Literature on the learning orientation does not necessarily touch upon the best strategies directly, but there is still plenty of evidence related to the topic. Scholars identify numerous factors that can impact learning orientation in teams positively or negatively. Research demonstrates that agentic engagement, emotional intelligence, and good mastery of the learning medium are all necessary components to a viable and effective strategy for learning orientation.
One necessary component to a strategy for learning orientation that resurfaces in multiple studies is agentic engagement. The concept refers to “the learners’ positive involvement in a teaching-learning process” and, as such, is directly related to learning orientation (Almusharraf & Bailey, 2021, p. 1285). Almusharraf and Bailey (2021) analyze the importance of agentic engagement for learning orientation among online students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their conclusion is that agentic engagement serves as a key mediator in promoting collaborative learning orientation and, by extension, positive educational outcomes (Almusharraf & Bailey, 2021). In a similar vein, Reeve et al. (2020) analyzed and evaluated different kinds of student engagement and their predictive power for learning orientation and academic success. Their findings suggest that agentic engagement is a strong contributor to learning orientation (Reeve et al., 2020). Thus, research demonstrates that agentic engagement should be a vital component of an effective strategy for learning orientation, whether in teams or not.
Another factor often identified in the scholarly literature as a crucial aspect of learning orientation is emotional intelligence. Welch (2003) analyzes emotional intelligence as a combination of five competencies – namely, inclusiveness, adaptability, assertiveness, empathy, and influence. Inclusiveness refers to allowing all team member to use their talents, adaptability describes the capacity to handle change, assertiveness is about maintaining boundaries, empathy is self-explanatory, and influence is the ability to enhance relationships. Importantly, Welch insists that emotional intelligence is “not a static skill that can be attained and then forgotten” but, rather, a dynamic skill that can be trained and improved (p. 169). The author also suggests that the teams with higher emotional intelligence dominate better learning orientation and overall motivation (Welch, 2003). Hence, the development of emotional intelligence is one more aspect of strategies for learning orientation as identified in scholarly literature, and this one is important for teams specifically.
Apart from that, literature also focuses on the mastery of the learning medium is yet another factor that can contribute to the learning orientation. The premise is simple: in order to realize one’s focus on learning, one needs to possess sufficient skills in the tools used in the process of said learning. For example, one study identified online students’ familiarity with the Learning Management system (LMS) as strongly connected to learning orientation (McGowan, 2018). While it can be arguable whether this component is as essential for developing learning orientation specifically rather than the process of learning per se, studies have still identified it as an important one.
As one can see, literature does not offer a singular option of the best possible strategy for learning orientation in teams but provides several insights into what it should be like. Research suggests that training teams in emotional intelligence and ensuring agentic engagement throughout the learning process should both be crucial components of an effective strategy for learning orientation. Apart from that, sufficient mastery of the tools employed in learning is also an aspect that should not be neglected in developing such a strategy.
Almusharraf, N. M., & Bailey, D. (2021). Online engagement during COVID-19: Role of agency on collaborative learning orientation and learning expectations. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 37(5), 1285-1295. Web.
McGowan, V. F. (2018). An investigation into web-based presentations of institutional online learning orientations. Journal of Educators Online, 15(2), 1-16. Web.
Reeve, J., Cheon, S. H., & Jang, H. (2020). How and why students make academic progress: Reconceptualizing the student engagement construct to increase its explanatory power. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 62, 101899. Web.