivating a culture of experimentation in higher-education teaching and learning: Evaluation of recent experiences and transfer to the new-normal Thematic Introduction

2021-10 , Kordts, Robert , Wagner, Dietrich , Sidler, Claudio , Tinsner-Fuchs, Karen , Dilger, Bernadette , Brahm, Taiga , Kordts, Robert , Wagner, Dietrich , Sidler, Claudio , Tinsner-Fuchs, Karen , Dilger, Bernadette , Brahm, Taiga

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The self-fulfilling prophecy of fear of academic failure

2015-08-25 , Brahm, Taiga , Jenert, Tobias , Wagner, Dietrich

Academic success in Higher Education is influenced by a number of different factors. This paper tackles the question if the individual levels of motivation, anxiety, enjoyment and self-efficacy, measured immediately before entering university, influence the probability of academic success. Former studies have shown an influence of the high school grade, the learning environment and motivational variables. They do not investigate, however, the individual levels of the mentioned constructs before the beginning of the studies. This research was conducted at the University of St. Gallen/Switzerland. The sample includes 695 first-year students who provided information about the individual level of the mentioned constructs. Descriptive statistics show that on average the students are highly motivated, have a high level of self-efficacy and are looking forward to their studies before their beginning. Yet, there are students who have a high level of fear of failure in the study in spite of their high motivation and self-efficacy. A logistic regression shows that there is a significant effect of fear of failure on the probability of study success. This paper shows that fear of failure can increase the probability of academic failure and thus become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It confirms fear as an important factor for academic success. Furthermore, other important factors for academic success, for example the high school grade, could be confirmed in this study.

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The crucial first year: a longitudinal study of students’ motivational development at a Swiss Business School

2016-03 , Brahm, Taiga , Jenert, Tobias Johannes , Wagner, Dietrich

In Switzerland, every student graduating from grammar school can begin to study at a university. This leads to high dropout rates. Although students’ motivation is considered a strong predictor of performance, the development of motivation during students’ transition from high school to university has rarely been investigated. Additionally, little is known about the relation of motivational aspects with other influences on study performance. The present longitudinal study addresses this research gap and examines the development of economics and management students’ study motivation. It encompasses four waves of data collected throughout the first year, using quantitative online surveys. In total, the sample consists of 820 students. Data is analysed using latent change modelling. Results indicate that students start at a higher level of intrinsic motivation compared to extrinsic motivation. The variability of the starting value of the two constructs is also differing. The analysis also shows a gradual decline in students’ motivation. Above all, the transition from secondary to higher education seems to be a driver for this decline.

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A person-centred approach to students' transition into Higher Education

2015-08-25 , Brahm, Taiga , Wagner, Dietrich , Jenert, Tobias

A highly selective first study phase in many Swiss study programs leads to a rather competitive climate among students. However, the atmosphere at the university is an important factor for students' transition into Higher Education. An important question in this context is whether students' are equipped with different dispositions influencing how they cope with this transition. Other research has already shown that different groups of students can be identified regarding their student behavior. Yet, so far little is known about patterns of variables characterizing students, transitioning successfully. The paper takes advantage of a person-centered approach, i.e. the latent-class analysis, which makes it possible to identify groups of individuals, sharing common attributes. The research was conducted as a longitudinal study during their first year at a Swiss university. The return rate was about 67%, with 820 utilizable questionnaires at t1. Based on the analysis of students' anxiety, intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy, three distinct classes of students could be identified. The first class can be called the "highly motivated and self-confident" students. The second class is characterized by the same pattern, however, on a more intermediate level and the last class can be described as the "least motivated and most anxious" group of students. This study contributes to research and theory on students' transition into higher education and could be a first hint that students' experiences of this transition can vary substantially.

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Development and validation of the Reflection in Business Education Questionnaire (RIBEQ)

2017-08-30 , Gommers, Luci , Jenert, Tobias Johannes , Brahm, Taiga , Wagner, Dietrich

Student reflection is considered both a crucial feature of high-quality learning as well as an important objective in Higher Education. Despite its apparent relevance for educational practice, most of the research on reflection remains at a conceptual level (Boud & Walker, 1998; Mann, Gordon & MacLeod, 2007), whilst empirical research mainly focuses on measuring students’ reflection levels. Regarding the effectiveness of specific interventions (e.g. portfolios) to develop reflective skills, there is little empirical evidence going beyond case studies and qualitative accounts. Thus, the purpose of this research was to develop and validate an instrument for measuring student reflection in Higher Education in general and business schools in particular. The questionnaire is designed to measure students’ reflection in three dimensions: students’ reflection levels, their attitudes towards reflection, and supporting and hindering factors influencing students’ reflection processes. A pre-test was conducted at two different universities in Switzerland and Germany to validate the Reflection in Business Education Questionnaire (RIBEQ). In total, 64 students filled in the survey. Exploratory factor analyses and reliability tests showed satisfactory psychometric qualities of the RIBEQ. This study can support further research on student reflection and its development. Also, the questionnaire can be used as a diagnostic instrument for business schools to trace students’ development over time. From a practical point of view, it can also be applied to identify supporting and hindering factors at a particular higher education institution in order to develop practical interventions targeting these factors.

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Educating reflective managers: Why everybody wants and nobody likes it

2017-01-30 , Wagner, Dietrich , Jenert, Tobias Johannes , Brahm, Taiga , Gommers, Luci