Too much to do – how workload moderates the positive association of learning goals and learning gains of university scholars

Hein, Julia ; Daumiller, Martin ; Janke, Stefan ; Dresel, Markus ; Dickhäuser, Oliver

JURE-Too much to do - Hein, Daumiller, Janke, Dresel and Dickhäuser(2018)-pdf.pdf - Published

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-471695
Document Type: Conference presentation
Year of publication: 2018
Conference title: JURE 2018, Junior Researchers of EARLI
Location of the conference venue: Antwerp, Belgium
Date of the conference: 02.-06.07.2018
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Social Sciences > Pädagogische Psychologie (Dickhäuser 2008-)
Subject: 150 Psychology
Abstract: Recently, empirical research started investigating the impact of achievement goals on professional practices of university scholars. While research on this group of teaching staff is still scarce, an achievement goal approach allows first hypotheses regarding professional learning of university scholars. A well-established tenet in achievement goal research is that learning goals elicit actual learning, even though the strength of this relation seems to vary. We investigated whether this association can be found in university scholars as well and tested a potential moderator to explain the varying strength of this association. Workload was postulated as a moderator that could reduce the impact of learning goals. We propose that university scholars with a higher workload pursue their learning goals to a lesser extent as they intent to do. A higher workload should weaken the postulated positive association of learning goals and learning gains. We investigated this moderation hypothesis for university scholars’ learning in research and teaching. In a longitudinal study, we questioned a representative sample of 705 German university scholars during two succeeding semesters. Applying structural equation models, we found a positive effect of learning goals on self-reported learning gains in both work domains. The positive association between learning goals and learning gain was moderated by workload (indicated by emotional exhaustion) only in the teaching domain. These findings demonstrate the impact of motivation (learning goals) on professional learning (learning gain) and illustrate how workload moderates this association. Pursuing learning goals and feeling less emotional exhausted at work facilitates professional learning.

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