ERIC Number: EJ816910
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 8
Confronting Challenges: Motivational Beliefs and Learning Strategies in Difficult College Courses
Lynch, Douglas J.
College Student Journal, v42 n2 p416-421 Jun 2008
Motivational beliefs and learning strategies have a significant effect upon student learning. This study compared motivational beliefs and learning strategies of freshman and upper class students in a normative cross section of college classes with freshman and upper class students in their self-reported most difficult course. Results from "The Motivational Strategies for Learning Questionnaire" show notable differences in academic class and gender. Students rated more difficult courses as less meaningful, expended less effort, with lower self-efficacy scores. All female groups reported higher test anxiety scores. Both freshman and senior females had lower critical thinking scores than comparable males. This is in sharp contrast with results that showed female scores exceeded male scores in rehearsal, elaboration, organization, and metacognitive processing. The result that seniors had lower self-efficacy and found less meaning and interest in their most difficult courses suggests that they have not internalized the professional ethic of their major. The study suggests that faculty should take deliberate steps to support sustained effort within academic majors, build a sense of professional pride that supports perseverance, and develop ways to reduce test anxiety.
Descriptors: Majors (Students), Self Efficacy, Motivation Techniques, Learning Strategies, Gender Differences, Test Anxiety, College Students, Cognitive Processes, College Seniors, College Freshmen, Comparative Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A