Through independent learning, students who develop the IKEA Effect could feel more competent in the classroom.

IKEA effect

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Developing a sense of pride after completing a task is beneficial to students, especially since primary-school years provide an environment in which kids build a sense of self. In 2012, The Journal of Consumer Psychology performed studies in which subjects were asked to construct IKEA furniture, create origami projects, and use Lego to build projects. The study found that “…labor increases valuation…,” or put simply, when a person creates a product, he or she values his or her own item over others, even those of higher quality that were built by experts.

Promoting the IKEA Effect in Class

Promoting a sense of worth in a student’s own work through the IKEA Effect can best be performed by implementing alternative teaching methods. Many of these fresh approaches to pedagogy are student centered, allowing students to feel a sense of ownership over projects and gain confidence. Whether using project-based learning, which emphasizes student application of concepts to assigned tasks, or a flipped classroom that requires pupils to study lessons at home and attend class prepared to complete assignments typically reserved for homework, alternative teaching methods require students to take responsibility for their own learning – which increases their intrinsic value of it.

IKEA effectOne of the most relevant pedagogy techniques that aligns with the IKEA Effect is the maker movement, which encourages building products from scratch and developing a full understanding of the process of creating these items. This type of project-based learning could also utilize the methods of a flipped classroom if a teacher assigns lessons to students for study at night and carves out time during the school day for building and making.

Cons of the IKEA Effect

While building student confidence in class is important, teachers must also guide pupils to recognize the value of quality work. Someone might believe the work he or she performed is better than any other person’s – including a professional – simply because the finished product is his or her own, which could lead to a false sense of accomplishment. This sense of competence is misguided if the project is finished incorrectly or of poor quality. Teachers can easily combat this downfall by holding all student work to the same standards by developing rubrics to set clear expectations.

IKEA effectDespite this potential pitfall, the IKEA Effect remains a useful component of independent learning, as teachers still monitor the work of students, and therefore are available to correct through guidance, as shown through implementing constructivism techniques in class.

Through choosing student-focused education approaches, educators spark the IKEA Effect by building student confidence, instilling a sense of ownership in pupils, and showing that while an imperfectly completed project might not be the ideal, it is a first attempt at greatness if further work is performed. Implement the ownership ideals of the IKEA Effect by sharing student-focused alternative teaching methods with students.

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