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Relationships between the perceived value of instructional techniques and academic motivation.

Despite a large volume of research examining instructional strategies and student learning, very little research has examined relationships between students' perceptions of the value of specific instructional techniques and academic motivation. In the current research, college students (172 undergraduates) completed scales assessing the perceived value of course websites, active learning, and traditional lectures, as well as the Academic Motivations Inventory (AMI; Moen & Doyle Doyle   , Sir Arthur Conan 1859-1930.

British writer known chiefly for a series of stories featuring the brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes, including The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902).
, 1977). Results showed a complex pattern of significant correlations that was simplified when examining the three key factors of academic motivation. Specifically, stepwise regression In statistics, stepwise regression includes regression models in which the choice of predictive variables is carried out by an automatic procedure.[1][2][3]  analysis showed that engagement was positively related with the perceived value of all three instructional techniques, whereas avoidance was not significantly related with any. Achievement motivation was positively related with the perceived value of traditional lectures. These results suggest that students with different types of academic motivation respond differently to specific instructional techniques and that a variety of strategies may need to be activated activated

a state of being more than usually active. In biological systems this is usually brought about by chemical or electrical means. Commonly said of pharmaceutical and chemical products.
 to reach all students. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Key Words: academic motivation, instructional techniques, course websites


In order to enhance the value of a college education, it is important to identify the relationship between students' receptiveness re·cep·tive  
1. Capable of or qualified for receiving.

2. Ready or willing to receive favorably: receptive to their proposals.

 to various instructional techniques and individual differences in academic motivation. Teachers and scholars have long been attentive at·ten·tive  
1. Giving care or attention; watchful: attentive to detail.

2. Marked by or offering devoted and assiduous attention to the pleasure or comfort of others.
 to how the choice of specific teaching techniques (such as lectures, assignments, and experiential ex·pe·ri·en·tial  
Relating to or derived from experience.

 exercises) may impact classroom climate and performance (McKeachie, 1974). However, relationships between specific instructional techniques and student motivation have received less attention (Hammer, 2005). In addition, in recent years, many university faculty have developed comprehensive course websites that provide access to lecture notes, grades, review sheets, example exam questions, links, and so on. With the advent of the internet and increased use of course websites, it is becoming increasingly important to determine the impact of website usage on student motivation and learning (Cox & Rogers, 2005; Roblyer & Knezek, 2003). Indeed, Robinson (2004) reports that as students become more connected to the electronic world, faculty members will find themselves compelled to incorporate technology in the classroom. Similarly, Miller, Martineau Mar·ti·neau   , Harriet 1802-1876.

British writer whose Illustrations of Political Economy (1832-1834) explained the theories of Thomas Robert Malthus, John Stuart Mill, and David Ricardo.
, and Clark (2000) conclude that educators have very little choice but to incorporate technology as widespread student computer usage expands and social, structural, and resource barriers inevitably diminish. Similarly, Grasha (2000) encourages faculty to develop a conceptual framework For the concept in aesthetics and art criticism, see .

A conceptual framework is used in research to outline possible courses of action or to present a preferred approach to a system analysis project.
 for incorporating technology in the classroom, as it is important for faculty to explore the fit between technology and their philosophy of teaching and learning. Thus, it is important to develop an understanding of how the mix of instructional technologies There are two types of instructional technology: those with a systems approach, and those focusing on sensory technologies.

The definition of instructional technology prepared by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) Definitions and Terminology
 employed is related to students' motivation, learning, and performance. We designed the current research to examine the relationship between the perceived value of different teaching techniques and college students' academic motivation. Specifically, we focused on the relationships that course website usage, traditional lecture, and active learning techniques have with distinct aspects of academic motivation.

Theoretical Background

We propose that instructional techniques do not impact all students equally, and that students with different profiles of academic motivation will prefer and value different instructional techniques. For years, scholars across numerous disciplines have analyzed an·a·lyze  
tr.v. an·a·lyzed, an·a·lyz·ing, an·a·lyz·es
1. To examine methodically by separating into parts and studying their interrelations.

2. Chemistry To make a chemical analysis of.

 various instructional methods and sought to identify those that are most effective. This prior research and theory suggests that pedagogical ped·a·gog·ic   also ped·a·gog·i·cal
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of pedagogy.

