ANALYSIS OF STUDENTS' MOTIVATIONAL AND AFFECTIVE BELIEFS IN GENERAL CHEMISTRY

Open Access
Author:
Putnik, Rachel Anne
Graduate Program:
Curriculum and Instruction
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
July 10, 2018
Committee Members:
  • Ravinder Koul, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • Student Motivation
  • Learning Environment
  • Science Education
Abstract:
The research reported in this thesis explores students' motivations in a post-secondary general chemistry course utilizing a peer facilitated active learning environment. Particularly, this study seeks to address how students' personal characteristics and the social learning environment influences science self-efficacy, attitude, and overall satisfaction in general chemistry. A survey methodology was used to assess students' motivation to learn science, perception of formative feedback, course recommendation, and satisfaction. Analysis of questionnaire data (n = 160) revealed that students were more extrinsically motivated towards learning chemistry on average. Intrinsic motivation and other motivational components, such as self-determination and self-efficacy, were found to be lower on average. Regression analyses were used to find relationships among these constructs. In general, we find that student satisfaction and course recommendation are less dependent on students' personal characteristics (i.e., motivational orientation), but more dependent on what happens in the course (i.e., quality of instruction, and feedback provided by the instructor and assistants in instruction). Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are outlined and suggestions for further research are included.