Chat Lab


Picture of EGoalsE-Goals

The E-Goals project was funded by the Uk's EPSRC in collaboration with Rose Luckin  and Katerina Avramides at the London Knowledge Lab. We evaluated the feasibility of educational software that can differentiate between children of different achievement goal orientations. These refer to differences in the way children approach learning. For example, some children believe that their ability can be increased through hard work and persistence: these children are said to have mastery goals. Mastery-oriented children view mistakes as useful pieces of information about what still needs to be learnt and how much effort is needed to reach a higher level of understanding. Other children believe that ability is a fixed property which no amount of effort can change: these children have performance goals. Performance-oriented children are concerned with how other people view their ability and they try to look clever in front of peers and teachers. From a performance perspective mistakes are seen as indicating low ability and so these children tend to avoid challenges.  

At Sussex we have developed a piece of software called Ecolab II which uses the dynamic features of scaffolding (Wood, Bruner & Ross, 1976) to help children learn about food chains and food webs. We believe that goal orientation will be a crucial influence on how children respond to and use the metacognitive scaffolding provided by the software.