2. Characterized by pedantic formality: a haughty, pedagogic manner.
 choices can have a significant impact on student learning, eagerness to consider new information, and ability to apply information to new situations. First, research has shown that students learn in many different ways and one method is not enough to reach all students (McKeachie, 1974). For example, research on individual differences in learning styles (e.g., Biggs Biggs is the name of several places:
  • Biggs, California
  • Biggs Junction, Oregon
  • Biggs Army Airfield, Texas
For people named Biggs, see Biggs (surname)

Biggs may also refer to:
  • bigg's, a hypermarket chain in Ohio and Kentucky
, 1993) suggests that students tend to adopt either a surface, deep, or achieving learning style. Similarly, research on multiple types of intelligence (e.g., Steinberg Noun 1. Steinberg - United States cartoonist (born in Romania) noted for his caricatures of famous people (1914-1999)
Saul Steinberg
, Torff, & Grigorenko, 1998) suggests learning is enhanced when learning strategies are well matched to students' specific abilities. Second, research has demonstrated that students differ in their relative levels of intrinsic intrinsic /in·trin·sic/ (in-trin´sik) situated entirely within or pertaining exclusively to a part.

1. Of or relating to the essential nature of a thing.

 and extrinsic EVIDENCE, EXTRINSIC. External evidence, or that which is not contained in the body of an agreement, contract, and the like.
     2. It is a general rule that extrinsic evidence cannot be admitted to contradict, explain, vary or change the terms of a contract or of a
 motivation, such that some students are relatively disengaged dis·en·gage  
v. dis·en·gaged, dis·en·gag·ing, dis·en·gag·es
1. To release from something that holds fast, connects, or entangles. See Synonyms at extricate.

, whereas others display intellectual curiosity and a hunger for learning (Deci & Ryan, 1985). These differences in motivation could lead students to be either willing or unwilling learners depending on how they are taught, and students are likely to differ in the instructional techniques that they find most engaging (Sutton Sutton, outer borough (1991 pop. 164,300) of Greater London, SE England. It is mainly residential, but plastics, chemicals, radio components, and paper goods are produced. The areas of Sutton were mentioned in the Domesday Book.  & Wheatley, 2003). Third, research on integrating technology into the classroom demonstrates that it can improve student interest by making learning more of an active process (Grasha, 2000). Indeed, research examining teachers' and students' perceptions regarding the integration of technology into instructional techniques suggests that the benefits may outweigh out·weigh  
tr.v. out·weighed, out·weigh·ing, out·weighs
1. To weigh more than.

2. To be more significant than; exceed in value or importance: The benefits outweigh the risks.
 the costs and barriers involved (Miller, Martineau, & Clark, 2000).

Thus, a variety of perspectives converge con·verge  
v. con·verged, con·verg·ing, con·verg·es

a. To tend toward or approach an intersecting point: lines that converge.

 to suggest that there are individual differences in students' academic motivation, that different students may value different instructional techniques, and that website and technology usage should be considered in the mix of instructional techniques that may influence academic motivation. Stated differently, the strength of the relationship between instructional techniques and academic motivation will depend on what aspect of motivation is examined, such that students' academic motivation should be enhanced when there is a good fit or match between the specific aspects of a student's academic motivation and the instructional environment.

In the current research, we endeavor to take the vital first step of documenting the relationship between instructional techniques and academic motivation, but do not aim to disentangle the causal causal /cau·sal/ (kaw´z'l) pertaining to, involving, or indicating a cause.


relating to or emanating from cause.
 direction of this relationship. We acknowledge that these influences are likely to be reciprocal Bilateral; two-sided; mutual; interchanged.

Reciprocal obligations are duties owed by one individual to another and vice versa. A reciprocal contract is one in which the parties enter into mutual agreements.
 in nature, and may develop recursive See recursion.

recursive - recursion
 properties over time due to the interactive process of teaching and learning. Thus, specific instructional techniques could certainly influence motivation as a function of student preferences for educational environments. Yet, at the same time, student differences in types and levels of academic motivation could also drive their preferences for specific instructional techniques.

Prior Research

Web-Based Instructional Techniques.

