This research project examined students’ academic motivation according to the Self Determination Theory (SDT): amotivation, extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. The Self-Regulation Questionnaire was modified to compute a relative autonomy index (RAI) and was administered at the beginning and end of two consecutive semesters to undergraduate students enrolled in five classes: Principles of Chemistry I and II, Organic Chemistry I and II and Human Anatomy and Physiology I. 1,305 surveys (response rate 73%) were included in the data analysis. The data from the study indicated that students’ motivation as measured by the RAI is lacking in intrinsic motivation, a type of motivation that supports better academic outcomes. In fact, the highest endorsement of items was often associated with external and introjected styles of motivation.
Provide basic tenants of SDT
Present the adapted instrument used in the project and its reliability data
Present results of the study
Learning outcomes for participants:
Participants will learn about SDT, academic motivation in undergraduate STEM students, and the new adapted instrument to measure motivation. Participants will discuss implications of these findings for teaching STEM classes and share ideas about strategies that can lead to a more internalized form of academic motivation.