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Advances in Health Sciences Education

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 465–485 | Cite as

Motivation and emotion predict medical students’ attention to computer-based feedback

  • Laura M. NaismithEmail author
  • Susanne P. Lajoie
Article

Abstract

Students cannot learn from feedback unless they pay attention to it. This study investigated relationships between the personal factors of achievement goal orientations, achievement emotions, and attention to feedback in BioWorld, a computer environment for learning clinical reasoning. Novice medical students (N = 28) completed questionnaires to measure their achievement goal orientations and then thought aloud while solving three endocrinology patient cases and reviewing corresponding expert solutions. Questionnaires administered after each case measured participants’ experiences of five feedback emotions: pride, relief, joy, shame, and anger. Attention to individual text segments of the expert solutions was modelled using logistic regression and the method of generalized estimating equations. Participants did not attend to all of the feedback that was available to them. Performance-avoidance goals and shame positively predicted attention to feedback, and performance-approach goals and relief negatively predicted attention to feedback. Aspects of how the feedback was displayed also influenced participants’ attention. Findings are discussed in terms of their implications for educational theory as well as the design and use of computer learning environments in medical education.

Keywords

Achievement emotions Achievement goal orientations Attention Clinical reasoning Computer learning environments Feedback Undergraduate medical education 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was funded in part by grants awarded to Susanne P. Lajoie from McGill University and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Grant No. 410-2008-1117). Laura M. Naismith received doctoral fellowships from Richard H. Tomlinson (through McGill University) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The authors wish to acknowledge Maedeh Kazemitabar and Cynthia Psaradellis for their assistance with data collection and Robert Bracewell for his assistance with the statistical analysis.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Educational and Counselling PsychologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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