A number of researchers have focused on the ability to supplement traditional lecture-based courses with computer technology. Professors now have access to computers at home and at work, answer emails, post course material on the web, and research resources with which to link, in addition to preparing lectures. Similarly, college students are now very comfortable using computers, emailing assignments, responding to online quizzes Online quizzes are quizzes that are published on the internet and are generally for entertainment purposes. Introduction
Online quizzes are a popular form of entertainment for web surfers.
, participating in electronic chats, exploring linked information, and so on (e.g., Forsyth & Archer, 1997; Gardner, 2002). For example, Cox and Rogers (2005), Keane (2002), and Leuhold (1999) suggest that computer and internet access See how to access the Internet.  provides teachers with the ability to go beyond traditional offerings and supplement them with on-line lectures, tests, simulations and games, on-line group discussion, audio and video links, problem-solving activities, and providing real-time 1. real-time - Describes an application which requires a program to respond to stimuli within some small upper limit of response time (typically milli- or microseconds). Process control at a chemical plant is the classic example.  feedback on post-lecture quizzes. Driver (2002) found that MB A students perceived an online course as superior to both a traditional or televised course, and felt that there was greater social interaction and a greater sense of community than in a traditional course. Similarly, Beets and Lobingier (2001) found that student learning and attendance was highest when the presentation mode matched the students' preference. Most educators (Rother, 2004; Iding, Crosby, and Speital, 2002; Witt, 2003; Peluchette & Rust, 2005) believe that incorporating technology into teaching is likely to add significant value to their teaching, enhance teaching effectiveness and increase students' academic performance.

However, there are some pros and cons pros and cons
Noun, pl

the advantages and disadvantages of a situation [Latin pro for + con(tra) against]
 specific to web-based teaching techniques and academic motivation. A1-Bataineh and Brooks (2003) suggest that although technology is moving in the direction of virtual learning via the internet it is important not to lose the interpersonal in·ter·per·son·al  
1. Of or relating to the interactions between individuals: interpersonal skills.

 contact between teachers and students and amongst students themselves. Teachers will need to adopt instructional strategies that maintain a fine balance between the use of technology and other modes of teaching that address the social and psychological needs of students (e.g., Becker & Ravitz, 1999; Hung, 2001; Mioduser, Nachmias, Lahav, & Oren, 2000).

Instructional Techniques and Learning. Prior research and theory suggests that pedagogical choices can have a significant impact on various aspects of student learning, such as eagerness to consider new information and ability to apply information to new situations. Thus, students' preferences for various instructional techniques (which could be influenced by their academic motivation) need to be taken into account when considering student learning. Indeed, research has shown that students learn in many different ways and one method is not enough to reach all students (e.g., Biggs, 1993; Sternberg Stern·berg , George Miller 1838-1915.

American army physician who was US surgeon general (1893-1902) and organized (1900) the Yellow Fever Commission.
 et al. 1998). Indeed, a number of scholars have emphasized the importance of deploying a variety of teaching strategies and incorporating more active techniques into one's repertoire Repertoire may mean Repertory but may also refer to:
  • Repertoire (theatre), a system of theatrical production and performance scheduling
  • Repertoire Records, a German record label specialising in 1960s and 1970s pop and rock reissues
. For example, Astin (1984) suggests that faculty members who are able to increase student involvement, both physically and psychologically, are more likely to enhance student learning and motivation. Similarly, Diaz-Lefebvre (2004) cautions against teaching methods that encourage rote rote 1  
1. A memorizing process using routine or repetition, often without full attention or comprehension: learn by rote.

2. Mechanical routine.
 memorization mem·o·rize  
tr.v. mem·o·rized, mem·o·riz·ing, mem·o·riz·es
1. To commit to memory; learn by heart.

2. Computer Science To store in memory:
 as they are likely to lead to low motivation, poor performance, and an inability to apply course material to real life.

Further highlighting the importance of different student approaches to learning, Bransford and his colleagues (Bransford et al., 1982; Bransford, Sherwood, Vye, & Rieser, 1986; Schwartz & Bransford, 1998) have emphasized the active role students can take in their own learning. They highlight the role teachers can play in enhancing students' metacognition Metacognition refers to thinking about cognition (memory, perception, calculation, association, etc.) itself or to think/reason about one's own thinking. Types of knowledge  or awareness of themselves as learners. Teachers who help students understand the strategies they use and how these can be improved are more likely to engage students more effectively in the classroom. Teachers using instructional techniques that encourage students to reflect on their own learning, provide them with feedback, give them a chance to review material, and encourage them to take responsibility for their own learning tend to increase learning. Bransford et al. (1998) recommend a problem based approach to teaching and learning that connects classroom activities to underlying concepts and builds scaffolds by deepening deep·en  
tr. & intr.v. deep·ened, deep·en·ing, deep·ens
To make or become deep or deeper.

