27 SES 02 B, Learning Strategies in Scientific Subject Matters
There is sufficient evidence that motivation undeniably has a strong influence on commitment, learning processes and learning outcomes. However, this does not apply to the same extent to the current state of research concerning the matter of regulating motivational states, especially not to how students can alter their own motivation by actions, e.g. by self-instruction.
This paper reports on a series of experiments on the efficacy of particular types of learning strategies deployed by students to self-regulate their motivational states. From an international perspective, the studying of such strategies is a relatively unattended research field. Prior research has underlined that motivational strategies are indeed applied by students, but there is not much corroboration that these activities are really effective to enhance the task-related state motivation or the learning outcomes. Thus, we intend to raise attention to the importance of investigating the impact of motivational strategies in general, their relevance in self-regulated learning processes and their hypothesized effect on learning processes. Furthermore, the paper will also present an overview of different types of learning strategies supporting motivational regulation.
In particular, this study seeks to contribute to the answers of the following questions:
A) Which motivational learning strategies are effective in improving the state on-task motivation of learners?
B) Do these strategies also enhance learning outcomes?
Learning strategies in general are deemed significant to successful learning of students. Prominent models of self-regulated learning set up in the Netherlands and in the USA raise this claim (e.g. Boekaerts, Pintrich, & Zeidner, 2000; Zimmerman & Schunk, 2001).
While primary (non-motivational) learning strategies (aiming at the processing of the learning content itself, such as elaboration or repetition strategic actions) have been the subject of substantive empirical research, relatively little is known about the effects of motivational strategies.
Learners apply motivational strategies in regulating (i.e. setting up and maintaining) their own learning motivation. Some examples for such strategies which have been found to be applied by students are the recall of own learning success in the past, the pursuing of superordinate goals related to the learning process, or the auto-promise of a reward after completing a task.
A number of theories of self-regulated learning also mention motivational regulation as an important element (Boekaerts & Corno, 2005; Pintrich, 2004; Zimmerman & Kitsantas, 2005), however only a few studies, particularly from Germany, Spain and the USA, have investigated such motivational strategies empirically (e.g. Schwinger, Steinmayr, & Spinath, 2009; Suárez & Fernández, 2011; Wolters, 1998, 1999, 2003).
Motivational learning activities can be divided into external motivational strategies that manifest in observable behavior elements (such as the elimination of distractors from the learning environment or self-reward) and internal motivational strategies solely encompassing intra-personal (cognitive) activities (e.g. self-talk) not directly observable for others.
In our study, specifically internal motivational learning strategies are addressed.
Boekaerts M., Pintrich P., & Zeidner M. (Eds.) (2000). Handbook of self-regulation. San Diego. Boekaerts, M., & Corno, L. (2005). Self-regulation in the classroom: A perspective on assessment and intervention. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 54, 199–231. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-0597.2005.00205.x Levesque, C. S., & Pelletier L. G. (2003). On the investigation of primed and chronic autonomous and heteronomous motivational orientations. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 1570–1584. doi: 10.1177/0146167203256877 Pintrich, P. R. (2004). A Conceptual Framework for Assessing Motivation and Self-Regulated Learning in College Students. Educational Psychology Review, 16 (4), 385–407. doi: 10.1007/s10648-004-0006-x Selimbegovic, L., Régner, I., Sanitioso, R. B., & Huguet, P. (2011). Influence of general and specific autobiographical recall on subsequent behavior: The case of cognitive performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 72–78. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2010.08.011 Suárez, J. M., & Fernández, A. P. (2011). A Model of How Motivational Strategies Related to the Expectative Component Affect Cognitive and Metacognitive Strategies. Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, 9 (2), 641–658. Schwinger, M, Steinmayr, R., & Spinath, B. (2009). How do motivational regulation strategies affect achievement: Mediated by effort management and moderated by intelligence. Learning and Individual Differences, 19, 621–627. doi: 10.1016/j.lindif.2009.08.006 Wolters, C. A. (1998). Self-regulated learning and college students' regulation of motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90 (2), 224–235. doi: 10.1037/0022-0622.214.171.124 Wolters, C. A. (1999). The relation between high school students' motivational regulation and their use of learning strategies, effort, and classroom performance. Learning and Individual Differences, 11 (3), 281–299. doi: 10.1016/S1041-6080(99)80004-1 Wolters, C. A. (2003). Regulation of motivation: Evaluating underemphasized aspect of self-regulated learning. Educational Psychologist, 38 (4), 189–205. doi: 10.1207/S15326985EP3804_1 Zimmerman, B. J., & Kitsantas, A. (2005). The hidden dimension of personal competence: Self-regulated learning and practice. In A. J. Elliot, & C. S. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of competence and motivation (pp. 509–526). New York: Guilford Press. Zimmerman, B. J., & Schunk, D. (Eds.) (2001). Self-regulated learning and academic achievement: Theoretical perspectives. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
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