Everything right or nothing wrong? Regulatory fit effects in an e-learning context

Janson, Marc Philipp ; Siebert, Jan ; Dickhäuser, Oliver

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-022-09733-3
URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11218-0...
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-638920
Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2023
The title of a journal, publication series: Social Psychology of Education
Volume: 26
Issue number: 1
Page range: 107-139
Place of publication: Dordrecht
Publishing house: Springer
ISSN: 1381-2890, 1573-1928
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Social Sciences > Pädagogische Psychologie (Dickhäuser 2008-)
Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences- CDSS (Social Sciences)
Pre-existing license: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Subject: 150 Psychology
370 Education
Abstract: Abstract Feedback is a key factor in helping individuals to self-regulate their learning behavior. Informative feedback, as a very basic form of feedback informing learners about the correctness of their answers, can be framed in different ways emphasizing either what was correct or what must be improved. The regulatory focus theory describes different strategic orientations of individuals towards goals, which may be associated with different effects of different informative feedback types. A promotion orientation describes the preference for approaching positive outcomes, while a prevention orientation describes the preference for avoiding negative ones. Applied to the context of informative feedback in self-regulated e-learning environments, we predict that regulatory fit, defined as the congruence of individuals’ regulatory orientations and framed feedback, positively affects learning persistence and performance. In two experiments, we assessed individuals’ regulatory orientations and experimentally varied framed feedback in samples of university students preparing for exams with an e-learning tool ( N = 182, experiment 1; N = 118, experiment 2) and observed actual learning behaviors. Using different operationalizations of regulatory-framed feedback, we found statistically significant regulatory fit effects on persistence and performance in both experiments, although some remain insignificant. In experiment 2, we additionally tested ease of processing as a mechanism for regulatory fit effects. This way, we expand the literature on regulatory fit effects and feedback on actual learning behavior and provide evidence for the benefits of adaptive learning environments. We discuss limitations, especially regarding the stability of regulatory fit, as well as future directions of research on regulatory-framed feedback.

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