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Abstract: Context: A university education should challenge and stimulate a learner. However, too often learners are focussed on achieving assessment results rather than achieving learning outcomes. A focus on results can lead to stress, which can manifest as a degradation in confidence, self-worth and self-efficacy in both the student's university and social life. With the focus on results, we explore whether students perceive that they earn or lose marks, and whether this changes over year levels. Understanding how students perceive their mark will allow a better pathway for developing assessment and study environments that improve the student experience.

Purpose: We examined whether students had a perception that they earned or lost marks, given a particular mark out of 10.

Approach: We surveyed cohorts of students from first to final year asking them to decide whether they earned or lost marks given a particular mark out of 10. Individuals were randomly assigned a particular mark between 6 and 9. These data were analysed to explore whether students perceived they had earned or lost marks, and whether this perception changes as the mark improves or as the progress through the degree.

Results: Our data suggests that students are more likely to consider that they have 'lost' marks, even when they receive a mark of 9/10.

Conclusions: This research demonstrate that a 'loss' mental model is prevalent in our learners, emphasising what is already known about a focus on grades rather than learning. This observation could lead to initiatives that help match the expectations between faculty and students.

To cite this article: Browne, Chris and Blocklock, Sarah. Learning not to lose: A deficit model prevalent in our learners [online]. In: 27th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education : AAEE 2016. Lismore, NSW: Southern Cross University, 2016: 105-112. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=679300677385794;res=IELENG> ISBN: 9780994152039. [cited 27 Apr 17].

Personal Author: Browne, Chris; Blocklock, Sarah; Source: In: 27th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education : AAEE 2016. Lismore, NSW: Southern Cross University, 2016: 105-112. DOI: Document Type: Conference Paper ISBN: 9780994152039 Subject: Students--Attitudes; Universities and colleges--Faculty; Students--Evaluation; Educational surveys; Affiliation: (1) Research School of Engineering, The Australian National University, email: Chris.Browne@anu.edu.au
(2) Research School of Engineering, The Australian National University

Database: Engineering Collection