Teaching Postdoctoral Scholar North Carolina State University
Jacob Dums (North Carolina State University)| Arnab Sengupta (North Carolina State University)| Melissa Srougi (North Carolina State University)
Students’ self-beliefs about their intelligence can have significant effects on academic achievement and other outcomes. Growth-minded intervention efforts by teachers and parents have been shown to increase student academic engagement and achievement. However, little is known about how peers’ mindsets influence one another. In this ongoing study, undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in an online molecular biotechnology course were placed in heterogeneous or homogeneous partnerships based on their mindset beliefs. Student partnerships worked collaboratively on critical thinking assignments throughout the semester online both synchronously and asynchronously. Using a mixed-methods study design, we assessed mindset, students’ self-efficacy, and academic performance. Our data suggest that regardless of partnership, students’ mindsets did not significantly change from the beginning (n=46) to the end (n=46) of the semester. However, there was an increase in self-efficacy for all students. Furthermore, students in heterogeneous partnerships (n=30) on average outperformed students in homogenous partnerships (n=16) on identical critical thinking group examinations. Collectively information gleaned from these and future studies will provide insight into the roles of peers’ mindsets on individual student learning and perceptions.