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Aubry, James M.
Motivation and instructor's self-disclosure using Facebook in a French online course context
h [electronic resource] /
by James M. Aubry.
[Tampa, Fla] :
b University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 121 pages.
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic dissertation) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: This dissertation investigated the effects of instructor's self-disclosure using the Facebook social networking online platform on students' motivation types, attitudes, and performance in the course. The participants were 104 beginning French students enrolled in an online French course at a research one university in the southeast U.S. The participants were divided into a Facebook group, where they could access the instructor's Facebook profile throughout the semester, and a control group. Demographic data about the participants were gathered through a background questionnaire. Two instruments were used for determining respectively the types of motivation exhibited by students and their attitudes toward the course and its instructor. An open-ended exit questionnaire provided qualitative data about the participants' experience in the study. The results indicated that participants in the Facebook group experienced a significant shift in motivation type that research has determined as being beneficial for language learning. No such shift occurred in students assigned to the control group. However, there was no significant difference in attitudes toward the course and its instructor between the two groups. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in performance between the two groups. Qualitative data suggests that participants in the Facebook group were more inclined to relate with the instructor whereas participants assigned to the control group were more hermetic to the idea of instructor's self-disclosure through Facebook.
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Co-advisor: Camilla Vasquez, Ph.D.
Co-advisor: Wei Zhu, Ph.D.
x Secondary Education
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Motivation And Disclosure Using Facebook In A French Online Course Context by James M. Aubry A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Secondary Education College of Education And Department of World Language s College of A rts and Sciences University of South Florida Co Major Professor: Camilla Vasquez, Ph.D. Co Major Professor: Wei Zhu Ph.D. Jeffrey Kromrey, Ph.D. Roberta Tucker, Ph.D. Date of Approval: July 10, 2009 Keywords: a ttitude, affect, online language learning, computer mediated communication, self determination theory Copyright 2009 James M. Aubry
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my major professors; Dr. Camilla Vsquez for her guidance, expertise, understanding, and encouragements and Dr Wei Zhu for her incomparable insights and patience I will always be grateful for the many hours devoted to reading and responding to my numerous drafts and for the support and guidance provided to me in this endeavor. I would also like to thank the members of my committee ; Dr. Roberta Tucker for her unwavering support throughout the years and Dr. J effrey Kromrey for his wisdom and accessibility when providing feedback on statistical analysis. I have also greatly benefited from the support of other faculty members in the Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technology program. I would like to particularly thank Dr. Carine Feyten, Dr. Jeffra Flaitz, and Dr. Marcella Van Olphen for their instruction and guidance. My deepest appreciation also goes to my friends and colleagues for their encouragements and expertise. I owe a great deal to Raymon d Cepko for his willingness to read and discuss multiple drafts of my dissertation. I also would like to thank Cdric Michel for his help resolving technological issues I encountered while carrying out this study.
Finally, I would like to thank my family members in Fr ance: My parents Alain and Marie, f or their faith in me; my grand mother Lucie for her support and multiple phone calls; m y brother Samuel, his wife Marie Lise, and my nephew Alan for always listening to me and cheering my accomplishments. La st but not least, I would like to especially thank my fiance Vanessa Lieberz for her unconditional support and love.
i TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF TABLES v LIST OF FIGURES v i ABSTRACT vii CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION General Introduction to the Study 1 Background of the Study 3 Purpose of the Study 6 Research Questions 7 Delimitations of the S tudy 8 Definition of Terms 9 CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Introduction 11 Individual Differences 12 Motivation 13 The Socio Psychological Period 14 The Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) 16 heory 17
ii The Cognitive Situated Period 18 Self Determination Theory 19 Task Motivation 22 Th e Process Oriented Period 23 The Drnyei and Ott model 24 Current T rends in SLA M otivation Research 26 Demogr aphic Variables 27 Online Language Learning 29 ther Factors affecting Online L earning 29 Computer Mediated Communication 32 Facebook 32 Summary 34 CHAPTER III METHODS AND PROCEDURES Introduction 3 5 Setting 37 P articipants 38 Procedures 39 Meas ures and Instrumentation 41 Variables 41 Extraneous Variables 44 Instruments 44 Backgr ound Questionnaire 45 Pretest 45 Academic Motivation Scale 45 Facebook Profile 47
iii Posttest 49 Academic Motivation Scale 49 Measure of Affect toward the Course and the Teacher 50 Open ended Facebook Questions 50 Grades 51 Data Analysis 51 CHAPTER IV RESULTS Introduction 55 General Overview of the P rocedures 55 Descriptive Statistics 57 Background Questionnaire 57 Resu lts by Research Questions 62 Question 1 62 Question 2 65 Question 3 67 Question 4 77 Summary of Findings 79 CHAPTER V DISCUSSION I nterpretation of Results 8 1 Disclosure on Motivation T ypes 8 1 Disclosure on Attitudes towards the C ourse and its I nstructor 82 Disclos ure on P erformance 85 Interpretati on of Qualitative Data 90
iv Theoretical Implications and Limitations 92 Pedag ogical Implications 94 Direction s for Future R esearch 95 Conclusions 96 REFERENCES 97 APPENDICES 10 7 Appendix A: Background Questionnaire 10 8 Appendix B: Academic Motivation Scale 1 1 0 Appendix C: 11 5 Appendix D: Sa mple of a Facebook Profile 11 6 Appendix E: Measure of Affect toward the Course and the Teacher 11 8 Appendix F: Open Ended Facebook Questions 12 1 Facebook Group 12 1 Control Group 12 1 ABOUT THE AUTHOR End P age
v LIST OF TABLES Table 3.1 Motivation Types Distribution 52 Table 4.1 Descriptive Statistics of the N umber of Months U sers had had a Facebook A ccount 60 Table 4.2 Cross Tabulation of the Results of the Academic Motivation Scale for the Facebook Group 64 Table 4.3 Cross Tabulation of the Results of the Academic Motivation Scale for the Control Group 64 Table 4.4 Mean Att itude Scores for the Facebook Group and the Control Group 66 Table 4.5 Final Grade Computation 77 Table 4.6 Descriptiv e Statistics of Final Grades for the Facebook Group and the Control Group 7 8 Table 5.1 Descriptive Statistics of Mean Total Attitudes (Total Aver 83 Table 5.2 Formula (Subscores) in the Present Study 84 Table 5.3 Letter Grade Computation for the Course 87 Table 5.4 Descriptiv e Statistics of Final Grades for the Facebook Group and the Control Group 89
vi LIST OF FIGURES Figure 2.1 Representation o odel 16 Figure 2.2 The Self Determination C ontinuum 21 Figure 3.1 Diagram of the Research 39 Figure 4.1 Age Distribution of S tudents p articipating in the S tudy 58 Figure 4.2 Distribution of Facebook and MySpace Accounts among P articipants prior to the Beginning of the Study 59 Figure 4.3 P lf Reported F requency of Use of Social Networking W ebsites 61 Figure 4.4 C ourse 62 Figure 4.5 Opinion of the Participants en rolled in the Facebook Group about their Instruc tor sharing his Information on Facebook 69 Figure 4.6 Opinion of the Participants enrolled in the Control Group about their Instruc tor sharing his Information on Facebook 69 Figure 4.7 Change o f Opinion about the Instructor after the Exposure to his Facebook Profile 73 Figure 4.8 Self Repo rted Frequency of Participants in the F acebook 76 Figure 5.1 Letter Grade Distribution for Students enrolled in the Study 87
vii DISCLOSURE USING FACEBOOK IN A FRENCH ONLINE COURSE CONTEXT James M. Aubry ABSTRACT disclosure using the Facebook social types, attitudes, and performance in the course. The participants were 104 beginning French students enrolled in an online French course at a research one university in the southeast U.S. The participants Facebook profile throughout the semester, and a control group. Demographic data about the participants were gathe red through a background questionnaire. Two instruments were used for determining respectively the types of motivation exhibited by students and their attitudes toward the course and its instructor. An open ended exit questionnaire provided qualitative dat experience in the study.
viii The results indicated that participants in the Facebook group experienced a significant shift in motivation type that research has determined as being beneficial for language learning. No such shift occur red in students assigned to the control group. However, there was no significant difference in attitudes toward the course and its instructor between the two groups. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in performance between the two groups. Qu alitative data suggests that participants in the Facebook group were more inclined to relate with the instructor whereas participants assigned to the control group were more hermetic to the idea of disclosure through Facebook.
1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION General Introduction to the Study The digital revolution, which started in the 1990s, appears in the first decade of our new century to be touching an increasing number of domains, and particularly the educational field. Most schools and universities across the country are now equipped with computers and instructors are encouraged to introduce digital media into their curricula. Language specialists, who saw it as an opportunity to introduce authentic material to the class, appear to have embraced the emergence of the digital age in particular (Rosell Aguilar, 2007) In recent years, pop culture has supplemented the digital offerings with the advent of an array of p ractices anchored in personal exposure such as podcasting, blogging, or YouTube videos to a potential worldwide audience and, by extension, to foreign language learners in need of exposure to authentic materials. These include social networking websites su ch as MySpace and Facebook which are becoming increasingly popular among college students. This phenomenon is closely associated with university life as the website Facebook was originally only accessible by those who could confirm they possessed a univer sity or college email address.
