ERIC Number: EJ766802
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Do Undergraduates' Motives for Studying Change as They Progress through Their Degrees?
Lieberman, David A.; Remedios, Richard
British Journal of Educational Psychology, v77 n2 p379-395 Jun 2007
Background: Research has suggested that students can approach their studies with different goals, one goal being to understand material (mastery) and another to obtain better grades than others (performance). Aim: The main aim of this study was to assess whether these goals change as students progress through their degrees. Sample: 1857 students at a Scottish university. Methods: Students were asked to complete a questionnaire as they waited to register for their courses. The questionnaire was based on an achievement motivation questionnaire developed by Elliot and McGregor (2001) to assess students' mastery and performance goals; there were also questions on students' expectations about their courses. Results: Students in years 2, 3 and 4 were substantially less likely to want to master their subjects than students in year 1. They were also more concerned with grades and less likely to expect to enjoy their courses. Conclusion. The decline in students' motivation to master their subjects raises potentially important questions about whether pressures for grades undermine students' interest in their studies.
Descriptors: Program Effectiveness, Languages, Questionnaires, Grades (Scholastic), Achievement Need, Student Motivation, Learning Strategies, Foreign Countries, Student Interests
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Scotland)