Is Demonstrating Understanding Rewarding? The Relation Between Student Academic Performance, Student Expression Mode and Micro Differentiation
Braak, M. van
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The present study investigates the relationship between students’ academic performance and student expression mode in student-teacher interactions. Research found that academically high performers receive higher levels of micro differentiation (i.e., higher quality of support). The present study aimed to investigate an explanation for this finding and hypothesized that high-performing students utilize more demonstrations of understanding than claims of understanding compared to low-performing students. Thereby, they would elicit higher levels of micro differentiation by enabling teacher assessments students’ needs and facilitating dialogic exchange. The method of investigation included 1) development of a coding scheme for student expression of understanding and 2) analysis of student and teacher responses in teacher-student interactions in relation to the students’ academic performance using the developed coding scheme. Results showed that the hypothesized correlation between student academic performance and student expression mode was absent. Despite the study’s limitations, findings of subsequently conducted exploratory analyses can serve as a starting point for future work. In addition, the coding scheme development has contributed to the methodological array of student-teacher interaction assessment.