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Motivation to study calculus: measuring student performance expectation, utility value and interest

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Abstract

Motivation to learn attracts many researchers in educational contexts. In this study, we propose an instrument tailored towards specifically measuring student motivation in calculus courses at higher education. We outline an extensive instrument development process that was built on (Benson’s 1998. Developing a strong program of construct validation: A test anxiety example. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 17(1), 10–17) validation phases. We use the expectancy-value theory (Eccles et al., 1983. Achievement and achievement motivation. Expectancies, Values and Academic Behaviors, 75–146) and other motivation theories to develop specific measures. This study mainly employs a quantitative methodology in which exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted. We also used content analysis for validity. The findings of validity and reliability tests led to proposing a 12 item Likert-type instrument with three dimensions– performance expectation, utility value, and interest. Furthermore, the practicality aspect of the instrument is underlined and other implications for future investigations are discussed.

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Using Calculus Writing Assignments to Foster Student Motivation
  • E Akbuga
  • Z Hurdle
  • S Daniels
  • R Laffey