Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Impact of Taiwanese College Students’ Learning Motivation from Self-Determination Perspective on Learning Outcomes: Moderating Roles of Multi-Traits

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Impact of Taiwanese College Students’ Learning Motivation from Self-Determination Perspective on Learning Outcomes: Moderating Roles of Multi-Traits

Article excerpt

Higher education plays a key role in national development (Choi & Rhee, 2014). According to statistics from the Ministry of Education (MOE), there were 158 higher education institutions (HEIs) in Taiwan in 2016. This form of mass education provides more educational opportunities for students, but also raises problems like low teaching quality and competitiveness (Marginson, 2011; Shin & Harman, 2009). Recent studies on HEIs have indicated that student learning outcomes (LOs) can be significantly improved through teaching quality improvement, curriculum reform and equipment optimization (Maringe & Sing, 2014; Pike, Kuh, McCormik, Ethington, & Smart, 2011, Pike, Smart, & Ethington, 2012), but students' psychological traits are less explored (Chen, Wang, Wei, Fwu, & Hwang, 2009; Hummel & Randler, 2012). Cole, Field, and Harris (2004) found that learning motivation (LM) is the main predictive indicator of learning efficiency and outcomes. Therefore, this study attempts to explore how to promote students' LM, which has become an urgent issue for HEIs not only in Taiwan but many countries.

Western scholars have attempted to understand learning psychology and behavior (Deci & Ryan, 2000; Wigfield & Eccles, 2000) from the perspective of achievement motivation, although cross-cultural studies have gradually gained more attention. Research has shown that the psychological process and behavior of non-Western samples in pursuing achievement are significantly different from those seen in Western samples (Chang et al., 2011; Chen et al., 2009; Heine et al., 2001). With regard to Taiwanese students, Chen et al. (2009) found that these took factors like social expectations, corresponding obligations, and role identification into account, in addition to autonomous interest and self-identity. Therefore, to improve the performance of Taiwanese college students it is necessary to further verify the perception and status of LM by examining two important factors, academic identity (Nasir, Mclaughin, & Jones, 2009; Winter, 2009) and role identity (White, Thomas, Johnston, & Hyde, 2008), and their correlation with outcome variables.

Studies show that the greatest influence on students' experience and perceptions of the whole learning process are teaching quality and interactions (Pike et al., 2012), which can arouse greater class participation and positive attitudes. Furthermore, the methods and strategies of learning engagement that students adopt are the key to internalize the knowledge they are exposed to. Smart, Feldman, and Ethington (2000) regarded student learning engagement as an important mediator in the relationship between academic development and LOs, with learning engagement referring to the learning behaviors of students and their adaptability to HEIs and course learning (Kuh, Kinzie, Buckley, Bridges, & Hayek, 2006).

In student learning engagement, Marton and Säljö (1976) proposed the "deep process," which effectively distinguishes differences in students' reactions to learning tasks. The deep approach to learning (DAL) shows that students' ability to extract information is the key point to effective learning and obtaining better outcomes. Students applying DAL can process, preserve, integrate and transfer important information more quickly than those applying surface approaches (Ramsden, 2003). Take as a whole, the evidence suggests that the ways students adopt DAL may have different consequences not only for their approaches to learning, but also the quality of their outcomes.

Previous studies discussing the relationship between learning engagement and outcomes often reached different and contradictory results (Campbell & Cabrera, 2014; Pike et al., 2011, 2012; Reason, Cox, Mclntosh, & Terenzini, 2010). It is argued that these inconsistent findings might be caused by contextual variables, such as institutional and student traits, especially in major (Pike et al. …

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