Date of Award

Winter 11-3-1997

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Learning Technologies Division

First Advisor

Francis D. Atkinson, PhD

Second Advisor

Stephen Harmon, PhD

Third Advisor

Natacha Akshoomoff, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Beverly Armento, PhD

Fifth Advisor

Sheryl Gowen, PhD

Abstract

Purpose

This research stemmed from observations and concern for the importance of learner motivation in academic situations. The purpose of this research was to investigate the potential for and process of change in academic motivation of undergraduate students enrolled in Learning Support Program (LSP) courses.

Methods

The Hierarchical Model of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation (Vallerand, 1997) provided the theoretical basis for this research. The Academic Motivation Scale (AMS) was administered as a pre and postassessment. Instructional materials, based on motivational research, were designed and developed. Formative evaluation, construct validity, and pilot testing of the motivational strategies training program (MTV 101) were conducted prior to implementation of this research project.

Subjects

The AMS was administered to a sample population of undergraduate college students enrolled in LSP courses. Two subgroups were identified based on motivation for going to college. Participants were selected from the subsample group of less intrinsically motivated students and were matched on age, gender, and ethnicity. Two students completed the MTV 101 program as designed, as a seven-week program. These two students and seven additional students participated in End-User Feedback Sessions (EUFS). The EUFS were structured as videotaped think-aloud protocol as students interacted with the program, thus providing end-user feedback for formative evaluation about the program.

Analysis

Data from the sample population and subsample groups (AMS preassessment scores and demographic information) were analyzed using descriptive, chi-square, and multivariate analysis of variance. Qualitative research methods were used to analyze the EUFS 1) to ascertain the appeal, learnability, and usability of the MTV 101 program, and 2) to examine the individual and situational aspects of academic motivation from the perspective of the Hierarchical Model of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation.

Results

This study found that the majority of students in the study population were high in extrinsic motivation--external regulation. Overall, participants enjoyed the MTV 101 program, learned strategies, or felt it was a useful program. Individual differences and readiness to change emerged as factors that might affect whether participation in MTV 101 would promote improved academic motivation.

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