In Search of Intellectual Stimulation: Understanding the Relationship Between Motivation, Deep Learning and Stimulation in the Higher Education Classroom

Sandeep Chowdhry, Renata Osowska


Intellectual stimulation, problem based learning, Active learning, Constructivism, Academic staff development


One of the key educational notions measured in the National Student Survey (NSS) is intellectual stimulation. This study aimed to find out Higher Education (HE) engineering students’ views of intellectual stimulation with a focus on its measurement and supporting its increase within the classroom environment. A quantitative questionnaire acted as a data gathering instrument. The sample comprised 128 students from Edinburgh Napier University (ENU), Scotland. The survey findings showed a positive correlation and positive agreement between the intellectual stimulation (IS), intrinsic motivation (IM) and deep learning approach (DLA) scales. The students’ feedback suggests that implementation of the new intellectual scale based teaching and learning strategy is useful in intellectually stimulated the students and encouraged them to adopt deep learning approach. The findings suggest the design of an intellectually stimulating environment in HE classroom, should consider students’ learning styles, challenge students, allow the provision of timely feedback and provide opportunities to encourage independent thought. Further, the research suggests, the studied institution should encourage staff to consider the intellectual stimulation scale when constructively aligning learning and teaching with an assessment.

DOI 10.15415/jotitt.2017.51001
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