2 It will not be long before Facebook crosses over to members of college faculty as professors have started creating pages to keep in touch with their students ( Hewitt & Forte, 2006). This web application, initially intended f or students, has the potential of turning into a valuable instructional tool for teachers interested in promoting interactions with students. Social networking sites could also complement courseware packages, such as WebCT and Blackboard, that are commonl y used by instructors o f online courses. By fostering the social dimension of the teacher student relationship, Facebook and MySpace have the language course environment, which is, by nature, constr ained since students are learning t he target language in a vacuum with very limited contact with the instructor, their classmates, and the target language community. Websites such as Facebook and MySpace have the potential to increase exchanges between t eachers and students in online course environments. The use of such websites could also prove invaluable for foreign language teachers, whose teaching entails social components because of the very nature of language itself a communicative tool deeply anc context. It is also interesting to note that students who are currently enrolling in colleges have already been immersed in the digital age since their early teens. ts are fluent in the use of new media which have quickly become a part of their daily lives. The introduction of such media in the foreign language classroom can, therefore, be
3 seen as a strategic move that would link reality. The introduction of Facebook in an online foreign language class context has the potential to reshape the instructor/student relationship in this setting that has been criticized for being artificial and dull ( Caplan, 2004) In a formal in class course setting, the instructor has the opportunity to connect with the students in a variety of ways, including the release of personal information. This self disclosure on the part of the instructor has been shown to po sitively impact motivation and by extension their aptitude for learning (Gardner & Lambert, 1972). In an effort to shed some light on how technology can help bridge the gap between the self disclosure rich context of face to face courses and the self disclosure limited context of online courses, this study sought to explore the use of Facebook as an instructor self motivation is analyzed Background of the Study In the 1980s, researchers claimed that motiv ation is one of the most important variab les affecting language learning. S ocial context (defined in as a social environment conducive to creating a feeling of solidarity among its member s ) was shown as the main element fostering the development of language motivation (Clment, 1980; Gardner, 1985). Sustaining effective language learning through
4 identification with a social context is a task instructors in the foreign language classroom often f ind themselves undertaking in the absence of any other direct contact with the target language group. Therefore, they often adopt the role of ambassador of the target language group (Clment, Drnyei, & Noels, 1994). This usually works well in a traditiona l classroom environment ( Clment, Drnyei, & Noels, 1994) ; however, it can be difficult to implement in an online environment. In a face to face foreign language classroom environment, instructors often describe deliberately or spontaneously, their own ex periences learning the target language or living in the target culture During these exchanges, they disclose personal information that may have a positive impact (Nussbaum, Comadena & Holladay, 1987 ) A number of studies have suggested that instructors who self disclose are often perceived more effective in explaining course content (Andersen, Norton, & Nussbaum, 1981; Bryant, Comiskey, Crane & Zillman, 1980; Civikly, 1986) Currently in times when many colleg es and universities are multiplying their online course offerings, researchers have started conducting studies to determine the impact of teacher online self disclosure on students. A 2004 study concluded that increased contact with an instructor in the fo rm of online self Lippert, 2004). Another study used Facebook as an online intermediary between the teacher and the students and concluded that the disclosure positively affected the classroom climate (Mazer, Murphy, & Simonds, 2007). Both these studies,
5 however, were conducted in communication courses and not in language courses. The present study introduce s Facebook to students enrolled in an online French course as a vehicle for teacher self disclosure. A tremendous a mount of research exists in motivation in the fields of psychology and education Gardner and Lambert were pioneers in this domain and are th e architects of the socio psychological period in motivational research in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) The main t enet of their theory is that s linguistic cultural co mmunity o f the target language. A positive attitude towards the target language and culture results in better learning. Gardner and Lambert inspired a vast amount of research, especially in Canada. They believe that Canada is a society suffering from an ethno lingu istic split, and that increasing stone in reconciling the Francophone a nd Anglophone communities (Gard ner & Lambert, 1972). Deci and Ryan (1985) formulated a new concept compatible wit h Gardner determination theory (SDT). The dichotomy this theory makes between intrinsic motivation (IM) and extrinsic motivation (EM) has been researched in a language learning context and empirical evidence demonstrated that the distinction between these two types of motivation can help predict the outcomes of L2 learning (Ramage, 1990; Tachibana, Matsukawa, & Zhong, 1996). Ramage (1990) found that among level 2 French and Spanish high school students, continuing students are those who demonstrate interest in
6 learning the language and the culture thoroughly, thus exhibiting intrinsic motivational characteristics. Students whose only interest was to fulfill a college entrance requirement, thus exhibiting extrinsic motivational characteristics, ended up discontinuing their language studies. Tachibana, Matsukawa, and Zhong (1996) investigated 801 Chinese and Japanese students of English. They sts in learning the language were only related to their f inal high school ex amination (an extrinsic reason); furthermore, the examination. Purpose of the study According to socio educational model of second language acquisition (1985) a model representative of the socio psychological period during which it was conceived language learners are at the center of a dynamic process, which is constantly influenced by a set of affective variables such as attitude, orientations, anxiety and motivation. The present study adopts a self determination theory framework and draws upon works by Mazer et al. (2007), and Noels et al. (2003). The former s tudy investigated the effects of teacher self disclosure using Facebook on students enrolled in a face to face communication class whereas the latter examined self determination theory in a language learning context. Rather than looking at a face to face c ourse environment, the present study is conducted in an online environment where Facebook is used as the only m eans of teacher self disclosure, ( unlike in a face to face environment where teacher self disclosure can occur spontaneously ). It also explore s w hether
7 ivation, a potential class ( Gardner, 1985 ) disclosure in an online course. The purpose of this experimental study is, therefore, to explore the effects of a teacher controlled computer mediated self motivation attitude, and success in learning French as a foreign language. Research Questions 1. Is there a significant change in motivation type between the Facebook group and th e comparison group before and after the Facebook exposure ? 2. Is there a significant difference in mean attitude between students assigned to the Facebook group and the comparison group? 3. impressions of course and instructor? 4. Is there a significant difference in performance in the course between the Facebook group and the comparison group?
8 Delimitations of the S tudy Th e participants in this research study were enrolled in the first two levels of undergraduate online French at a regional metropolitan university during one semester. The first and second semester sections of a two semester French course (French 1 and Frenc h 2) were examined. Most students take these two sections to fulfill the two semester foreign language university requirement. A few of these students may choose French as a major or a minor later on in their studies. The students enrolled in the course by emailing the instructor to obtain a registration permit and they had to confirm that they did not take an extensive number of French courses in high school. The students had no prior knowledge of the study at the time of enrollment. A majority of the st udents who enrolled in French 2 when this study took place (Spring 2009), had already taken French 1 the semester before with the same instructor. This same instructor teaches both French 1 and French 2. Contact with the instructor during F all 2008 was limited to emails and phone conversations related to the course. A few students met with the instructor in his office for make up examinations. They were physically present in same room on only two occasions; the administration of a mid term exam ination and a final examination. The participants of the study were randomly assigned to one of two groups N o distinction was made between first and second semester students.
9 The two groups were comprised of (1) students expo sed Faceb ook page and (2) students not exposed Definition of T erms Because of the profusion of terminology related to motivation in the fields of Education al Psychology, Foreign Language Education and Second Language Acquisition the following section provides definitions of the main terms and constructs used in this study. Most of these terms and ideas stem from Self Determination Theory and will be further developed in Chapter 2. Extrinsic Motivation: Extrinsically motivated behaviors are carried out to achieve some instrumental end, such as earning a reward or avoiding a punishment. External Regulation : Type of extrinsic motivation demonstrating the lowest degree of self determination. This type of re gulation is determined by sources external to the person, such as tangible benefits or costs. Identified R egulation : The s econd highest degree of self determination within the extrinsic motivation continuum. This regulation is exhibited when an individual is carrying on an activity after being compelled by external pressures closely related to personal reasons. Integrated R egulation : The highest degree of self determination within the extrinsic motivation continuum. This regulation is exhibited when an indi vidual invests energy in an activity as the consequence of a choice motivated by personally relevant reasons.
10 Intrinsic Motivation: Motivation to engage in an activity because it is enjoyable and satisfying to do. It is based upon the innate needs for comp etence and self determination. Intrinsic Motivation Accomplishment : Motivation related to the sensation of mastering a task or achieving a goal. Intrinsic Motivation Knowledge : Motivation for doing an activity for the feeling associated with exploring new ideas and developing new knowledge. Intrinsic Motivation Stimulation : Motivation based simply on the sensation stimulated by performing the task, such as aesthetic appreciation or fun and excitement. Introjected Regulation : This t ype of extrinsic motivatio n exhibits a middle range degree of self determination. This regulation is defined by the degree of pressure individuals are experiencing It compels the individual to carry out an activity.
11 CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Introduction Language learning is a complex social process involving multiple factors. Researchers agree that motivation is one of these factors affecting language learning N umerous studies have been conducted in order to explore motivation in a language learning cont ext. It is plain to see why motivation is universally recognized as one of the main contributors to language learning success: it is the initiating factor to L2 learning and is the element that nurtures it during the demanding learning process. As a conse quence, educators have been striving to enhance motivation in the foreign language classroom in order to promote language learning. To facilitate the description of such a rich field, this section is divided into two main sub sections: Individual Differenc es (IDs) and Motivation. An overview of the concept of IDs is necessary to grasp where mot ivation research originates ; however, focus is put on the latter. Therefore the Motivation section is divided into chronological sub areas describing the field in a s equential fashion and the current state of research in motivation and Second Language Acquisition. The last part of this chapter will explore the technology used in this study.
12 Individual Differences Motivation research in Foreign Language E ducation (FLE ) borrows from the fields of educational psychology and Second Language A cquisition. FLE has attempted to explore the different variables that influence language learning and a subdivision of this field researches Individual Differences (or IDs). IDs can be defined as dimensions of enduring personal characteristics that are assumed to apply to everyone and on which people differ by degree. These personal characteristics include personality, motivation, or intelligence to name a few. Research in psychology has been focusing on the study of these differences, which explains the fo rmer designation of ID research: differential psychology (Cooper 2002; De Raad 2000; Eysenck 1994). In the field of educational psychology, IDs clash with the idea of the classroom emphasizing the differences between each member of the community (Alexander and Murphy, 1999). This idea of a learning community were all members are viewed the same is not compatible with IDs where each members of the aforementioned community have distinctive traits. Nevertheless, r esearch has unveiled that IDs are the most dependable predictors of successful second language learning (Drnyei & Skehan, 2003; Sawyer & Ranta, 2001). Drnyei s
13 Zoltan Drnyei, professor of psycholinguistics at the University of Nottingham, is one of the leading researchers in the psychological aspect s of Second Language Acquisition, especially the role of motivation. Drnyei (2003) has compiled a taxonomy of individual differences affecting second language learning. This taxonomy purposefully does not include gender and age because even though both th ese variables have been proven to affect language learning, they are demographic by nature and influence all the IDs Drnyei describes. 1) Personality, temperament, and mood 2) Lang uage a ptitude 3) Moti 4) Learning styles and cognitive styles 5) Language learning strategies Motivation T s taxonomy is concerned with motivation learning and no matter how skilled a language learner is, long term learning goals cannot be achieved wit hout motivation. Gardner and Lambert posited that motivation could even override aptitude deficiencies (Gardner & Lambert, 1972). Sternberg also discussed that when there is a practical need for language
14 learning, motivation makes up for a lack of language aptitude (2002). Scholars have divided the area of motivation research into three distinct phases : the socio psychological period (1959 1990), the cognitive situated period (1990s), and the process oriented period (since 2001). The next section will introduce and discuss each of these periods. The social psychological period Robert Gardner and Wallace Lambert gave motivation research in an SLA context its initial drive They were interested in finding factors that could enhance or hinder second language learning in the context of their home country Canada. A particular socio historical context is in place there : the coexistence of Anglophone and Francophone communities. Their approach to motivation was social psycho specific language group are bound to influence how successful they will be in p. 6 ). They viewed second ween different ethnolinguistic communities and thus regarded the motivation to learn the language as a primary force 2005 p 67 ). This approach demonstrated that second language acquisition is influenced by a wide array of socio cultural factors (stereotypes, language attitudes, and geopolitical considerations). accordance with t he previously described Drnyei s taxonomy, motivation is
15 related to Individual Difference variables and language achievement (Gardner, influence language achievement. This concept introduces an in terpersonal/affective dimension to motivation research : motivated by the positive attitudes towards members of the other language community and by the desire to communicate with them, and sometimes even to 2005). Gardner later developed an empirical construct, integrative motivation which he divided into three subcomponents. A representation of integrative motivation can be found in F igure 2.1. The first subcomponent is integrativeness, which reflects the i nterest in social interactions with members of the other group (Gardner & McIntyre, 1993). The second subcomponent is attitudes toward the language situation. It comprises the mind set toward the language course and its teacher. The third and final subcomp onent is motivation, and is defined as the effort and desire toward learning (Gardner, 2001). In order to assess this last subcomponent, motivation, Gardner designed the Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB).
16 Figure 2.1 Representation o odel (Gardner, 2001) The Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) The Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) (Gardner, 1985) consists of a collection of 19 subscales measuring whether a learner is learning a foreign language for internal (such as the desire to identify with speakers of the target language) or external reasons (such as passing a class or getting a raise). External and internal reasons have been identified as extrinsic and intrinsic motivation by Deci and Ryan (1985), and are two main component s of the Self Determination Theory (SDT) SDT converge in this Integrative Orientation I nterest in Foreign Languages Attitudes toward L2 community Integrativeness Motivation Attitudes toward the learning situation Evaluation of the L2 Teacher Evaluation of the L2 Course Desire to Learn the L2 Motivational Intensity (Effort) Attitudes toward learning the L2
17 di chotomy between external/internal reasons and extrinsic/intrinsic motivation. SDT and the different types of motivation will be developed in the Self Determi nation Theory section of this chapter. Intrinsic motivation is linked to positive feelings as it re fers to the pleasure that an action provides. This type of motivation is self determined in nature. Extrinsic motivation was at first thought to imply a lack of self determination until Vallerand (1989) distinguished several levels of extrinsic motivation that tend to make it more self regulated. Both motivational aspects are explored in the present study. heory Clment a student of Gardner, is an educat ional psychologist belonging to the Canadian group of researchers interested in motivation a nd SLA He confidence is enhanced by the quality and quantity of contacts with members of the target language. According to Clment the quality and quantity of contact with members of the target language are major motivational factor s and they predict (Clment & Kruidenier, 1985). Further research has demonstrated that direct cont ; contact with the L2 culture through its media is sufficient (Drnyei & Nols, 1994).
