Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
This paper reports the qualitative phase of a sequential explanatory mixed-methods study focused on exploring the relationship between course structures and student motivation in introductory college calculus. The theoretical framework of self-determination theory (SDT) guided this study, which defines three basic psychological needs that are essential to fostering students’ motivation: competence, autonomy, and relatedness. SDT also describes motivation along a continuum from autonomous to controlled forms of motivation. Prior work has revealed that more autonomous forms of motivation have been linked to higher performance and persistence among students. We sampled three course types of Calculus I at a large research university (traditional lecture, large active learning, and hybrid online), with the goal of better understanding what aspects of each course structure are supporting students’ basic psychological needs. Students in these three course types were given the The Basic Psychological Needs Scale (BPNS) and the Situational Motivation Scale (SIMS). Cluster analysis of the survey data revealed two groups of students: those with high competence, autonomy, and relatedness perceptions and high autonomous motivation and those with low competence, autonomy, and relatedness perceptions and high controlled motivation. We purposefully selected students based on the cluster analysis to participate in semi-structured interviews with two members of our research team. The qualitative analysis of our interview data revealed different components of each course type that are contributing to student’s perceptions of their competence, autonomy, and relatedness. Implications for mathematics faculty about how to make course structures more motivationally supportive for calculus students will be discussed.
Norton, P. R., & High, K. A., & Bridges, W. (2020, June), Towards Creating Motivationally Supportive Course Structures for Introductory Calculus Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35397
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