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Perceived Motivational Constructs and Engineering Students' Academic Performance

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Student Motivation, Identity, and Resilience

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Saira Anwar Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Saira Anwar is a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Engineering Education, Purdue University. She is interested in exploring the effects of using technology to enhance students' learning and motivation. Further, she is interested in designing interventions that help in understanding conceptually hard concepts in STEM courses, especially programming and software engineering courses. Before Purdue University, Saira worked as Assistant Professor in Computer Science Department at Forman Christian College (A Chartered University) at Pakistan for eight years and was recognized for outstanding teaching with the year 2013 teaching award. Saira was also the recipient of the "President of Pakistan Merit and Talent Scholarship" for her undergraduate studies.

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Muhsin Menekse Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Muhsin Menekse is an Assistant Professor at Purdue University with a joint appointment in the School of Engineering Education and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Dr. Menekse's primary research focus is on exploring K-16 students' engagement and learning of engineering and science concepts by creating innovative instructional resources and conducting interdisciplinary quasi-experimental research studies in and out of classroom environments. Dr. Menekse is the recipient of the 2014 William Elgin Wickenden Award by the American Society for Engineering Education. Dr. Menekse also received three Seed-for-Success Awards (in 2017, 2018, and 2019) from Purdue University's Excellence in Research Awards programs in recognition of obtaining three external grants of $1 million or more during each year. His research has been generously funded by grants from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Purdue Research Foundation (PRF), and National Science Foundation (NSF).

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Ahmed Ashraf Butt Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Ahmed Ashraf Butt is a doctoral student at the School of Engineering Education, Purdue University. He is currently working as a research assistant on the CourseMIRROR project funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). He is interested in designing educational tools and exploring their impact on enhancing students' learning experiences. Before Purdue University, Ahmed has worked as a lecturer for two years at the University of Lahore, Pakistan. Additionally, he has been associated with the software industry in various capacities, from developer to consultant.

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In this research paper, we studied the role of students' perceived motivational constructs on their academic performance. Education literature showed that students' motivation affects their academic performance. Highly motivated students tend to be more determined or persistent in their performance. Similarly, engineering education studies have established that engineering students performed well with an appropriate intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in engineering courses. However, limited literature has explored the particular achievement-related motivation that has a relatively more profound effect on students' academic performance. In this research paper, we investigated the unique contribution of perceived motivational constructs on 120 first-year engineering students' academic performance in a required engineering course while accounting for their prior success. The motivational constructs include students' self-reported achievement goals (mastery goals, performance goals, and mastery avoidance), self-efficacy beliefs, and task value. We collected the data by administering surveys at the beginning of the course. We used AGQ-R for achievement goals and subscales of the MSLQ survey for students' course-related beliefs about self-efficacy and task value. Also, SAT scores and prior GPA determined students' prior success. We used students' scores in three exams as a measure of their academic performance in the course. We used stepwise hierarchical regression to identify the motivational constructs relatively account for the most variance to predict exam scores. Through simultaneous regression analysis, we determine the unique contribution of each motivational constructs. The results showed that students' prior success is the most significant predictor and accounted for the most variance in predicting students' academic performance in all three exams. In addition to prior success for exam1 and exam3, students' achievement goals played a significant role, while for exam2 students' self-efficacy beliefs accounted for the most variance. In this full paper, we discuss these results with the study's implications, limitations, and directions for future research.

Anwar, S., & Menekse, M., & Butt, A. A. (2020, June), Perceived Motivational Constructs and Engineering Students' Academic Performance Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35048

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