In 2014 the successful N=N pilots where followed by a four-year research programme on the quality of education and study success. Promovendi are conducting research in the frame of this research agenda. Examples of research questions that are being discussed are the quality of compensatory testing and study success in relationship to small scale and activating education.
Rob Kickert investigates whether students at various course programmes under N = N differ from students under the old, traditional assessment policy. First of all, students can differ in terms of academic performance, both in terms of progress and in terms of grades. In addition, Kickert investigates the differences in motivation and study behavior in order to understand what a change in assessment policy does to the students. The most important question is whether N = N motivates students to study harder and better. These results can contribute to the development of learning environments and assessment policies that optimally enable students to demonstrate their potential.
An investigation into how an evidence-based goal-setting intervention closed the gender and ethnic achievement gap
An online narrative goal-setting intervention boosted academic performance among 703 first-year Business Administration students at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam (Schippers, Scheepers, & Peterson, 2015). Findings from the intervention cohort demonstrated that the gender achievement gap closed by 98 percent after the first year and the ethnic achievement gap closed by 93 percent after the second year. While numeral suggestions have been mentioned in the goal-setting intervention studies, a definitive answer to what caused the positive intervention-effect on academic performance is still lacking. Job’s research therefore has two aims: 1) to examine a potential mechanism of the goal-setting intervention, and 2) to elucidate as to why the intervention would specifically decrease the achievement gaps. To reach these aims, Job conducts a preliminary study at baseline in which he explores several new types of motivational profiles. Subsequently, he tests his proposed mechanism of the intervention while tracking the developments within the gender and ethnic subgroups. Ultimately, on the basis of the findings that evolve from his systematic approach, he will make claims about how the goal-setting intervention closed the gender and ethnic achievement gap. Job works on his research at the Department of Psychology, Education, and Child Studies of the Erasmus School of Behaviorial and Social Sciences.
M.C. Schippers, Ad Scheepers & J.B. Peterson (2015). A scalable goal-setting intervention closes both the gender and minority achievement gap. Palgrave Communications (online), 1, 15014. doi: 10.1057/palcomms.2015.14