18 The Cognitive Situated Period the motivation research. At this time there seemed to be a discrepancy between L2 motivation research and motivational psychology research as the latter was increasingly influenced by cognitive concepts drawn on work conducted in educational psychology. Crookes and Schmidt argued it was time for L2 research to embrace a cognitive situated approach where activities conducive to learning could be scrutinized These two researchers also wanted to move the debate from a macroperspective that is typical of the social psychological period to a microperspective. During the social psychological period, researchers looked at the motivational dispositions of whole communities in a macroperspect ive and focused on how stereotypes or language attitudes have an impact on language learning. In contrast, a cognitive situated approach to motivation focuses on the actual learning situation, in a microperspective. As a consequence, a vast amount of motiv ation research during this time focused on a situated approach, looking at the main components of the learning situation, such as the teacher, the curriculum, and the learner group (Williams & Burden, 1997). During this time, researchers discovered that le (Kimura, 2003) and that designing an appropriate learning situation in the classroom, therefore, substantially increases motivation.
19 Self Determination Theory The self determination theory (SDT) was develop ed by Deci and Ryan ( 1985) and is anchored in educational psychology. SLA researchers such as Vallerand and Noels have embraced SDT and it has become the most situated approach in the field of L2 motivation research. I ts development is a direct consequence of research conducted during the cognitive situated period of the 1990s. This model contrasts intr insic and extrinsic motivations. T he tradition al classroom setting reinforces extrinsic motivation as it makes students focus on material or post course prof for creativity and for satisfying some of the more basic drives for knowledge and p. 40 ). Self determination theory constitutes the framework that will be used for this stud y. It is of particular interest in the context of this study since it relates to the development and functioning of personality within a social context. Self determination theory (SDT) is a theory of human motivation concerned with the development and fu nctioning of personality within social contexts. SDT examines to what extent human behavior is self degree to which people endorse their actions at the highest level of reflection and engage in the action with a full sense of choic Deci & Ryan 2000). SDT is based on the assumption that people, and by extension learners, have an innate desire toward psychological growth, autonomy, relatedness and development in order to function effectively and develop in a healthy way. This desi re can be maintained or hindered by the social context that surrounds the learner.
20 According to Deci and Ryan (2000), the social context can be c ompared to a SDT states that a variety of orientations can be organized along a continuum, going from the most to the least self determined. The most self determined orientations are associated with the most positive results in the learning process (Deci & Ryan, 1985; Deci & Ryan, 2000; Vallerand, 1997). Intrinsic motivation (IM) is the most self determined orientation and is characteristic of an activity performed to experience a positive affect, such as personal pleasure and enjoyment, inherent in the activity (McIntosh and Noels, 2004 ). Extrinsic motivation (EM) is opposed to IM as the learner completes a task to either avoid punishment or get a tangible reward, such as a grade or a job promotion. Amotivation refers to a total lack of motivation. Each of these three motivation types (IM, EM, and amotivation) is linked with one or more type of regulation. Intrinsic motivation is linked to intrinsic regulation, which means that IM is self regulated. EM is lin ked to four types of regulation; they are, from the l east to the most self regu lated: (1) external regulation, (2) introjected regulation, (3) identified regulation, (4) integrated regulation. (1) External regulation means there is a total external control over the punishment or the reward associated with the activity. (2) Introjecte d regulation happens when a person exercises pressure on him/herself to perform the activity. In this type of regulation, even though motivation has to a certain extent an internal source, it is not self determined since the individual feels controlled to a large extent. (3) Identified regulation occurs when an individual engages in an
21 activity because of an important personal goal that will be achieved after its completion. It is a highly determined type of regulation on the self regulation continuum. (4) Integrated regulation occurs when an individual engages in an activity because it supports a valuable component of his/her identity and self concept (the individual can identify with the activity). This is the most self regulated EM type of regulation. Fi gure 2.2 illustrates this self determination continuum. This model is used as a measure of motivation in the present study. Figure 2. 2 T he Self Determination C ontinuum ( Deci & Ryan 2000) During the 1990s, extensive empirical research in psychology was conducted to determine the validity of the SDT model and the role of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation types in L2 learning. A seminal study was carried out by Noels (2003) and was inspired by a previous study in the field of SLA conducted by Noels, Pell etier, Clment and Vallerand (2000). Noels devised a construct describing motivation that was divided into three distinct categories: (1) intrinsic reasons Are the activities the learner is engaged in fun, challenging, and
22 competence enhancing (2) extri nsic reasons does the learner experience internal and externalized pressures, and (3) integrative reasons does the learner have a positive image of the L2 group. Noels, Pelletier, Clment and Vallerand (2000) also created an instrument that measures constituents of self determination theory in L2: the Language Learning Orientations Scale. Its subscales are: amotivation, external regulation, introjected regulation, identified regulation, i ntrinsic motivation: knowledge, intrinsic motivation: accomplishment, intrinsic motivation: stimulation. This instrument is widely recognized as being valid and reliable (Drnyei, 2005) and it is one of the instruments that will be used in this study. Tas k Motivation In an effort to again refocus motivation study from a macro to a microperspective, and because of the shift between the social psychological period and the cognitive situated period, researchers focused their attention on task motivation; a s ituation specific and process oriented approach to L2 motivation (Kormos and Drnyei, 2004). In this sense, task motivation research can be seen as the first step towards the next period in motivation research, the process oriented period. This theory invo lves three interdependent mechanisms. (1) Task execution, the first of these mechanisms, is defined as the process by which the learner accomplishes the learning task. (2) Appraisal refers to the k at hand. It compares actual performance with the predicted one. The appraisal process is a theory anchored in
23 history of idiosyncr atic preferences and aversions. The last of these mechanisms, (3) action control, refers to the internal device that regulates the (Drnyei, 2005). Task motivation ca n therefore be seen as the precursor to the process oriented period since the mechanisms it highlights describe the role of they continuously appraise the process, and when the on going monitoring reveals that progress is slowing, halting or backsliding, they activate the action Action control mechanisms are a departure from SDT as it does not take into account social con text. The Process Oriented Period This period in L2 motivation research, a direct result of task motivation research described above, started in the 1990s and strives to take into account the periodical fluxes and drops that characterize motivation over t ime. Motivation is therefore seen as a dynamic factor as opposed to a static one and can vary within an individual during an L2 class as well as during a lifetime (Garcia, 1999). Motivation over time being such a crucial element in L2 learning, numerous s tudies have been concerned with analyzing motivational phases. Three stages of motivation have been identified through a continuum: for doing something Deciding to do something Sustaining the effort or
24 persisting Williams & Burden, 1997). The first two stages are involved with initiating motivation and the third stage is concerned with maintaining motivation, thus recognizing the need to incorporate into motivation research the principle that motivation as a construct is not static and fluctuat es over time. Another recent study looked at motivational variation according to the three stages of Second Language Acquisition: input (first encounter with the new material), central processing (connections between new material and existing knowledge), a nd output (demonstration of the acquired knowledge) (Manolopoulou Sergi, 2004). By incorporating this model of second language acquisition to motivation research, this research demonstrated that motivation emerges as an important predictor of individual va riability in the final outcome of the foreign language learning process. The Drnyei and Ott model This model, anchored in the process oriented period, broke down the motivation process into temporal elements along a progression. The three stages of this progression are: (1) the preactional stage, (2) the actional stage, and (3) the postactional stage. (1) The preactional stage refers to the initiation of motivation. During this stage the learner will select the goal or task to be pursued. (2) The actional stage needs to be protected and maintained. The researchers argue that during this stage, motivation is particularly thre atened in a classroom environment where distractions, off task thoughts, and anxiety may become predominant. (3)
25 The postactional stage is the last step and is concerned with the learner reflecting on the learning situation to further improve motivation. D rnyei and influences are for instant feedback, grades, or self confidence (Drnyei and Ott, 1998; Drnyei, 2000, 2001). The main principle behind the process oriented approac h, as exemplified in the Drnyei and Ott model, is that to accomplish a learning task, a learner will have to go through stages associated with different purposes from the initial task. It should be noted though, that the process model previously describe d has two limitations that one of the authors, Drnyei, has described (2005). One of these shortcomings refers to the nature of the model where the processes described have clear boundaries. Such a concept is inherently flawed, as tasks are never independe nt from each other and from the course in itself. This brings the second limitation of the model, the fact that the processes do not occur in isolation but in parallel. For example a task can be processed in the actional stage while the learner is still p rocessing a previous task in the postactional stage. Drnyei adds that when it comes to L2 learning, one should keep in mind that the classroom is not the only place where motivation can be altered; daily life events ought to be taken into consideration in order to acquire a well rounded These events account identity, which may play a part in successful second language ac quisition. The next
26 section will depart from describing the state of motivation research in education by exploring the current state of motivation research in L2 learning. Current T rends in SLA M otivation R esearch According to Drnyei, motivation research has suffered from a lack of integration into the broader, mainstream field of SLA research. The reason for such isolation can be explained by the fact that researchers doing motivation studies in SLA are actually s ocial psychologists interested in second languages, whereas linguists have spearheaded the field of SLA research (Drnyei, 2005). Social psychologists leading the way in SLA motivation research set a research agenda deeply rooted in the considerations of t heir field, they anchor their research in a product oriented perspective. These research include study (2001) who identified th ree dimensions of L2 motivation. T he first lan guage related enjoyment/liking, positive learning history, and personal pressures/incentives. The third dimension is defined by Ushioda as the goals, desired level of L2 competence, academic interest, and feelings about the target country or people. Drnyei warns though that researchers should keep in mind the complex nature of L2 motivation and not fall in to the trap of identifying a few element s that unrealistic and simplistic, and is characteristic of a product oriented perspective.
27 In order to circumvent this shortcoming, another set of researchers has decided to integrat e psychology models in to their studies. Models describing major and stable dimensions of personality have paved the way for a convergence of the concepts of personality and motivation as active antecedents of behavior (Cantor, 1990). Current research condu cted with in this framework motivation to learn or not learn the target language stems from an identity issue within the learner (i.e. individuated self concept) A study directly pertaining to this research has shown that a teacher stronger feelings of intrinsic mo tivation related to positive language learning outcomes (Noels, Clment, Pelletier; 1999). This study used the Academic Motivation Scale instrument that is used as well in the present study. Demographic Variables Other factors influence motivation when it comes to second language learning. This next section will explore demographic variables that interact with motivation identified by research: gender and age. Data for both these variables will be collected for this research through a participant backgroun d questionnaire. The first of these variables is gender. It appears that females when motivation is measured on a numerical scale, generally displ ay a higher level of motivation than males when it comes to learning French (Williams & Burden,
28 2002). There could be multiple reasons to this such as the fact that female teachers are the norm when it comes to this language (and to many other subjects), which can partly explain why French tends to be viewed as a female dominated language with female topics cent ered syllabi (Clark & Trafford, 1996; Moys, 1996; Callaghan, 1998). Other variables have been explored by research exploring gender related motivation in several other languages. Cohen (1998) showed that peer pressure, and the refusal of secondary school boys to make efforts in pronunciation in front of the opposite sex significantly impact their performance in the class. It was also demonstrated that female students show more positive attitudes towards the L2 and its culture and greater integrative motiva tion (Gardner & L ambert, 1972; Bacon & Finneman, 1992). For instance, Zammit (1993) surveyed 32,000 students in Australia and New Zealand and concluded that females have a more positive attitude towards learning languages other than English than their male counterparts. The age of the learner is another motivational factor that was examined in a number of studies A study conducted in England has shown that secondary school English (Phillips & Filmer Sankey, 1993). The researchers have correlated this decrease of interest with the age of learners. This tendency was particularly evident in boys who actually prefer learning German to French. This study is in line with previous ones that demonstrated that as learners get older, their attitude toward language learning becomes negative (Gardner & Smythe, 1975; Zammit, 1993).
