Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Does Classroom Characteristic Truly Stimulate Learning Motivation and Performance? Reporting from Malaysian Undergraduates' Perception

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Does Classroom Characteristic Truly Stimulate Learning Motivation and Performance? Reporting from Malaysian Undergraduates' Perception

Article excerpt

Abstract

Some researchers find that learning intervention can stimulate learning motivation and performance through classroom characteristic. Ironically, research assessing classroom characteristic that can be used as potential learning intervention have received little attention especially among Malaysian undergraduates. Hence, the aim of this study is to determine the mediation effect of motivation to learn on the relationship between classroom characteristic and students' grade performance. A number of 173 undergraduate students in a large Malaysian's public university were taken as sample; data were analysed using SPSS and AMOS. Findings indicated that teaching method, followed by lecturer quality, and classroom management were significantly correlated with students' motivation to learn and performance; wherein, motivation to learn fully mediated the relationship between the classroom characteristics and students' grade. This has verified that classroom characteristic truly stimulate learning motivation and performance; therefore, it can be used as potential learning intervention.

Keywords: Malaysian undergraduates, motivation to learn, academic performance, classroom characteristics, potential intervention

1. Introduction

Learning process for undergraduate students has been replaced by andragogy from pedagogy approach; in which, andragogy approach of learning relies on the person's self-concept, experience, readiness to learn, orientation to learn, and motivation to learn (Knowles, 1980). Hence, students choose what they want to learn, learn using their experience, learn when they are ready, learn something that can be used for life, and learn only if they are motivated to learn. Clearly, undergraduate students are not forced to learn, but will learn if they are motivated to learn (Coleman, 2006).

According to Taylor-Sims (2011), several factors can affect students' motivation including parents' characteristic, student's ability and characteristics, and classroom characteristic. Since parents and student's characteristics cannot be controlled; it can be seen that classroom characteristic is the most important factor to stimulate students' motivation. Meanwhile, Griffin et al. (2013) find that students' motivation had a large effect on academic performance, in which it explains 50% variants in academic achievement (GPA). Hence, lecturer should use appropriate classroom characteristic as an intervention to stimulate motivation to learn and subsequently increase the students' performance.

Nonetheless, studies about classroom characteristics that can be used as learning intervention to stimulate motivation to learn and student performance have received little attention especially in Malaysia (Normaliza, 2005; Noordin et al., 2010). Therefore, the purpose of this study is to assess the mediation effect of motivation to learn on the relationships between classroom characteristic and students' grade in order to suggest potential intervention for teaching and learning (T&L).

2. Literature Review

Various efforts was taken by teachers/lecturers to improve students' performance in classroom setting either in lower or higher educational institutions. The system of T&L in higher educational institutions is different from those practices in lower educational institutions because it considers the differentiation of pedagogy and andragogy approach (Taylor-Sims, 2011). Ironically, prior researchers find that the same factors were indicated to influence students' performance either in lower or higher educational institutions. These include the individual, parent, and classroom characteristics (Montgomery, 1998; Taylor-Sims, 2011). However, the classroom characteristic should be the most easier to be manipulated because other characteristics cannot be controlled by the teachers/lecturers (Siti Fardaniah & Shamsuddin, 2011). Interestingly, recent studies have shown that learning intervention can be maximized if students are motivated to learn because it can affect students' performance to a large effect size (Griffin et al. …

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