Fixed versus Growth Mindset Does not Seem to Matter Much : A Prospective Observational Study in Two Late Bachelor level Computer Science Courses
Kaijanaho, A.-J., & Tirronen, V. (2018). Fixed versus Growth Mindset Does not Seem to Matter Much : A Prospective Observational Study in Two Late Bachelor level Computer Science Courses. In L. Malmi, A. Korhonen, R. McCartney, & A. Petersen (Eds.), ICER '18 : Proceedings of the 2018 ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research (pp. 11-20). New York: ACM. doi:10.1145/3230977.3230982
© the Authors, 2018.
Psychology predicts that a student’s mindset—their implicit theory of intelligence—has an effect on their academic performance. We attempted to corroborate this in the computer science education context by asking the students on two bachelor-level courses, typically taken in the third year of studies, to fill out a standard mindset questionnaire, and analyzing their answers in relation to their grades on those courses. In a sample of 133 students, with only 24 (18 %) students with a clear fixed mindset, there is no detectable correlation between the students’ mindsets and their course grades. An ordinal logistic regression estimates, at the 95 % confidence level, a statistically nonsignificant effect between a decrease by a factor of 0.46 and an increase by a factor of 2.03 in the odds of achieving a better course grade when moving from a strong fixed mindset to neutral mindset, or when moving from a moderate fixed mindset to a moderate growth mindset. This suggests that any effect the mindset has on the outcomes of these courses is small. We conclude that educational interventions targeting students’ mindsets may not be worth the effort in late bachelor-level CS education, possibly because students who suffer from their fixed mindset have already dropped out by the third year. ...