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An Evaluation of Boredom in Academic Contexts

  • Author / Creator
    Tze, Man Chung
  • The impact of academic boredom on learning and achievement has received increasing attention in the literature because academic boredom is associated with lower academic outcomes. In this dissertation, academic boredom was examined in three separate articles. The first article presents a meta-analysis that explores the relationship between students’ academic boredom and their motivation, study strategies and behaviours, and performance. The overall results showed a significant (negative) relationship between the key variables, moderated by age. Boredom experienced in class had greater negative impact on students’ academic functioning than boredom experienced during studying. In addition, a significant differential impact of boredom on academic motivation, study strategies and behaviours, and achievement was found. The second article examines changes in academic boredom over time in a sample of 144 university students. The article a) examines the patterns of change in two types of academic boredom (learning-related and class-related) and in four types of student engagement (vigor, absorption, dedication, and effort regulation); b) examines how the trajectories of boredom and student engagement relate to one another; and c) evaluates the influence of perceived autonomy support on the pattern of change in boredom. Results of latent growth curve analysis showed that learning-related boredom, vigor, and absorption remained relatively stable over time, whereas both class-related boredom and effort regulation showed a linear change, a pattern of increase and a trend of decrease, respectively. Interestingly, students’ dedication decreased at the beginning and increased when approaching the end of the course. Results also revealed the negative impact of perceived autonomy support on class-related boredom experience, and the fact that changes in boredom in class were linked with changes in both effort regulation and dedication. The third article presents a boredom scale validation. The article investigates the validity of the English Precursors to Boredom Scales (E-PBS) in a sample of Canadian college students and examines the criterion-related evidence between the E-PBS and students’ self-efficacy for self-regulated learning (SESRL) and achievement. Findings showed that the factor structure and item loadings of the E-PBS were comparable with those found in samples from Germany, where the scale was initially validated. Results also indicated significant negative associations between SESRL and four antecedents to boredom (i.e., boredom due to being over-challenged, lack of meaning, opportunity costs, and general boredom tendency). However, only one significant negative correlation involving students’ achievement emerged; that is, the correlation between achievement and being under-challenged was significant and negative. Taken together, the three articles in the dissertation show the importance of understanding academic boredom in learning contexts. The key findings of this three-article dissertation and implications for future research are discussed in the General Discussion and Conclusion.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2015-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3538G
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Doctoral
  • Department
    • Department of Educational Psychology
  • Specialization
    • Psychological Studies in Education
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Klassen, Robert (Educational Psychology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Daniels, Lia (Educational Psychology)
    • Hall, Nathan (Educational and Counselling Psychology)
    • Wimmer, Randolph (Educational Policy Studies)
    • Rossiter, Marian (Educational Psychology)
    • Parrila, Rauno (Educational Psychology)