What is U-Behavior?
U-Behavior is a learning and teaching method that uses the Canvas quiz tool to promote optimal students study behaviors and practices.
Although U-Behavior uses the Canvas quiz tool, it rebrands each quiz as a Retrieval Practice Activity. Targeted behaviors include:
- Spacing the practice of RPAs over time
- Actively recalling information from RPAs without assistance to test your ability
- Interleaving RPA practice over time
- Self-regulating one’s practice
These behaviors are grounded in empirical evidence, and are part of a science-based approach to learning known as the Science of Learning.
Helping Students Learn
Student self-regulation of learning is supported through:
- Direct instruction (short instruction on the SoL behaviors)
- Periodic reflections
- Data-visualizations (RPA graph)
- Behavior-based assessment
See Figure 1 for an example of an RPA graph. RPA graphs are visual-form learning analytics incorporated into the U-Behavior method. These graphs are given to each student, and represents how they used the RPAs during the course.
Helping Instructors Teach
The U-Behavior method is a valuable tool for instructors. Many instructors use Canvas quizzes as a low-stakes assessment with the intention of designing these quizzes for student preparation and practice.
C-ALT faculty analyzed the Canvas quiz-log data. What we saw was less than optimal: students would repeat quizzes over and over again (often within the same hour) until they received the high score, then they would not repeat that quiz again.
We began to develop and test U-Behavior as an alternative to low-stakes assessment. U-Behavior:
- Teaches about highly optimal SoL practices
- Provides a method for students to actively visualize and reflect on self-regulated practice
- Rewards students for engaging in learning practices that will support their long-term learning, rather than receiving a high score
The U-Behavior method has been shown to significantly impact student behavior, moving from deadline and cramming behavior toward self-regulated practice over time.
Related Publications U-Behavior Research
McKenna, K., Pouska, B., Moraes, M. C., Folkestad, J. E., (2019). Visual-form learning analytics: A tool for critical reflection and feedback. Contemporary Educational Technology, 10(3), 214-228. www.cedtech.net/articles/103/1031.pdf
McKenna, K., Folkestad, J. E., & Moraes, M. C. (2019). Reflections of Visual Form Learning Analytics: Spaced Retrieval Practice Activity, Paper presented at 9th International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (LAK19). New York: ACM.
Moraes, M., Folkestad, J. E., McKenna, K. (2019). Generating Visual-Form Learning Analytics from Quiz Usage Data. Madison, WI: First International Conference on Quantitative Ethnography: Conference Proceedings Supplement.
Folkestad, J. E., Palmquist, M. (2019). Institutional Member Highlight: Colorado State University (vol. 7). Society for Learning Analytics Research.
Honors and Recognition of U-Behavior EDUCAUSE 2020 Horizon Report
In the report, EDUCAUSE employed an international panel and a published methodology to identify and select technologies pushing the horizon. The U-Behavior method was one of six technologies selected and included in the category, “Elevation of Instructional Design, Learning Engineering, and UX Design in Pedagogy in Practice.”
How do I get involved with the U-Behavior method?
If you are interested in exploring the use of U-Behavior in your course, contact James Folkestad at firstname.lastname@example.org.