Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Research Participation Improves Student's Exam Performance

Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Research Participation Improves Student's Exam Performance

Article excerpt

Although there have been several attempts to explore for beneficial effects of research participation in social sciences, most of them have mainly explored satisfaction and students learning perceptions (e.g., Bowman & Waite, 2003). Very few works have studied learning by measuring exam performance. Moreover, participation has been usually conceptualized as a mixture of active and passive participation, including in the same measure different practices such as filling up questionnaires, running experiments or reading and answering questions about a journal article or a scientific conference. The present work tries to determine if there is an advantage due to research participation comparing exam performance, satisfaction and perceived learning of the matter Research Methods in Psychology, in three different groups (non-participating, passive and active participating). As we can see in the results, the mere participation benefits exam performance. Results are discussed in terms of the use of research participation as a new powerful active method in education.

Keywords: research participation, exam performance, satisfaction, perceived learning, active and passive participation.

Aunque ha habido varios intentos por estudiar los posibles efectos beneficiosos de la participación en investigaciones en ciencias sociales, la mayoría de ellos han estudiado la satisfacción y la percepción de aprendizaje de los alumnos (e.g., Bowman & Waite, 2003), y muy pocos trabajos han tomado medidas del rendimiento en los exámenes. Además, la participación ha sido habitualmente conceptualizada como una mezcla entre participación activa y pasiva, incluyendo en la misma medida prácticas muy distintas tales como rellenar cuestionarios, pasar experimentos o leer y responder a una serie de cuestiones sobre un artículo o una conferencia científica. El presente trabajo pretende determinar si existe beneficio en el rendimiento en un examen, la satisfacción y el aprendizaje percibido por los alumnos en la materia de Métodos de investigación en psicología, en tres grupos distintos (grupo de no participación, participación pasiva y participación activa) gracias a la participación en una investigación en psicología. Como se puede ver en los resultados, la mera participación beneficia la ejecución en el examen. Los resultados son discutidos en términos del uso de la participación de nuestros estudiantes en investigaciones, como un nuevo y potente método activo de educación.

Palabras clave: participación en investigaciones, rendimiento en exámenes, satisfacción, aprendizaje percibido, participación activa y pasiva.

One of the most relevant issues discussed in teaching of any social science is the implication of participation of students in researches (King, 1970). In those sciences that require the collaboration of people to investigate certain human issues (psychology, sociology, economy, teaching...), there is a wide acceptance of using student pools in order to easily get a human sample for doing research. There have been a few attempts to study if research participation of students is a good way to improve their learning during the degree. Most of them have been centered on satisfaction and perceptions of the students about the valuable learning experience of participating in research. Despite a few exceptions (e.g., Coulter, 1986; Miller, 1981), researchers have found that students perceive participation as a good learning experience (Bowman & Waite, 2003; Briton, 1979; Darling, Goedert, Ceynar, Shore, & Anderson, 2007; Landrum & Chastain, 1995; Rosell et al., 2005; Trafimow, Madson, & Gwizdowski, 2006). However, it seems to remain unclear if research participation of students gives them any improvement of their learning or training in the skills they need to successfully finish the degree.

Being student pool so important in order to get participants for research at the university, there has been a research field that has focused its interest in the study of those factors that contribute to an educational and satisfying experience in research participation. …

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