Promoting a culture of learning based on internal values in large undergraduate courses: The added value of technology

Ornit Sagy, Yael Kali, Masha Tsaushu, Tali Tal, Dan Zilberstein, Shimon Gepstein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


In recent years there is a growing concern regarding the quality of learning in undergraduate level education. In this study we synthesize various views about the notion of “learning culture” into one generic framework in which we describe a continuum ranging from learning driven by external values (e.g., passing a test) to internal values (e.g., the urge to learn). We use this framework to explore the effect of an intervention in three levels, which utilizes technology to gradually employ higher levels of internal values of teaching in a large-scale undergraduate Biology course. A web-based tutorial was used to enable students to study basic contents on their own, and private Wiki spaces were used to enables teams to collaboratively construct knowledge. Seventeen hundred utterances from 76 student interviews were analyzed phenomenographically. Findings indicate that: (a) the common assumption that undergraduate students typically hold external values of learning was refuted; (b) it is possible, using technology, to affect students’ learning culture towards a more internal value based culture. The framework proved as productive in exploring relationships between learning and teaching not only in the class, but also in a wider context—the culture of the institution, faculty, and individual student.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th Chais conference on instructional technologies research
Place of PublicationRa'anana
Publisherהאוניברסיטה הפתוחה
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Feb 2012


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