Motivation and Performance in College Students Enrolled in Self-Paced versus Lecture-Format Remedial Mathematics Courses

By Ironsmith, Marsha; Marva, Jennifer et al. | Journal of Instructional Psychology, December 2003 | Go to article overview

Motivation and Performance in College Students Enrolled in Self-Paced versus Lecture-Format Remedial Mathematics Courses


Ironsmith, Marsha, Marva, Jennifer, Harju, Beverly, Eppler, Marion, Journal of Instructional Psychology


**********

Students enrolled in a remedial mathematics course face an uphill battle to improve on their past performance. Prior attitudes, emotions and classroom experiences are often difficult to overcome. This is a comparison study of the psychological effects of learning and performance goal orientations, mathematics anxiety and confidence and the situational effects of self-paced versus lecture-oriented environments in a remedial mathematics course. While anxiety factors are well-documented as detrimental to mathematics performance, no studies have addressed the effects of both goals and anxiety on performance.

Dweck & Leggett (1988) identified two types of achievement goals that affect students' academic performance. Performance goals are as sociated with the desire to achieve favorable grades and social approval. Students with this orientation are typically concerned with the outcome rather than with the actual process of learning and are more likely to subscribe to an entity theory of intelligence, believing that intelligence is a fixed attribute. They tend to perform well on easier tasks where a positive evaluation can be achieved but when faced with difficult tasks, students with performance goals often become discouraged and give up easily, attributing their failure to a lack of ability, in contrast, learning-goal oriented students are interested in and enjoy mastering new material and tend to subscribe to the incremental theory that intelligence is malleable. These students display "mastery-oriented" behavior, showing more persistence on difficult tasks, using alternative strategies and attributing failure to a need to work harder rather than to a lack of ability (Heyman & Dweck, 1992).

Diener and Dweck (1978, 1980) tested this model by giving children a problem solving task to complete. Students could solve the first few problems easily but the last few problems were too difficult for children of their age. At the onset of the study, all of the children were equal in problem-solving ability but after experiencing failure on the difficult problems, children who exhibited a performance orientation focused their attention on their failure and blamed it on a lack of ability. They expressed feelings of defeat and depression, exhibiting the learned helplessness pattern that may be a factor in underachievement (Dweck 1975). In contrast, children exhibiting "mastery-oriented" responses did not perceive themselves as failing. These children tried new strategies, reported increased motivation, and some reported feeling invigorated by the challenge.

Early research on Dweck's model of motivation was focused on elementary school children. Henderson and Dweck (1990) examined the influence of goal orientation and confidence on students' adjustment to junior high school. Students with a learning goal orientation and an incremental theory of intelligence did well even if they initially had low confidence in their ability to succeed. In contrast, students who endorsed performance goals and who endorsed the entity theory of intelligence performed more poorly than expected regardless of confidence level.

Dweck's (1990) model has also been applied to college students (Beck, RotterWoody, & Pierce, 1991; Eppler, CarsenPlentl & Harju, in press; Eppler & Harju, 1997; Harju, 1997; Harju & Eppler, 1997; Hayamizu & Wierner, 1991; Hoyert & O'Dell, (2000a; b); Roedel & Schraw, 1995; Schraw, Horn, Thorndike-Christ, & Brunning, 1995), with sometimes contradictory results. Beck et al. (1991) found that grade orientation (similar to Dweck's performance orientation.) was negatively correlated with GPA and test scores while learning orientation was not significantly related to grades. Schraw et at. (1995), on the other hand, found that learning goals were associated with higher academic evaluations but that performance goals were unrelated to academic performance. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Motivation and Performance in College Students Enrolled in Self-Paced versus Lecture-Format Remedial Mathematics Courses
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.