Application of motivation theory: An analysis of the motivation of at-risk ninth-grade students enrolled in online courses
Joan Nicola Slater, Sam Houston State University, United States
Sam Houston State University . Awarded
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to analyze the motivation of at-risk ninth grade students enrolled in online courses by determining the extent of the application of attribution theory, goal theory, and self-determination theory. This analysis was accomplished by examining the extent to which at-risk ninth grade students enrolled in online courses displayed a positive perception of learning, task goal orientation, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and a sense that their learning was self-regulated. A positive impact of technology on motivation was previously noted at the elementary level, but student perception of the impact of online instruction at the high school level is not found in the literature. The analysis of the motivation of at-risk ninth grade students enrolled in online courses can help determine how online courses impact the motivation of at-risk ninth grade students by providing the opportunity for students to apply attribution theory, goal theory, and self-determination theory.
Methods. In this qualitative study, three separate instruments were used to collect data. These included a questionnaire of 10 open-ended questions, six focus groups, and 280 personal essays written during the first week of class by students enrolled in the Ninth Grade Success Initiative, a program designed to accelerate the achievement of ninth grade students who were designated at-risk. The questionnaire administered to the students contained a series of 10 open-ended questions that were developed to align with the theoretical framework of the study. Focus groups were conducted to elicit further responses from student participants and to validate responses provided on the questionnaire. All student responses on the questionnaire and in the focus groups were compared to the statements provided in the essays that were written by student participants on the first day of their online class. Both data triangulation and methods triangulation were used in the study to determine results related to the development of an understanding of student application of motivation theory.
Findings. (1) The majority of the ninth grade students enrolled in online courses held a positive perception of online instruction. (2) Most student participants demonstrated a task goal orientation since they found the courses to be useful and important to their personal goals and learning experiences. (3) Student participants in this study were exposed to an online program that was not interactive, and very little intrinsic growth was noted. (4) The majority of students who participated in the study displayed an extrinsic goal orientation by expressing an interest in earning additional course credit, earning higher grades, and participating in activities designed as rewards for students who completed their work during the week. (5) Most students felt a sense of self-regulation in their work since they thoroughly enjoyed the self-paced curriculum, and they believed they had the competence to complete assignments, and choice regarding sequence of assignments and their completion.
Slater, J.N. Application of motivation theory: An analysis of the motivation of at-risk ninth-grade students enrolled in online courses. Ph.D. thesis, Sam Houston State University.
Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.
For copies of dissertations and theses: (800) 521-0600/(734) 761-4700 or https://dissexpress.umi.com