29 In the present study, motivation will also be explored in the perspective of beginner French online courses. The next sections will examine online language learning and the technology used in this study. Online Language Learning Online education is one of the fastest growing forms of learning today. It is a sub category of distance education and it has been defined as the formal delivery of instruction in which time and geographic location separate students and instructors (McIsaac & Gunawardena, 1996). The popularity of online education can be explained in part by the convenience for students of being able to work for their classes in any location and on their own time. Other reasons include the possibility for universities to open sections of a class with a high enrollment cap, the low cost associated with employing one instructor to supervise su ch large sections, as well as the low cost and availability of computers. Communication between students and the instructors in an online environment is exclusively done through computer mediated communication (CMC). the r Factors affecting Online L earning The effectiveness of online courses compared to traditional courses has learning outcomes are minimal (Beare, 1989; Fox, 1998; McKissack, 1997; Soner, 1 999; Waschull, 2001). Critics of online education have raised the argument that too often institutions tend t o provide this type of course in order to offer a course to the largest number of students without testing the pedagogical
30 soundness of online mate rials or ensuring that students are adequately equipped to be successful in an online course (Bonk s and Dennen, 1999). Research has been conducted to address these issues. Schrum and Hong (2002) compiled seven critical factors related to successful online learning: personal traits such as self discipline, life style factors, motivation to perform well in the course, strong st udy skills, preference for text based learning, reliable access to technology, and technology experience prior to the course were identified. Waschull (2005) put these factors to the test and concluded that only self discipline and motivation were critical factors in successful online st explored the profile of the successful online learner. study concluded that learners are most successful when they are engaged in constant exchange with their peers and the instructor, the exchang es being both course content based and social in nature. The social factor should not be forgotten since only when students feel that they belong to a group of learners can they build the ability to engage in problem so lving, deduction, and complex memory tasks (Conrad, 2002). This is consistent with the following tenets of building a learning environment: learning is encouraged by engagement in the learning environment; it is a social and a constr uctive process (Brookfi eld, 1990 ; Wlodkowski, 1999). Engaging students in a traditional classroom environment has been discussed extensively. It includes maintaining authenticity and credibility in the to
31 students dialogue among students and the instructor (Wlodkowski, 1999). All these methods involve immediate dynamic feedback that only a face to face classroom instruction seems to be able to provide (Conrad, 2002). The literature suggests that the role of the instructor is crucial to the success of a course held in a computer e clarity and comprehensiveness in order to relieve anxiety. By using a web based social network such as Facebook in the present study, an attempt will be made to reconcile some of the feature s of engaging students in a traditional classroom to an online environment. Specifically, the participants enrolled in the Facebook group will have an opportunity to learn more about their instructor since academic and personal information will be e section of this chapter), students will be able to get answers from their instructor that the rest of the group will be able to read. This, in a sense, mimics face to face classroom feedback where the whole class can hear the answer to a question that was, at first, only pertinent to one student. This type of interaction was very limited in the current study (only four posts of this nature occurred) and thus did not shift t he self disclosure framework of this study to an interaction framework.
32 Computer Mediated Communication CMC is defined as any type of human interaction facilitated by the use of networked computers (Berge & Collins, 1995). This interaction can be either synchronous (happening in real time) or asynchronous (happening over elapsed time). Synchronous communication includes telephone conversations, video and audio conferencing, chat software; whereas asynchronous communication includes email, bulletin boards SMS (Cell phone text messaging system), and social networking websites (such as MySpace or Facebook). This study will focus on teacher self disclosure occurring in Facebook, a social networking website. Facebook Facebook was launched in 2004 and is a website which enables anybody to construct a personal page and to join one or more networks in order to easily search and add members of the networks to their contact list. Facebook was restricted to college students, faculty, and staff until 2007 when it opened its membership to anyone with a valid email address. Facebook currently has 65 million active members worldwide. Members are able to set up a homepage and decide whether it will be accessible to anyone with a F acebook account, only members of the networks they belong to, or only their contacts. The homepage usually includes a picture of the member, a contact list, photo albums, and the t hat were addressed to the owner of the homepage. Members also have the
33 Members can in addition interact by belonging to a group. Users set groups up and everyone is free to join. Gro board and may communicate in a threaded environment where all post s remain available. University staff and faculty are increasingly using Facebook in an effort to create interpersonal or academic connections w ith students. Stutzman found 90% membership among undergraduate students at one college (2006). A Facebook representative reported that 85% of students at participating institutions have accounts and 60% of these log in on a daily basis (Arrington, 2005). Hewitt and Forte (2006) conducted a survey to evaluate how contact on Facebook influence s student perceptions of faculty. 136 students participated, 106 of whom already had a Facebook account. The students were randoml y assigned to one of two groups: havi being the lowest grade, 5 being the highest) rating the overall perception of the instructor, the average rating in both group wa s 4.7, therefore there was no variation is ratings between the two groups. The researchers also investigated whether the participants found acceptable the presence of their instructor on Facebook. 66% of the students surveyed thought it was acceptable, but a gender gap exist s 65% of women thinking it is not acceptable as opposed to 35% of men. This topic of acceptance of their instructor on Facebook will be explored in the present study in research question 3. In the current study,
34 Facebook is us ed to facilitate teacher self disclosure in an online language course. Summary This chapter has presented evide nce that intrinsic motivation is beneficial to learning and to second language acquisition Furthermore, this chapter explored how online f oreign language learning usually lacks teacher self disclosure inherent to traditional face to face foreign language learning that helps foster intrinsic motivation in learners Finally, this chapter described the technology that will be used in this study to implement in an online foreign language course environment teacher self disclosure.
35 CHAPTER III METHODS AND PROCEDURES Introduction This study investigates the effects of teacher controlled computer mediated self disclosure on university attitude and success in learning French as a foreign language in an online course context The research questions of the proposed study are as follows: 1. Is there a significant change in motivation type between the Facebook group and t he comparison group before and after the Facebook exposure? 2. Is there a significant difference in mean attitude between students assigned to the Facebook group and the comparison group? 3. impressions of course and instructor ?
36 4. Is there a significant difference in performance in the course between the Facebook group and the comparison group? The present research draws on s self disclosure via Facebook on anticipated college student motivation, affective learning, and ed in a course with the instructor whose Facebook page they were exposed to. Instead, the respondents were randomly assigned to one o f three experimental conditions: 1) limited dis closure, 3 acebook page with full self disclosure. In the second condition, the disclosure variable was defined as information pertaining only to the academic field, such as education, office hours, and contact number. In the third condition, the self disclosure included instructor in social situations, a list of his favorite movies, and his marital status. The study revealed that the participants page containing the most information (third experimental condition) exhibited higher levels of positive attitude toward the course and the instructor and motivation than participants in the other two conditions. Mazer used a different framework the communication privacy management theory, from the one used in this study; as a consequence the instruments that were used and the results they yielded mo
37 motivation. Because of the difference in content area, language learning for the present study, and due to the different model of motivation used in social determination theory fram ework, the present study use s the Academic Motivation Scale (Noels, 2003) to identify types of motivation. The Academic Motivation Scale (AMS) is a const ruct whose design is anchored in Self Determination Theory. lso utilized Mc 1994) Instructional Affect Assessment Instrument (IAAI) in order to quantify course and its instructor in all three groups that were examined The IAAI is used in the present study in order to obtain a measure of mean attitude toward the instructor and the course. 2003 (2007) research designs consistent with the SDT framework and develops them by exam ining whether and if so, how motivatio n might affect student success. T he participants in the present study are enrolled in a fully online foreign language course and a selected group is exposed to the Facebook page of their instructor. Setting The subjects in the current study were enrolled in an online French 1 or 2 course at a Research I university during one academic semester. The same instructor taught both online French courses. The online French 1 and French 2 courses mirror their face to face counterparts as they use the same book and
38 cover the same content. French 1 covers the first half of the textbook content whereas French 2 covers the second half of the textbook content. The online co urses were designed as an alternative to traditional face to face courses for students who cannot commit to all class meetings because of schedule conflicts or distance from campus. These students therefore elect to attend online courses and it may be pres umed they are relatively comfortable with technology. Participants The sample size was 104 participants. Students were enrolled in the first two levels of foreign language classes to fulfill the university language requirement. They usually choose online courses when their schedule does not allow them to take the face to face courses. Students who enroll in French 1 online are required to also take French 2 online and, therefore, are unable to enroll in the more traditional face to face French 2 course. As a consequence, most students taking French 2 online have taken French 1 online. The exception to this rule is students who have taken a placement test in French and have been assigned to level 2 French; they may choose to enroll in Online French 2 without having taken Online French 1. Stratified random sampling was used to assign t he participants to one of Emphasis was put on obtaining an equal proportion of students enrolled in French 1 and French 2 in b oth groups. An incentive of 2 extra points on their midterm examination for answering the
39 pretest questions and 2 extra points on their final examination for answering the posttest questions was offered to the participants. The participants were required to electronically sign an informed consent form. This form describe d the procedure of the study and fully disclose d their role in it. Procedures Figure 3. 1. Diagram of the Research Participants Random Assignment Control Group No Exposure to the Page Pretest Background Questionaire Type of Motivation assessment Posttest Type of Motivation Assessment Measure of Mean Attitude Open ended Facebook question Posttest Type of Motivation Assessment Measure of Mean Attitude Open ended Facebook question Facebook Group Exposure to the Page
40 The pretest occured on the third week of the semester and the posttest took place on the fifteenth week. Data collection was delay ed to allow time for the class rosters of French 1 and 2 to stabilize since typically during the first couple of weeks, a substantial number of students drop and add classes. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the two groups ; their level of French (French 1 or 2) was not taken in to consideration for the study. Stratified random assignment compensates for French level that might otherwise be viewed as an extraneous variable. The course s are each divided into 14 units. Each uni t is divided into two lessons and each lesson possesses its online homework set. Homework is auto graded by Quia (the companion online platform used for the homework). The management of the Online French 1 and Online French 2 courses is facilitated by the use of the online platforms Blackboard and Quia for the homework assignments. An online test, administered and auto graded via the Blackboard online platform, is deployed every two units. Students study on their own usi ng the textbooks and powerpoint slid es deployed on Blackboard. A midterm and a final examination are administered by the instructor on campus and are paper based. All questionnaires were administered through Blackboard. The participants were notified when the questionnaires were open through email and an announcement posted on the Blackboard bulletin board. The students were prompted to fill out two questionnaires. The first questionnaire was administered during the third week of class before the Facebook group had access to the
41 was administered during the fourteenth week of class and prior to the final examination. Measures and Instrumentation This section will describe the variables, instruments, and measurements used in this study. The instruments include a pretest student questionnaire and a post test student questionnaire. An instrument measuring the type of motivation demonstrated by the participants was used in both pre test and posttest and a measure of the mean attitude of the participants towards the class and its instr uctor was used in the post test. All instruments were pilot tested in face to face French courses by the researcher prior to using them in this study. The participants in the pilot study took the pretest, w (who was also their instructor) Facebook page by adding him as a friend, and then took the posttest the following week. Recommendations from participants in the pilot tests were taken into account before the current study wa s carried out Variables In this sub section, the variables pertaining to the different research questions are analyzed as well as their null hypotheses. A common independent p means used in this study to provi disclosure. This exposure is defined as exposure to the instru information, photo albums and comments made by the instruct friends about the pictures, and
42 fall under the umbrella of self disclosure as they may potentially reve al information to the participants about the instructor entertains with his Facebook friends. Research question 1: Is there a significant change in motivation type between the Facebook group and the comparison group? The independent variable in this question is the exposure to the motivation demonstrated by the participants (this is a nominal type of data). The dependant variable was measured in the pretest and the posttest using the Academic Motivational Scale. significant change in motivation type between the Facebook group and the If there is a change that will indicate that the Facebook exposure has an influence on motivation type s exhibited by the students. Research question 2: Is there a significant difference in mean attitude betwee n students assigned in the Facebook group and the control group toward the class and its instructor? In this question, the independent variable is the exposure to the
43 attitude toward the class and its instructor (the scores provided are ratios). Two score s will be provided for analysis: the mean attitude of participants in the F acebook group and the mean attitude of participants in the control group Scor ing computation is provided in A ppendix E. Scoring computation K as described in the aforementioned appendix, will be used for this study as it takes into consideration all subscores. The designer of the test posits that this test has yet to be deployed in more programs before its reliable norms can be assessed. significant difference in mean attitude between the Facebook group and the control group towar If there is a difference that will Research question 3 : he use of Facebook on the course and instructor? Independent and dependent variables, as well as a null hypothesis, are not applicable for this research question because of it s qualitative nature. However, the reason for askin g these questions is to gather qualitative evidence Research question 4 : Is there a significant difference in performance between the Face book group and the comparison group?
