Development of a Physics Goal Orientation survey

Christine Lindstrom, Manjula Sharma

Abstract


Together with cognitive processes, a key question in learning and teaching is: What motivates students to learn? In the second half of the 20th century “achievement goal theory” emerged as a key feature of the motivation literature. It focuses on what motivates students toward actions which will result in learning; students have particular goals and beliefs which orientate them to select particular strategies and ways of learning and planning their success.

As motivation and goal orentations influence student learning outcomes, but no studies on goal orientations in university physics were found, this study focused on developing a goal orientation survey specific to university physics studies. A pilot study was undertaken in 2006 (Lindstrøm and Sharma 2008). This paper describes the continuation and conclusion of the study in 2007 and 2008 spanning five administrations, each with sample sizes between 162 and 360 students.

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