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When Academic Technology Fails: Effects of Students’ Attributions for Computing Difficulties on Emotions and Achievement

1
Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 1Y2, Canada
2
Department of Empirical Educational Research, University of Konstanz, D-78475 Konstanz, Germany
3
Department of Empirical Educational Research, Thurgau University of Teacher Education, CH-8280 Thurgau, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(11), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7110223
Received: 19 September 2018 / Revised: 10 October 2018 / Accepted: 1 November 2018 / Published: 7 November 2018
As education experiences are increasingly mediated by technology, the present research explored how causal attributions for academic computing difficulties impacted emotions and achievement in two studies conducted with post-secondary students in North America and Germany. Study 1 (N = 1063) found ability attributions for computer problems to be emotionally maladaptive (more guilt, helplessness, anger, shame, regret, anxiety, and boredom), with strategy attributions being more emotionally adaptive (more hope, pride, and enjoyment). Study 2 (N = 788) further showed ability attributions for computer problems to predict poorer academic achievement (grade percentage) over and above effects of attributions for poor academic performance. Across studies, the effects of effort attributions for computer problems were mixed in corresponding to more negative computing-related emotions despite academic achievement benefits. Implications for future research on students’ academic computing attributions are discussed with respect to domain-specificity, intervention, and technical support considerations. View Full-Text
Keywords: academic computing; motivation; emotions; academic achievement; post-secondary education; technology; computer problems academic computing; motivation; emotions; academic achievement; post-secondary education; technology; computer problems
MDPI and ACS Style

Maymon, R.; Hall, N.C.; Goetz, T. When Academic Technology Fails: Effects of Students’ Attributions for Computing Difficulties on Emotions and Achievement. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 223.

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