Academic Help Seeking

Academic Help Seeking

One of my interests is academic help seeking. Research has shown that seeking academic help when needed is an important adaptive learning strategy. Students who need help the most, however, may be less likely to seek it. Recent models suggest that help seeking is a process that involves a series of steps, including determining that a problem exists, that help is needed, deciding to seek help, establishing the goal of seeking help, deciding whom to ask for help, soliciting that help, and obtaining and using the help received.

Who do individuals go to when they need academic help? How do they decide whom to ask for help? What is the role of academic and social motivation in the likelihood of seeking help? Together with Stuart Karabenick, we have explored these questions among secondary students, undergraduate university students, and secondary teachers. We’ve conducted a range of studies that build upon his legacy of research on academic help seeking. We have a book chapter on the role of technology in help seeking in Karabenick and Puustinen’s (2013) edited volume on the role of emerging technologies in help-seeking research and application. We have also co-authored an article in Learning & Instruction with Eleftheria Gonida examining developmental differences in how parent goals impact Greek students’ academic help seeking. Finally, we’ve partnered on several conference symposium related to help seeking with Minna Puustinen, Sabine Zorn, Nathalie Huet, Julie Mulet, Ruth Butler, and Eleftheria Gonida.


Gonida, E., Karabenick, S. A., Makara, K. A., & Hatzikyriakou, G. (2014). Perceived parent goals and student goal orientations as predictors of seeking or not seeking help: Does age matter? Learning and Instruction, 33, 120-130. doi: 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2014.04.007

Book Chapters:

Makara, K. A., & Karabenick, S. A. (2013). Characterizing sources of academic help in the age of expanding educational technology: A new conceptual framework. In S. A. Karabenick & M. Puustinen (Eds.), Advances in help-seeking research and applications: The role of emerging technologies. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Recent Conference Presentations:

Makara, K. A., & Karabenick, S. A. (August, 2015). Teachers’ help-seeking beliefs and help-seeking networks. Paper to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction, Limassol, Cyprus.

Makara, K. A., & Karabenick, S. A. (April, 2015). An Expectancy-Value model of the role of social achievement goals in academic help seeking from peers. Paper to be presented as part of a symposium at the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL, USA.


Posted on

April 4, 2015