44 The independent variable in this question is the exposure to the calculated and averaged formal grades the participants received for the course The null hypoth difference in performance between the Facebook group and the control If there is a change that will suggest that Facebook exposure had an influence on Ex traneous Variables same for French 2 students since they have already taken French 1 with the same instructor. As a consequence, they have a history of emailing the professor or seeing him during examinations during their semester of French 1 and possibly exposure to some degree of self disclosure Class level is therefore an extraneous variable that might be correlated with student success, motivation, and attitude. This extraneo us variable is addressed in the design of the study by randomly assigning students to one of the two experimental groups. In the same vein, other potential extraneous independent variables such as age, gender, familiarity with Facebook, or computer usage a re controlled by random assignment. Instruments This sub section will describe the instruments that were used during the data collection.
45 Background Questionnaire The questionnaire was designed to gather personal and demographic information as well as c omputer usage and Facebook use data. It collect ed the amount of time they have had an account This data was collected for descriptive statistical purposes in order to shed som e light on the sample being surveyed. The questionnaire can be found in Appendix A. Pretest Academic Motivation Scale The pretest was used to determine whether participants were intrinsic ally motivated, extrinsic ally motivated, or amotivated one group and non exposure to Facebook page for the other group). The pretest Motivation Scale (1989). T he latest version of the AMS was described by Noels et Determination for motivation framework in a instrument assessing orientations for learning a s econd language (adapted from Cl ment and Kruidenier, 1983), determining the type of motivation (adapted from Vallerand et al., 1989, 1992, 1993), the antecedents and consequences of self determination (adapted from Harter, 1982; and from Ryan and Connell, 1989), and the perceptions of competence (adapted from Ryan and Connell, 1989). Noels devised a construct describing motivation that was divided into three
46 distinct categories: intrinsic reasons is the learner engaged in fun, challenging, competence enha ncing activities; extrinsic reasons is the learner experiencing inte rnal and externalized pressures; and integrative reasons does the learner have a positive image of the L2 group. Noels, Pelletier, Clment and Vallerand (2000) also created an instrum ent measuring constituents of self determination theory in L2: the Language Learning Orientations Scale. Its subscales are: amotivation, external regulation, introjected regulation, identified regulation, intrinsic motivation: knowledge, intrinsic motivati on: accomplishment, intrinsic motivation: stimulation. These subscales are based on the self determination continuum described by Deci & Ryan (2000). This instrument is widely recognized as being valid and reliable (Drnyei, 2005). The present study uses N the students to answer research question 1. The AMS has been shown to have satisfactory levels of internal consistency (mean alpha value= .81) and a temporal stability over a o ne month period (mean test retest correlation= .79) (Vallerand, 1992). The pretest is composed of 28 statements. Participants have to decide whether the statements apply to them or not by using a scale provided for them. The scale is composed of seven subs motivation (external, introjected, and identified regulation), three types of intrinsic motivation (intrinsic motivat ion to know, to accomplish, and to experience stimulation), and amotivation. The pretest was administered using the
47 Blackboard online platform. The Academic Motivation Scale is included in Appendix B. The instructor of the online courses is a native speaker of French with extensive experience in teaching French in both face to face and online environments. He has a graduate background in foreign language education and has taught in French high schools a nd American universities. He is a graduate assistant in the language department at the university where this study took place. The Facebook page was created by the researcher with the help of the instructor for the purpose of this study. The profile include s a profile picture of the instructor, a link to a couple of photo albums featuring the instructor interacting with friends and family both in Fran date, his marital status, and his hometown in France. The profile also feature s a and friends (and the participants from the Facebook group) to post public messages. The information displayed on the prof ile is typical on Facebook user pages. No add on applications were downloaded by the instructor for the length of the study. The instructor agreed to consult his Facebook profile daily and to promptly o demonstrate he actively checked his page. The instructor pro mptly replied to academic and personal posts alike. The instructor had established Fac ebook friends prior to the
48 beginning of the study. As a consequence, wall posts as well as picture comments were present on the profile, thus rendering the profile more authentic and less artificial than a profile that would have been designed specifically for the study page rather than creating an academic one is that some posts are in French and some are in English since the instructor has both English and French speaking friends. St udents assigned to the Facebook group were able to start adding the instructor as a Facebook friend during the third week of class (about 80% of the participants asked to add the instructor as a Facebook friend did so) Students were informed of this by em ail and through an announcement on Blackboard. As a Facebook setting default, at log on, the participants are able to see any changes the instructor made to his Facebook page without even checking found at Appendix C. A sample of a Facebook profile is attached in Appendix D. In orde need ed to create a Facebook profile if they did not already have one, and ask for verified t hat the s tudent belonged to the Facebook group before accepting the request. Students who did not have a Facebook profile and who did not wish to create one were not able to be participatants in the Facebook group as they were acebook page. However, for the purpose of this study, students who did not wish to share their personal Facebook page with the instructor had the option of creating an alternate
49 The num ber of participants who created such an alternate profile is not unknown as disclosure. The inde have use d an alternate Facebook page has no incidence on this research. An incentive of 2 extra points for students on their mid term examination (for participants answering the pretest) and 2 extra points on their final examination (for participants answering the posttest) was extended to the participants. The incentive of the extra points was expected to foster student participati on in the study. Posttest The posttest was three fold and was administered on the fifteenth week of the academic semester two weeks prior to the course final examination. Academic Motivation Scale The participants took the adapted version of the Academ ic Motivation Scale (Vallerand, Blais, Brire, and Pelleti er, 1989) for a second time in order to assess the types of motivation students in both groups were demonstrating at the end of the semester a nd after the treatment group had Appendix B.
50 Measure of Affect toward the Course and the T eacher The IAAI was developed by McCroskey (1994) and its purpose is to assess : 1) affect toward the teacher, 2) af fect toward the content of the course, 3) affect toward the behaviors recommended in the course. This instrument tests one main aspect of the SDT framework, perceived relatedness (perceived competence and perceived autonomy are the two other main aspects o f SDT), as defined by Noels (2003), which is a psychological need for achieving social goals such as belongingness to the social group (and here, by extension, to the language group) and mak ing friends. Deci and Ryan (2000 ) define relatedness as the need t o feel that one belongs with, is cared for, respected by, and connected to significant others (e.g., a teacher, a family). In the IAAI, a high mean attitude toward the course and its instructor is a predictor of higher self determined motivation (McIntosh & Noels, 2004). The instrument is composed of six statements, and the participants are asked to answer four bipolar questions using a likert scale for each of the statements. The internal reliability of this instrument is high. The six base scores have pro duced alpha reliability over .90. When the scores have been computed into two or three combinat ions, the alpha reliability has been proven to be around .95; for a single score, the alpha reliability has been over .95 (McCroskey, 1994). This instrument is c ontained in Appendix E. Open E nded F acebook Q uestions The participants answer ed three open ended Facebook questions. The first question gave the researcher insight into general impression about the use of Facebook by a college
51 instructor. The second open ended question asked students assigned in the Facebook group if they were aware of any changes in the way they perceive d the The third question was also only asked to participants enrolle d in the Facebook group. It asked the participants to self report how many times a week they These questions are included in Appendix F. Grades fi nal grades were analyzed for the purpose of the study in order to determine student performance The grade score for each student was obtained after computing homework, online quiz zes and the midterm and final exam ination grades. Homework and online quizzes are autograded by the Blackboard platform, ensuring their reliability. Data Analysis Research Question 1: Is there a significant change in motivation type between the Facebook group and the control group before and after the Facebook exposure ? The data for this question were collected using the Academic Motivation Scale. This instrument identifies one of seven types of motivati on displayed by the respondents: three types of intrinsic motivation, three types of extrinsic motivation, and amotivation. This study focus es on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, as well as amotivation T he sub types are not considered for this
52 study as the general motivational orientations (intrinsic, extrinsic) are sufficient to identify motivational shifts Motivation t ypes distribution was computed using the following chart. Each letter represents the number of participants displaying a certain type of motivation in one of two points in time: pretest and posttest. By adding the numbers, total numbers of pa rticipants dis playing each type of motivation is calculated. Table 3.1 Motivation Types Distribution Pretest Posttest Total Amotivation a b a+b Intrinsic Motivation c d c+d Extrinsic Motivation e f e+f Total a+c+e b+d+f a+b+c+d+e+f A McNemar Chi Square test was used to assess change in motivation types between the pretest and the posttest. This test assesses the significance of the difference between two dependent samples when the variable of interest is a dichotomy. In this study, the test evaluated if changes of motivation types (intrinsic or extrinsic) in students is significant between the pretest and the posttest No student exhibited amotivation in this study. The null hypothesis for
53 this research question is: there is no significant change in m otivation type between the Facebook group and the control group. Research Question 2: Is there a significant difference in mean attitude between students assigned to the Facebook group and the control group? This question was answered after gathering dat a through the use of the IAAI (McCroskey ,1994). The mean attitude (Total Affective Orientation score) for both groups was calculated and used as a result of this assessment. The IAAI was administered during the posttest. A t test was used to determine if there is a significant difference in mean attitude between the two groups with the null hypothesis being: there is no significant difference in mean attitude between the Facebook group and the control group. The Alpha Level for the t test was set at .05 a nd it was scrutinized along with the t value and the degree of freedom to determine if the t test was statistically significant. esponses indicate any change in impressions of course and instructor? The data that was obtained for research question 3 consisted of a set of sentences describing the overall impressions of the use of Facebook on the perceptions of how these overall impressions changed during the semester. The prompts used to obtain the data are included in Appendix F. The answers to these questions were coded for examination. A
54 detailed description of the most typical answers and themes brought up by the students is provided to answer the research question. Research Question 4: Is there a significant difference in performance between the Facebook group and the control group? Fin al grades for the course were used in this study as a measure of grades is as follows : 40% of the final grade consist s of homework gr ades, 20% of online quizzes and 2 0% of the midter m examination grade, and 20% of the final examination grade were computed into an average grade for the Facebook group and an average grade for the control group. A t test was conducted to determine if there was a significant difference in performance between the two groups. The Alpha Level for the t test was set at .05 and it was scrutinized along with the t value and the degree of freedom to determine if the t test is statistically significant. The null hypothesis for this r esearch question was : there is no significant difference in performance between the Facebook group and the comparison group.
