Epistemological beliefs are individual perceptions about the nature and scope of knowledge. Research indicates that these beliefs are part of the cognitive process of learning and may directly impact self-regulation and monitoring. Epistemological beliefs may also affect the depth to which individuals learn as well as the learning strategies they employ. However, researchers have not shared their findings with students and most students are unaware of the epistemological beliefs they hold. Teaching students about their own beliefs in developmental education and learning-to-learn courses can help students move toward more mature epistemological stances. Instructional plans, including an epistemological beliefs assessment for students are discussed. Additionally, suggestions for helping students moved toward more sophisticated epistemological stances are presented.
In this paper, the authors surveyed the mathematical abilities of developmental students in an engineering department using 3 test forms: PISA, TIMSS, and a placement test. The abilities were compared by the types of entrance examinations that were chosen by the students. As for the results, in terms of mathematical abilities, the students who used recommendation tests and Admission Office (AO) tests generally fared worse than those who used general examination tests. This was particularly remarkable in PISA items. Therefore, developmental programs including those that apply mathematics to daily life and more mathematical reading are needed.
In this paper, the author has described a research methodology for college course improvement, and applied the results to education course classes. Generally speaking, it is quite hard to carry out research on college course improvements, because faculties cannot introduce experimental design approaches based on control and treatment groups of real students in real settings. Under the situation, however, the author followed a Design Based Research (DBR) approach proposed by Reeves and other researchers, revising the DBR to apply to college course levels with special conditions. The revised DBR was applied to both "Instructional Methodology" and "Educational Technology" that are compulsory in the teacher-training course. Resulting in the clarification of effective and ineffective instructional activities, which were then classified into common activities seen in both courses, and particular activities seen in only one course, respectively. The author concludes that this revised DBR is a practical and powerful method for improving regular college courses.
In this paper, we report an instance in which frequent training in Japanese composition helped students improve their proficiency in writing short reports, which were submitted as part of one of our liberal education courses. The improvements were verified by comparing evaluations of the short reports submitted in a spring semester class and a fall semester class. It is thought that the improvements were due to the fact that students who attended the fall semester class had finished their training in Japanese composition while those who attended the spring semester class had not. Several points of our training system are considered to be related to the improvements. Those are the frequency of training, the clearness of the training goals, and the implementation of a graded class system.
This article describes an action research of first-year Japanese students at university on their listening exercises in the TOEIC class. The students' motivation for listening was so low that they did not want to attempt the task. Therefore to increase their motivation, the author brought English songs as preparation for the listening exercises in class. It was quite a unique and enjoyable approach to the less motivated students and they were keen to listen to it. As a result, subsequently, they actively participated in the listening exercises. Moreover, they were less anxious about listening to English.