The Evaluation of an Integrated Growth & Goals Module to Better Equip Students with Learning Skills in Postsecondary Courses: Systematic, Scalable, and Explicit

15 June 2021, Version 2
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Objective: Most students spend years in formal education settings without being explicitly taught how to learn effectively. Our objective was to evaluate an innovative intervention designed to effectively equipping all students with learning skills, called the Growth & Goals Module, which is an adaptable open education resource available in English and French.

Methods: We evaluated the module using a Practical Participatory Evaluation approach and the 4-level Kirkpatrick Evaluation model. To investigate ten research questions aligned with the model, we collected data from 1845 students and five educators from nine undergraduate courses in science, engineering, and mathematics through questionnaires, focus groups, course assessments, and institutional data.

Results: Students and educators reported high satisfaction (Level 1, Learning). The training was new to most students and most completion rates were over 75% when educators provided an incentive. Students in some demographics used the module less than others. In Level 2 (Learning), students’ metacognitive skills increased. They could identify SMART goals and differentiate growth/fixed mindset statements. At Level 3 (Behaviour), students reported intending to use the module in the future. Most educators created learning outcomes for the first time. The module required little time of students and educators; however, greater support, incentives, and rewards are needed for project sustainability. Educators have used the module in courses in many disciplines and levels (Level 4, Results).

Conclusions: The Growth & Goals module explicitly teaches core learning skills for students in science, engineering, and mathematics courses and has the potential to scale to other disciplines and levels.


Learning skills
growth mindset
STEM education
open education resource
Practical Participatory Evaluation
Kirkpatrick Evaluation


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