55 CHAPTER IV RESULTS Introduction The purpose of the present study was to examine whether the introduction of Facebook in the context of a French online course had an influence on the type of motivation students demonstrated on their mean attitude towards the course, its instructor, and o n their final grades. The purpose of the study was introduced in C hapter 1 and a review of the literature was described in C hapter 2. Chapter 3 described in detail the design of the study. The purpose of the present chapter is to report the data analysis as well as the results and fin dings for each research question General Overview of the Procedures This study was conducted in two online elementary French courses at a major research I university. 104 students participated in the study over the course o f one semester. Stra tified random sampling was used; however, because of students dropping the course during the semester, more students were enrolled in the control group (64 participants) than in the Facebook group (40 participants). Following the strati fied random sampling, which enabled to sample participants in the two groups independently from each other, 53 participants were enrolled in the Facebook group whereas 70 were enrolled in
56 the control group. All these participants took the pretest. At the t ime of the posttest, the facebook group had lost 13 participants and the control had lost 6 participants All these students in both groups who did not participate in the study anymore had actually dropped the course. However students dropping out did not affect the way both groups were balanced between students enrolled in first semester French and students enrolled in second semester French. In the Facebook group, 16 participants (40%) were enrolled in first semester French and 24 participants (60%) were enrolled in second semester French. In the control group, 27 participants (42%) were enrolled in first semester French and 37 participants (58%) were enrolled in second semester French. Students assigned to the Facebook group added the instructor as a frie nd on Facebook between the third and the fourth week of the semester. Students in the control group received no treatment. The pretest which consisted of the background questionnaire and the Academic Motivation Scale, was administered before participants enrolled in the Facebook group added their instructor as a friend T he posttest which consisted of a second offering of the Academic Motivation Scale, the Instructional Affect Assesment Instrument, and the open ended exit questionnaire, was administered between the 13 th and the 15 th week of the semester (the semester being comprised of 16 weeks). The final grades for the course (comprised of homework grades, online tests grades, midterm examination grade, and final grade) were considered for the purpose of this study as a measure of performance.
57 Descriptive Statistics Background Questionnaire The background questionnaire was administered during the pretest and provided the researcher with information regarding the class demographics. 10 4 students participated in this study. The youngest student was 20 years old, the oldest 43 years and the average student age was 24 years and 6 months. 27% of the students were male, 73% were female. The majority of the students were in the 20 24 year ol d bracket. 40 participants were enrolled in the Facebook group and 64 participants were enrolled in the control group. Males accounted for 30% (12 participants) of the participants and females accounted for 70% (28 participants) of the participants enroll ed in the Facebook group. In the control group, 33 % (22 participants) of the participants were male and 67 % (42 participants) were female. The participant average age in the Facebook group was 24.05 and 24.8 in the control group. The two groups were theref ore balanced in terms of age and gender.
58 F igure 4.1 Age Distribution of S tudents participating in the Study Because the study was concerned with the impact of Facebook, the social networking sites. The participants were not new to social networking websites. Prior to the beginning of t he study, 94 students had a Facebook account, 50 had a Myspace account, 44 had both a Facebook and a Myspace account, 4 students had no Facebook or Myspace accounts (these last four participants were randomly assigned to the control group, no participants without a Facebook profile prior to the study decided to participate in the Facebook group) Figure 4.2 represents this distribution. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 20 24 25 29 30 34 35 39 40 45
59 Figure 4.2 Distri bution of Facebook and Myspace Accounts among Participants prior to the Beginning of the S tudy The average Facebook user reported having a Facebook account for 2 years and 3 months. The user with the most Facebook experience had had an account for 54 months. At the time of the study, the Facebook site had been opened for 60 months. Table 4.1 offers descriptive statistics on participants experience with MySpace and Facebook. Facebook Only Both Facebook and Myspace Myspace Only None
60 Table 4.1 Descriptive Statistics of the Number of Months Users had had a Facebook or MySpace Account The average Myspace user had had an account for a longer amount of time. Among the participants, the most recent account had been created one year before the start of the study. This can be explained by the fact that Myspace was founded in 2003 and did not face any competing websites until Facebook gained in popularity in 2006. In the background questionnaire, the participants were also asked to estimate their weekly usage of Myspace and Facebook. Two participants reported they do not check their accounts and one participant reported check ing his account over 100 times a week. Despite these two outliers, most participants Facebook MySpace Mean 27.5319 40.6 Median 24 43.5 Mode 24 48 Range 53 49 Minimum 1 12 Maximum 54 61
61 usually consult ed their social networking accounts between 1 and 10 times a week. Figure 4.3 Participants Self R eported F requency of Use of Social Networking W ebsites Since this study focused on participants enrolled in a French language reason for taking this course. A majority of students took this course to fulfill a language requirement (80 students). This is typical for language courses offered in the university where this study took place. The language requirement for this university requires all students who did not score high enough on the Language Department placement test to take first semester and second semester language courses. Some students who did not score high enough to be exempt ed from taking a language but who demonstrated sufficient knowledge of the language 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 0 to 5 times a week 6 to 10 times a week 11 to 15 times a week 16 to 20 times a week 21 to 25 times a week 26 to 30 times a week Over 30 times a week
62 are allowed to take only the 2 nd semester of a language to fulfill t heir language requirement. Figure 4.4 illustrates the reasons why the participants are taking this course. Figure 4.4. ourse Results by Research Questions This section of the chapter is organized according to the research questions. Each Research question will be stated and answered. Question 1 Is there a significant change in motivation type between the Facebook group and the control group before and after the Facebook exposure? Independent variable: exposure to t Students taking course to fulfill a language requirement Students not taking course to fulfill a language requirement
63 Dependant variable: motivation type exhibited by the participants (nominal type of data) Null hypothesis: There is no significant change in motivation type between the Facebook group and the control group before and after the Facebook exposure The Academic Motivation Scale was utilized for both the pretest and the posttest. It determined which motivation types the participants were demonstrating at the beginning and at the end of the semester. The types of motivation are intrinsic, extrinsic, and amotivation (or lack of motivation). For the purpose of this study, the participants were divided into two groups. Participants in group 1 added the instructor as a friend on Fa cebook after taking the pretest; participants in group 2 were not given this opportunity and On the pretest, the AMS determined that in group 1, 12 students were extrinsically motivated, and 28 were intrinsically motivated On the posttest, and after an participants were extrinsically motivated and 36 were intrinsically motivated. No participants displayed amotivation during the pretest or the posttest. T he result of the A MS for group 1 can be found in T able 4.2 in the form of a cross tabulation.
64 Table 4.2 Cross Tabulation of the Results of the Academic Motivation Scale for the Facebook Group Posttest Extrinsic Intrinsic Total Pretest Extrinsic 2 10 12 Intrinsic 2 26 28 Total 4 36 40 In group 2, the pretest determined that 14 students were extrinsically motivated and 50 were intrinsically motivated. These figures re mained the same at the posttest; none of the participa nts experienced a change of motivation type. The cross tabulation describing the results of the AMS for group 2 can be found in table 4.3. Table 4.3 Cross tabulation of the results of the Academic Motivation Scale for the control group Posttest Extrinsic Intrinsic Total Pretest Extrinsic 14 0 14 Intrinsic 0 50 50 Total 14 50 64
65 The results of the AMS were analyzed using a McNemar Chi Square test in order to assess if there were significant changes in motivation types between the pretest and the posttest. This test assesses the significance of the difference between two dependent samples when the variable of interest is a dichotomy. In this study, the test evaluates if changes of motivation types (intrinsic or extrinsic) in students is significant between the pretest and the posttest. This analysis revealed a significant difference of motivation types displayed in the Facebook group between the pretest and the posttest. The result for the chi square of the Facebook group is 4.08, and at .05 level of significance the critical value is 3.84. There is no significa nt change in motivation type between the Facebook group and the control group before and after the Facebook exposure The result of this research question echo es (communicative behaviors that reduce the physical or psychological distance between individuals and foster affiliation) postively Question 2 Is t here a significant difference in mean attitude between students assigned in the Facebook group and the control group? Independent variable: Dependant variable: tructor (ratios)
66 Null hypothesis: There is no significant difference in mean attitude between the Facebook group and the comparison group toward the class and its instructor and its instructor scores were provided for both the Facebook group and the control group using the Instructional Affect Assessment Instrument. The formula used to compute the mean attitude score towards the class and its instructor can be found in A ppendix E. Scoring K was used as it includes all subscores ( total attitude, total behavioral intent) in its calculation. The average score for the Facebook group was 53.2, and the average score for the control group was 49.43. A summary including the mean, standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis for the mean attitude toward the class and its instructor for each group is provided in T able 4.4. Table 4.4 Mean attitude scores for the Facebook group and the control Var iable N Mean Standard Deviation Skewness Kurtosis Mean Attitude Facebook Group 40 138.8 22.26 0.51 0.54 Mean Attitude Control Group 64 141.75 17.97 0.6 0.22 In terms of typical scores, the mean attitudes for the Facebook group (138.8) and the control group (141.75) are high. According to McCroskey (1994),
67 the developer of the Instructional Affect Assessment Instrument, any score above 126 can be considered to be high, the range of score s being between 24 and 168. Cohen's d = .15 reflects a small effect size. When considering the distribution of scores in both groups, the kurtosis value (<1) suggests a platykurtic distribution with the majority of values occurri ng the same number of times. The skewness for both groups 1 and 2 (<1) suggests that the mean attitude scores were clustered on the right side of the distribution. An independent t test was used to determine whether the means of the two groups were statist ica lly different from each other. The t test failed to reveal a statistically reliable difference between the mean attitude scores of the Facebook group (M = 138.8, s = 3.52) and the control group (M = 141.75, s = 2.24), t (102) = 7.42, p = significant difference in mean attitude between the Facebook group and the Question 3 impressions of the use of Facebook on the course and instructor? The purpose of this question was to collect qualitative data in order to gather testimonies from the participa nts about their experience in this study. Participants who were assigned to the Facebook group had to answer a set of three open ended questions during the posttest. T hese questions can be found in
68 A ppendix F. Participants assigned to the control group had to answer only one question, which was also the first question participants in the Facebook group had to answer. Content analysis (Krippendorf, 1980; Stewart & Shamdasani, 1990) was used to break data into content chunks and to code the content into conce ptual categories. Open coding as described by Strauss and Corbin (1990) was utilized in this study as it allows the researcher to remain open as new relationships and categories emerge during data analysis. For each research question, the first section p rovides the main trends and themes touched on by the participan ts for each open ended question and the second one illustrates The first question asked to both the Facebook group and t he control group What is your opinion about your French instructor sharing his personal information with his students on Facebook? Give as many details as you can in were n egative, positive or neutral 88% of the participants enrolled in the Facebook group thought an instructor sharing personal information on Facebook is a good idea. 22% of the students decided to remain neutral on this subject, deciding not to view it as a positive or a negative thing. None of the participants assigned to the Facebook group expressed any negativity towards the idea of an instructor sharing personal information with his students on Facebook. When it comes to the control group, 30% of the par ticipants expressed a positive opinion about the idea of an instructor sharing his personal information on Facebook,
69 30% viewed it as a negative and 40% were neutral about it. Figures 4.5 and 4.6 provide a graphic representation of these statistics. Figure 4.5 Opinion of P artici pants enrolled in the Facebook Group about their Instructor sharing his I nformation on Facebook Figure 4.6 Opinion of Participants enrolled in the Control Group about their Instructor sharing his I nformation on Facebook Positive opinion Neutral Opinion Positive Opinion Negative Opinion Neutral Opinion
70 In the Facebook group, participants were enthusiastic about the use of Facebook on the part of their instructor. The majority of the positive comments came from the Facebook group. To illustrate some of the comments made by participants in the Facebook group can be found below. I think it's great. It lets us get to know our instructor on a much more personal level.(participant #7) I think it is an interesting way to get to know your professor, and I actually really like it. Many instructors have hundreds of students, so we don't really get to know them very well. With being a friend with them on Facebook it allows students to get to have a more personal relationship with the professor. Especially once we get into our majors, students use the se relationships to better themselves in their careers and use professors as references and for letters of recommendation. I think it would be awesome if we were allowed to add all our professors in a professional context on facebook. (participant #24) I t hought it was refreshing. It was nice to be able to reach the instructor on a personal level. (participant #39) I think it's great! I think it makes him more personable and easier to approach. This may be more helpful to students who would normally hesitate to ask for help. (participant # 2)
71 A few participants were somewhat more neutral towa rd the idea of their instructor sharing his personal information on Facebook. The following comments were made by participants in the Facebook group. I do not th information about himself. He just gave his basic information. (participant #16) At this point in the world, everyone has a Facebook profile so I'm quite i ndifferent to it.(participant #10) Facebook page was mostly in French. A few of their testimonies can be found below. He often wrote to his French friends in the French language, so I didn't always understand everything.(participant # 70) Everything is interesting except for the fact that it is all written in French so it can be kind of hard to understand.(participant #14) The only negative comments came from participants enrolled in the con trol group. They often referred to the inappropriateness of an instructor sharing his personal information on Facebook and the boundary between students and professor that should not be crossed. Some participants also commented on the safety of personal in formation posted on the Internet.
