Bridging the gap between formal and informal learning: An application of neuroscience to improve student learning outcomes through interest-driven learning

Singapore’s education system has a strong reputation for being highly competitive and greatly focused on examination grades, due to the importance of grades in determining future pathways. As a result of this, students may have lost the joy of learning while leaving students inadequately prepared for the twenty-first century. Interest-driven learning affords students the opportunity to learn as they participate in activities which they have a passion in, of which studies have shown to positively impact students’ goals, attention, learning and confidence.

This research aims to investigate the impact of interest-driven learning on student learning, motivation and academic outcomes in order to argue for the case that formal academics may not be the best and only way students learn. Drawing from constructivism and motivational theories, this study will make use of a sociocultural lens to examine the influences of the external social environment and individual factors such as motivation and interest. This is coupled with physiological measures such as electrodermal activity, to provide an additional layer of detail to determine cognitive development in students.

This study will employ a design-based approach to facilitate an interactive and participatory relationship between researcher and educator in order to increase impact and effectiveness of the intervention. A series of activities will be designed to allow students to delve into activities in an informal learning environment, such as crafting and programming, to reignite the joy of learning.

Date:                                   23 October, 11:30 am

Room:                                 24-s506

Principle advisor:              Professor Robyn Gillies

Associate Advisor:            Dr. Azilawati Jamaludin


Confirmation Panel:

Dr. Rhonda Faragher (Chair)

Dr. Mary Rafter


About HDR Confirmation Seminars

The Confirmation Seminar is the first public presentation in the UQ milestone process.

Staff and students are urged to attend to support your colleagues at this first outing of their project.