An evaluation of the use of student-generated materials

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Howard Brown, Bethany Iyobe, and Paul Riley, The University of Niigata Prefecture


This study focuses on learner reactions to a discussion project based on student-generated materials (SGM). SGM are linked to authenticity, investment in learning, motivation, and positive learning outcomes. However, SGM may represent a new and daunting experience for students unaccustomed to participatory learning. This study examines the reaction of Japanese university students to an SGM project based on creating discussion and decision-making scenarios for others to use later. Results from questionnaire data indicate that students have positive feelings about using materials created by peers. They show interest and engagement, and request more opportunities to work with materials created by other students. However, they feel less positively about actually creating such materials. They cite difficulty in finding an appropriate topic and writing clear background information and instructions. The pattern is somewhat related to language level with lower proficiency students showing a stronger preference for using others' materials rather than creating them.