72 It is my opinion that if my French instructor was thinking about sharing his personal info on Facebook he should think twice, and not do it.(participant #76) It may be preferable for a professor, or anyone who is a profe ssional/ wants to appear as professional, to exercise restraint in the personal information they show or give out on websites such as Facebook. Consequently, there is an extent to which personal information should be made available to the general public if a professional wishes to be taken seriously.(participant #55) Too much information out there for anyone to see is never a good thing.(participant #101) It might do a little damage to the student teacher relationship...I would be less likely to see him as an instructor and more peer like.(participant #69) I feel that Facebook opens many avenues for communication. If these avenues remain professional and appropriate to a student/instructor relationship, I believe that it can be very positive. My concern is that such open avenues may present opportunities for inappropriate or unprofessional information or discussion.(participant #70)
73 I don't think it is a good idea to post personal information on a website. (participant #42) The second question was only a sked to the participants enrolled in the Fa fter you were given the opportunity to check ways did your opinion change or did your opinion not chan ge? Give as many to this question: my opinion changed, my opinion did not change, I am unsure whether my opinion changed or not. The participants provided comments to illustrate t heir opinions. In order to better analyze the answers to this question, a descriptive chart is provided in F igure 4.7. It is followed by sample answers from students presented by themes. Figure 4.7 Change of O pinion about the Instructor after the Partic E xposure to his Facebook Profile My opinion changed My opinion did not change I am unsure whether my opinion changed or not
74 40% of the participants who added their instructor as a friend on Facebook for the semester they were taking a course with him felt their opinion about him changed. 52% of them felt their opinion about him did not change. 8% of the participants were not su re whether their opinion about him changed or not. The most common theme expressed by those participants who experienced a change in their opinion is the ease in relating to the instructor. Some others is also a graduate student, mentioned the fact he is also a student like them S ome others enjoyed learning more personal things about him, for instance the fact he recently got married. I think it is a wonderful way to connect with his students on a perso nal level. It gives the feeling that he is approachable and down to earth. (participant #12) Since the class is an online class, he was just a face less name to me. It was nice getting to know some more personal things about him (such as the fact that he r ecently got married). I think it helps to be able to relate to him more as a person.(participant #32) Seeing the things he posted on his Facebook made him seem more personable and relatable.(participant #34)
75 It made me view him as more of a student than an instructor.(participant #13) Some participants whose opinion changed after adding the instructor as a Facebook friend expressed the idea of the inappropriateness of interacting with an instructor on Facebook. These comments are similar to the ones made by participants enrolled in the control group who had a negative view of an instructor sharing personal information on Facebook. decreased level of respect because I think it's easy for st udents to treat a professor more like a peer if the professor has a facebook. (participant #3) Yes it did. I stopped thinking of him so much as a teacher and more like another college student.(participant #11) The final question participants in the Facebook group answered was: answers are compiled in the form of a bar chart in F igure 4.8.
76 Figure 4.8 Self Reported Frequency of P articipants in the Facebook Group rofile 60% of the participants enrolled in the Facebook group reported a week and 5% consulted it three ti mes a week. Therefore 95% of the participants consulted the profile once or twice a week. None of the participants statistic demonstrates that participants in the Faceboo k group were exposed to 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Once a week Twice a week Three times a week
77 Question 4 Is there a significant difference in performance between the Facebook group and the control group? Independent variable: exposure to the Dependant variable: Final grades participants earned for the course Null hypothesis: There is no significant difference in performance between the Facebook group and the comparison group In the context of this study, performanc e is defined as the final grades the participants earned for the course at the end of the semester. These final grades are comprised of online homework grades, online tests, in class midterm and final examinations. Table 4.5 provides a description of the w ay the final grade is computed. Table 4.5 Final grade computation Online Homework Assignments 40% Online Unit Tests 20% In Class Midterm Exam 20% In Class Final Exam 20% During the semester participants completed 14 online homework assignments that comprised the online homework assignment grade. The online
78 unit test grade is calculated by averaging the 3 online tests taken by the participants during the semester. The last two items which composed the final grade, the mid term grade and the final examination grade, are in class exams taken respectively on the 10 th and 16 th week of the semester. Table 4.6 provides descriptive statistics for the final grades for groups 1 and 2 Cohen's d = .06 reflects a small effect size. The skewness for both groups 1 and 2 (<1) suggests that the final grade scores were clustered on the right side of the distribution. Additionally, the kurtosis value for group 1 (<1) suggest a platykurtic dis tribution with the majority of values occurring the same number of times. Table 4.6 Descriptive Statistics of Final Grades for the Facebook Group and the Control Group Variable N Mean Standard Deviation Skewness Kurtosis Final grades Facebook Group 40 88.71 7.68 .705 .335 Final Grades Control Group 64 88.26 7.60 2.23 6.01 A t test was used to determine whether the means of the two groups were statistically different from each other. An independent sample t test was used to see if the two means are different from each other since the two samples that the
79 means are based on were taken from different individuals who have not been matched. The t test failed to reveal a statistically reliable difference between the mean attitude scores of the Facebook group (M = 88.71, s = 7.68) and the control group (M = 88.26, s = 7.60), t (102) = .294, p T here is no significant difference in performance between t rejected. Summary of Findings disclosure using Facebook affects the student their mean attitude towards the course, its instructor, and the behaviors recommended for the course ; and performance. Qualitative data were also gathered to illustrate whether the participants were aware of some changes affecting them throughout the semester. An assessment determining the typ e of motivation displayed by the participants was used during the pretest and the posttest. A measure of mean attitude was used during the posttest, as well as an open ended exit questionnaire. Participants enrolled in the Facebook group displayed a signif icant change of motivation between the pretest and the posttest from being extrinsically motivated to intrinsically motivated Participants enrolled in the control group did not experience a significant change in motivation type. There
80 was no significant difference in mean attitude between participants assigned in the Facebook group and the participants assigned in the control group. Qualitative findings suggest that participants assigned to the Facebook group had a positi ve experience because it enabled t hem to relate more with their instructor. However it should be noted that a few students raised the issue of the inappropriateness of the use of Facebook in such a context. Finally, t here is no significant difference in performance between the participants enrolled in the Facebook group and the participants enrolled in the control group.
81 C H A P T E R V DISCUSSION disclosure using Facebook on students in a French online course. This final chapter will present the interpretations of the results for each research question, discuss theoretical and pedagogical implications, make recommendation for future research and offer final conclusions. Interpretations of the results Effects of D isclosure on Motivation T ypes The Academic Motivation Scale was used in this question to determine the examining differences in motivation types between the pretest and the posttest, a McNemar Chi square test revealed that a shift occurred in participants in the Facebook group. Aft er being exposed to instructor self disclosure through Facebook, a significant number of participants experienced a motivation type switch from being extrinsically motivated to intrinsically motivated. Such a change in motivation type did not occur in the control group the majority of the participants in this group remained intrinsically motivated therefore suggesting disclosure using Facebook may be a major factor behind this change.
82 Such a switch in motivation is crucial in the language learning process since intrinsic motivation is the most self determined type of motivation that is associated with the most positive results in the learning process (Deci & Ryan, 1985; Deci & Ryan, 2000; Vallerand, 1997). A study pertaining to this research has shown that a teac her positive communicative style (teachers perceived to progress) directly correlates with stronger feelings of intrinsic motivation related to positive language learning outcomes (Noel s, Clment, & Pelletier; 1999). This study used the Academic Motivation Scale instrument, the same instrument that is used in the present study. D isclosure on Attitudes towards the Course and its I nstructor. The Instruc tional Affect Assessment Instrument provided a score for the attitude toward the class and its instructor. This instrument was administered during the posttest to both groups. The mean score for the Facebook group was 138.8 and the mean score for the contr ol group was 141.75. A t test was used to determine whether there existed a significant difference in attitude score between the Facebook group and the control group. The t test concluded that no such difference existed between the two groups, the mean sco res being almost disclosure using Facebook did not have a significant effect on the mean affect scores of the participants in both groups.
83 In a similar study using the same instrument, Mazer (2007) did not consider the total attitude score. Rather, he considered only two subscales he a ppendix E). Mazer used three groups: high instructor self disclosure using Facebook, medium instructor self disclosure using Facebook, and low instruc tor self disclosure. Other differences in design will be examined below. Table 5.1 provides a descriptive statistics for the mean total attitudes (scores computed by Table 5.1 N Mean Stan dard Deviation High self disclosure 45 45.09 6.70 Medium self disclosure 44 43.64 10.41 Low self disclosure 44 38.82 8.54 In order to compare total attitude scores were calculated using the subscores Mazer used with participants in the present study. The descriptive statistics are provided in table 5.2.
