IMPACT OF BUSINESS MANAGEMENT STUDENTS' COGNITIVE PROFILE ON NEW TEACHING-LEARNING TOOLS
Universidad de Valladolid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Education is not only a transfer of knowledge to receptive and preferably empty individuals. It must also inspire students to think critically in an inquiring and challenging manner and to design learning experiences which include learning to reach conclusions with others. The challenge is to create new ways of educating students (such as, discussion forums, arts based training or outdoor training). These new ways involve cultivating more open options of relating to people and to the tasks of management.
Although students enroll in courses for a variety of reasons, teachers can intentionally design learning environments to foster student’s motivation. Academic motivation is important because motivated students tend to engage in activities that help them to learn and achieve highly in academic settings. Many motivation theories make distinctions between motivated behavior and not motivated behavior. Motivated behavior can be further divided into two motivating factors: intrinsic motivation (when behaviors are done to enjoy the activity itself) and extrinsic motivation (when behaviors are done to achieve a goal or reward beyond the activity itself). There is not motivated behavior when individuals do not perceive any reward for their behavior. Several researchers have suggested that personality factors are related to motivation and have great implications for how students learn academic material.
Many training and development methodologies are based on a cognitive approach to learning. We use a socio-cognitive theoretical framework that specifics that students have psychological needs, that characteristics of the social environment affect how these needs are met, and that satisfying these needs affect their perceptions and behaviors.
Perception refers to the process through which an individual forms an image of the surrounding reality, in other words the cognitive representation deriving from the individual’s interpretative process. Said perception process is subjected to the influence of a range of differing aspects, including individuals’ personal characteristics and particularly their cognitive properties or cognitive profile. The latter refers to the set of individual qualities linked to the various forms of thought and behaviour. It specifically refers to the knowledge structures and mental models used by individuals to make evaluations or judgements and to take decisions. In essence, it coincides with what is on occasions known as the “cognitive scheme” and it is defined as the rules governing the processing of information, guiding individuals’ attention and memory towards consistent schemes, filling information voids. Having established the impact of cognitive profile on the perception process, the difficulty lies in reflecting this profile in concrete variables. Of the different variables to appear in the literature, three figure most prominently: cognitive style, tolerance to ambiguity and proactivity.
In order to study the impact of cognitive profile of management students in the new ways for teaching-learning, we use the information provided through a questionnaire by second and third year students of the degree in Business Administration in our University. These students were given the opportunity to participate in new ways for teaching and learning. Some of them participated, but others did not. Then we are interested in knowing whether different responses from students may be due to differences in their cognitive profiles.
Keywords: Cognitive profile, new ways for teaching-learning, motivation.