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Applying utility-value writing prompts to science education
Helping junior high and high school students remain interested in science increases the chance
that they will pursue careers in science. However, there are many different ways to trigger or
sustain interest. Utility-value writing assignments represent a type of motivation intervention that
has consistently demonstrated a positive effect on students’ interest and performance in science.
In this paper, we describe expectancy-value theory as the framework giving rise to utility-value
interventions and review evidence of the effectiveness of the intervention. Then we provide
educators with concrete steps for writing and scoring utility-value writing assignments.
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