84 Table 5.2 the Present Study N Mean Standard deviation Facebook group 40 52.05 5.99 Control group 64 51.63 5.44 The means for both groups in the present study exceed the means of The main differences between the lay in the design of both studies In this study, participants were enrolled in an online enrolled in an in class communications course. In whose Facebook profile the participants were exposed to was not their actual professor. Moreover in the present study, participants assigned to the Facebook semester versions of the at different levels of self exposure fabricated for the purpose of the study. In the present study, one group was exposed to the
85 should be noted that the instrument used for both studies, the Instructional Affect Assessment Instrument, was designed to assess affect in face to face, non language courses. A modified version of this instrument may need to be used to take into account the particular nature of online courses. All these factors can explain the discrepancies in means between the two studies. In a future study, the Instructional Affect Assessment Instrument should also be administered to the in class equivalent of the French online course in order to observe whether since exposure using Facebook was shown to have no effect. A study should also investigate using different instructors to determine to what extent the personality age, or gender of the instructor reflected in the Facebook profile plays a role. to determine how these variables may affect different types of learners in different ways. Disclosure on P erformance For the purpose of this study performance was defined as the final grade earned by the participants at the end of the semester. The mean final grade of participants enrolled in the Facebook group was 88.71 and the average final grade of participants enrolled in the control group was 88.26. In order to determine whether the difference in average grades between the Facebook group and the control group was significant, a t test was conducted. It suggested that no significant difference in average final grades, and therefore in performanc e for the purpose of this study, existed between the Facebook group
86 which they were enrolled. disclosure would have had an who have higher levels of exposure to their instructor perform better in term of final grade for the cours e than students with medium and low levels of exposure. as a measure of performance in the course. In his study, Beaudoin did not provide a description of the way the final g rade used was computed. Grades and grade point averages are common student performance measures; however such measures tend to be misleading particularly because of grade inflation (Picciano, 2002). The Boston Globe (2001) reported that at Harvard Univers 48.5 percent of the grades in the year 2000 were A's and A minuses, B grades accounted for 45 % of all grades, grades in the C categories accounted for 4.9 % This arti cle has stemmed a debate among college faculty showing that this trend is not isolated to Harvard University (Gordon, 2006). In the present study, 33% of the Boston Globe
87 Grade inflation may have masked d ifference s in performance between the Facebook group and the control group The letter grade distribution for students enrolled in this study is included in F igure 5.1. The letter grades were calculated using the grading system for the course included in T able 5.3 Figure 5.1 Letter Grade Distribution for Students enrolled in the S tudy Table 5.3 Letter Grade Computation for the Course A 90% B 80% C 70% D 65% F <65% 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 A B C D F
88 The use of final grades, because of grade inflation, may not be a sensitive enough measure of either language proficiency or achievement in the class. Because of this phenomenon, t he researcher also considered the average of the midterm and final examinations and obtained similar results. By not using homework grades which result mostly examinations administered in class only would bypass grade inflation. Those are included in T able 5.4. A notable difference when considering the average of midterm and final examinations is the fact that the standard deviation value is mu ch higher for the control group. This reflects the fact that the range of grades is greater for the control group. In the control group, these averages range from 1 to 95 whereas in the Facebook group, the same averages range from 71 to 96. This could be related to the greater drop rate in the Facebook group. The participants in the Facebook group may feel more responsible towards the instructor, or they may no longer feel they can hide their lack of performance behind anonymity. A fut ure study could explore these issues through the use of qualitative data.
89 Table 5.4 Descriptive Statistics of Final Grades for the Facebook Group and the Control Group Variable N Mean Standard Deviation Average Midterm & Final Facebook Group 40 82.35 9.2 Average Midterm & Final Control Group 64 79.21 17.5 A future study exploring the relationship between online instructor self disclosure and student performance should look at performance as a series of benchmark measuring different elements taught in the course. Student s performing well w ould meet most of the benchmarks whereas students performing poorly would meet fewer benchmarks. Those benchmarks would not result in a score but a pass or fail mark. These benchmarks could consist of several discr eet pieces of learning material (such as grammar points) the researcher could decide to focus on in order to assess whether learning took place. These could take the form of grammar exercises given outside regular tests and they would not be taken for a gr ade. The researcher would design them and collect them to avoid teacher interference with the grading process. Another limitation that may have contributed to the failure of establishing a disclosure and improved performance is the length
90 of the study. One semester is a relatively short period of time to witness a difference in perfor mance between the two groups Future studies should consider utilizing a more refined measure of performance. Interpretation of Qualitative D ata The qualitative findings of this study relied on an open ended exit questionnaire given to participants durin g the posttest. Two different versions of the questionnaire were used. The questionnaire for the Facebook group contained three questions whereas the control group questionnaire only prompt was the first question asked to the Facebook group. When the ans wers provided by both groups were analyzed, recurrent themes emerged. Firstly, it appears that participants who were enrolled in the Facebook group during the semester have in general a good opinion about their instructor sharing pe rso nal information on Facebook with only a minority of them deciding to remain neutral on this issue and none of them expressing negative opinions. In contrast, participants in the control group who did not have access to the e issue. The rest of the participants in this group were about equally divided between positive and negative opinions on this issue. Some students in both groups also highlighted These students commented that even though these postings were hard to understand because of their limited proficiency in the language, they were
91 nevertheless helpful because they enabled them to see the language used in context. This can be explained by the fact that, after hav ing been exposed to instructor self disclosure for a semester, many participants in the Facebook group were not concerned about issues of crossing the border between instructor and students as much as participants in the control gro up. This theme of inappropriateness is recurrent throughout the comments provided by the control group and seems to be one of their main concerns. This concern is not What is your opi nion about your French instructor sharing his personal information with same participants in the Facebook group when they were asked if their opinion of their in structor changed after they had been exposed to his Facebook profile. It can be inferred that when it comes to the Facebook group, participants viewed the first open sharing his personal information with his students on Facebook? opinion; therefore, since they e xperienced having the instructor as a friend on Facebook, they did not judge it as inappropriate for the general population. However, among the 40% of the participants who felt their opinion about the instructor changed after being exposed to his Facebook profile, a minority of them expressed that their opinion of him took a negative shift because of the inappropriateness of having an instructor as a friend on Facebook. It is due to the fa fter you were given the opportunity to check
92 ways did your opinion change or did your opinion not change? Give as many previous one and it explains why some students decided to bring up the theme of inappropriateness at this point. It should be noted though that the majority of the participants whose opinion changed after having been exposed to his Facebook profile mention that the experience was positive since it enabled them to relate more to the instructor. A thin line seems to be drawn between inappropriateness and relatedness and its consequences and positive and negative attitudes expressed in a qualitative fashion in this study. A futur e study could explore the to him for some students and an inappropriate way to get to know him for some other by way of interviews to extract specific qualitative data. This dat a could shed some light on what type of interactions are considered by the participants professional and what types are considered inappropriate. Such a study should not be limited to online courses. Theoretical Implications and L imitations This dissertation adds to the growing body of res earch in effects of instructor online self disclosure and in motivation study. Previous studies have focused on online self disclosure in the context of in class communications courses using Facebook (Mazer, 2007 ; O'Sullivan, Hunt, & Lippert, 2004) whereas this dissertation analyzes the effects of instructor online self disclosure in an online language course using Facebook.
93 The use of the Academic Motivation scale demonstrated a positive shift in motivation typ Facebook profile. However this exposure seemed to have no effects on mean attitude is concerned, no significant dif ference in score was identified between the Facebook group and the control group. Moreover, both scores are considered high by the standard of the Instructional Affect Assessment Instrument designer (McCroskey, 1994). More research should be conducted to f ully explain why no d ifference in score was observed. A f uture study should com pare results in this instrument between the online course and its in class counterpart in order to reveal whether the online nature of the course is the determining factor in obtaining high scores in attitude. Qualitative data should be gathered in order to substantiate the findings and to shed some light on the nature of attitude. d isclosure also seemed to have no effect on limitation of this study. Because of grade inflation, using final grades to measure performance in the course provided a flawed measure of this construct. In order to obtain a better measure of performance, future studies should look at performance in the class as a construct validating benchmarks that need to be passed in order to succeed in the class. Such benchmarks could be grammatical concepts, oral skills, listening skills, read ing skills, writing skills, etc. These benchmarks could be discussed with the instructor, involve multiple assignments
94 and be graded as pass or fail items by the researcher for the purpose of the study. The mai n advantage of using pass or fail benchmark s rather than final grade s is the abil ity to evaluate whether discrete pieces of material were mastered by the students. The researcher should grade these benchmarks to Another lim itation encountered in this study is its length. A longer study (at least two semesters) could perhaps yield results showing more of a difference in attitude and performance between the two groups discl osure on a longer period of time This dissertation has nevertheless made important contributions to disclosure and motivation research by highlighting the change in motivation from extrinsic to intrinsic i n students enrolled in the Facebook group Some questions remain however unanswered such as the real impact of this type of self performance. Pedagogical Implications Besides contributing to the field of second language acquisition especially in the fields of online language learning and motivation research, this study also yielded pedagogical implications. This dissertation suggests that the use of online teacher self disclosure using Facebook promotes a shift in motivation type that was shown by previous research as being more conducive to language learning (Noels, Clment,
95 Pelletier; 1999) This finding is particularly relevant in the context of a strictly online administered language course where students have no or at most ver y limited interactions with their instructor. The use of Facebook may supply a form of interaction. In general, s tudent testimonies show enthusiasm for this form of online self disclosure among the participants who were exposed to the profile. Directions for Future R esearch Multiple topics stemming from this study can be explored in future research. The findings from this study using an online French course could be compared to its in class counterpart. It would be a mean s to assess w hether the high attitude scores obtained in this study are a result of the online nature of the course the participants were enrolled in. The effects of instructor online self measure from the one being used in this study in both an in class and online course context. disclosure had an administering a p osttest after a second and third semester to examine whether this shift can be retained over time. The issue s of how students may relate to their instructor and inappropriateness should also be the focus of future studies. The difference between the two s eems to result respectively in positive and negative opinions
96 towards the instructor. The nature of these two concepts should be explored and the variables that influence students in one way or another should be defined. Conclusions Previous studies have disclosure on multiple variables. This study is the first in second language disclosure using Facebook in a strictly online language course. Thi s study examined this issue by focusing on motivation, attitude, and performance. disclosure using However, it seems to have no effect on attitude and performance. Future studies should explore how the online nature of the course may have an impact on measure
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108 Appendix A: Background Questionnaire
110 Appendix B Academic Motivation Scale Scale Description This scale assesses 7 types of constructs: intrinsic motivation towards knowledge, accomplishments, and stimulation, as well as external, introjected and identified regulations, and finally amotivation. It contains 28 items (4 items per subscale) assessed on a 7 point scale. References Vallerand, R.J., Blais, M.R., Brire, N.M., & Pelletier, L.G. (1989). Construction et validation de l'ch elle de Motivation en ducation (EME). Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement, 21, 323 349. ACADEMIC MOTIVATION SCALE (AMS C 28) COLLEGE VERSION Robert J. Vallerand, Luc G. Pelletier, Marc R. Blais, Nathalie M. Brire, Caroline B. Sencal, vely ne F. Vallires, 1992 1993 Educational and Psychological Measurement, vols. 52 and 53
113 Robert J. Vallerand, Luc G. Pelletier, Marc R. Blais, Nathalie M. Brire, Caroline B. Sencal, velyne F. Vallires, 1992
114 KEY FOR AMS 28 # 2, 9, 16, 23 Intrinsic motivation to know # 6, 13, 20, 27 Intrinsic motivation toward accomplishment # 4, 11, 18, 25 Intrinsic motivation to experience stimulation # 3, 10, 17, 24 Extrinsic motivation identified # 7, 14, 21, 28 Extrinsic motivation introjected # 1, 8, 15, 22 Extrinsic motivation external regulation # 5, 12, 19, 26 Amotivation
116 Appendix D: Sample of a Facebook Profile.
118 Appendix E Measure of Affect toward the course and the teacher INSTRUCTIONAL AFFECT ASSESSMENT INSTRUMENT
121 Appendix F Open ended Facebook questions Facebook Group Control Group
About the Author James Aubry obtained his his Licence in English Literature and Civilization from the Un iversity of Le Havre, France. He received of South Florida. Mr. Aubry started his doctoral program in Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technology in August 2001. At the University of South Florida, he taught French language classes in both face to face and distance learning formats.