Academic Goals and Learning Quality in Higher Education Students

By Valle, Antonio; Núñez, José C. et al. | The Spanish Journal of Psychology, January 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

Academic Goals and Learning Quality in Higher Education Students


Valle, Antonio, Núñez, José C., Cabanach, Ramón G., González-Pienda, Julio A., Rodríguez, Susana, Rosário, Pedro, Muñoz-Cadavid, María A., Cerezo, Rebeca, The Spanish Journal of Psychology


In this paper, the relations between academic goals and various indicators that define the quality of the learning process are analyzed. The purpose was to determine to what extent high, moderate, or low levels of academic goals were positively or negatively related to effort regulation, the value assigned to academic tasks, meta-cognitive self-regulation, self-efficacy, beliefs about learning control, and management of time and study environment. The investigation was carried out with a sample of 632 university students (70% female and 30% male) and mean age of 21.22 (SD=2.2).The results show that learning goals, or task orientation, are positively related to all the indictors of learning quality considered herein. Although for other kinds of goals-work-avoidance goals, performance-approach goals, and performance-avoidance goals-significant relations were not found with all the indicators, there was a similar tendency of significant results in all cases; the higher the levels of these goals, the lower the levels of the indicators of learning quality.

Keywords: academic goals, learning quality, higher education

En este trabajo se analizan las relaciones de las metas académicas con varios indicadores que definen la calidad del proceso de aprendizaje. Se trata de comprobar hasta qué punto el tener niveles altos, moderados o bajos en las metas académicas se relaciona positiva o negativamente en la regulación del esfuerzo, en el valor asignado a las tareas académicas, en la autorregulación metacognitiva, en la autoeficacia, en las creencias de control y en la gestión del tiempo y ambiente de estudio. La investigación se llevó a cabo con una muestra de 632 estudiantes universitarios (70% mujeres y 30% hombres) con una edad media de 21.22 (SD=2.2). Los resultados encontrados demuestran que las learning goals, o de aproximación a la tarea, se encuentran relacionadas positivamente con todos los indicadores de calidad del aprendizaje contemplados. En los otros tipos de metas-work-avoidance goals, performance-approach goals and performanceavoidance goals-, aún no habiendo una relación significativa con todos los indicadores, la tendencia de los resultados significativos es la misma en todos los casos, cuanto más altos son los niveles de estas metas, más bajos son los niveles indicadores de calidad del aprendizaje.

Palabras clave: metas académicas, calidad del aprendizaje, educación superior

The concept of Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) integrates research on learning strategies, meta-cognition, learning goals, and, obviously, students' motivation (Lens & Vansteenkiste, 2008; Valle et al., 2007). Therefore, SRL can be defined as an active process in which students establish the goals that direct their learning, attempting to monitor, regulate, and control their cognitions, motivation, and behaviors in order to achieve these goals.

The studies from cognitive psychology were concerned with the analysis of the strategies used by students in the acquisition, storing, and recall of information, and the differences between "experts" and "novices" in these strategies, without taking motivational variables into account (students as motivationally inert subjects). On the other hand, the studies on motivational variables conceived of students as cognitively empty (Pintrich, Brown, & Weinstein, 1994). Although some precursor studies with an integrative conception of the cognitive and motivational variables can be found in the 70s with Bloom's theory of learning, in the 80s and the 90s, both lines of research merge. Interest is aroused because of the results of various studies in which it is observed that motivation affects the cognitive functions and that, in turn, training in cognitive strategies affects certain motivational variables such as self-efficacy, intrinsic motivation, etc. (e.g., Dweck, 1986). This aspect is especially assumed with the studies of Paul Pintrich and his collaborators, who begin to integrate both components within the framework of SRL. …

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

Academic Goals and Learning Quality in Higher Education Students
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.