Noun 1. deepening - a process of becoming deeper and more profound
 understanding, providing contrasting scenarios, and using narratives that end in open questions. In relation to the current research, students' relative involvement with or attraction to specific instructional techniques (as influenced by their academic motivation) could well impact their actual learning.

Similar conclusions about the importance of using a variety of teaching techniques to enhance student learning have also emerged from a number of studies done in various academic disciplines. For example, Reeves & Francis (2002) found that a problem-based learning problem-based learning Medical education An instruction strategy in which groups of students are presented with clinical problems without prior study or lectures. See Cooperative learning.  technique, though not as structurally efficient as a lecture, tended to make pharmacy pharmacy, art of compounding and dispensing drugs and medication. The term is also applied to an establishment used for such purposes. Until modern times medication was prepared and dispensed by the physician himself. In the 18th cent.  students more inquisitive in·quis·i·tive  
1. Inclined to investigate; eager for knowledge.

2. Unduly curious and inquiring. See Synonyms at curious.
, and also increased their retention of material, their ability to apply material to new contexts, and their ability to solve problems. In examining how family therapy is taught, Maynard (1996) reported that a student-centered experiential method involving video material, presentations, writing, and asking questions encouraged learning and critical thinking. Chanson chanson

(French; “song”)

French art song. The unaccompanied chanson for a single voice part, composed by the troubadours and later the trouvères, first appeared in the 12th century.
 (2004) found that including fieldwork field·work  
1. A temporary military fortification erected in the field.

2. Work done or firsthand observations made in the field as opposed to that done or observed in a controlled environment.

 as a method of teaching hydraulic engineering topics to Australian Australian

pertaining to or originating in Australia.

Australian bat lyssavirus disease
see Australian bat lyssavirus disease.

Australian cattle dog
a medium-sized, compact working dog used for control of cattle.
 undergraduates enhanced both the value of the fieldwork to students and its relevance to employers. In the healthcare field, Vaughn, Gonzalez del Rey Del Rey may refer to:
  • Del Rey, California, a census-designated place in Fresno County, California
  • Del Rey, Los Angeles, California, a small district in the west side of Los Angeles
  • Del Rey (band), an indie rock band
, and Baker (2001) have advocated an instructional technique called microburst mi·cro·burst  
A sudden, violent downdraft of air over a small area. Microbursts are difficult to detect and predict with standard weather instruments and are especially hazardous to airplanes during landing or takeoff.
 learning that combines role-plays, experiential activities, group discussions, and simulations into one session, with each segment presented in a short burst. Vaughn et al. report that microburst learning helps in maintaining students' attention span, accommodating various learning styles, and motivating students.

Instructional Techniques and Academic Motivation. The choice of specific instructional techniques can also have a high degree of relevance to students' academic motivation. For example, McKeachie's (1987; Pintrich, McKeachie, & Lin, 1987) research on teaching effectiveness and teacher training suggests that it is possible to motivate students to be excited about learning by creating active learning experiences. Students who are able to see a connection between concepts from lecture and real life situations are more likely to become curious and eager to know more. Further, McKeachie, Lin, Moffett, & Daugherty (1978) compared four teaching styles (Expert, Authority, Facilitator, Person) in relation to students' thinking, motivation, and attitudes towards learning. They found that students whose instructors used a student-centered style (Facilitator, Person) were more motivated mo·ti·vate  
tr.v. mo·ti·vat·ed, mo·ti·vat·ing, mo·ti·vates
To provide with an incentive; move to action; impel.

 to participate in class and were more likely to register for additional psychology courses relative to students whose teachers used the Expert or Authority styles. Similarly, Hammer (2005) explains how showing concern for students, having a positive attitude, and communicating concern for their learning and success can be very motivating (see also Sutton & Wheatley, 2003).

Dunn & Dunn (1979) describe a body of work demonstrating the importance of matching teaching methods to various student characteristics to enhance academic motivation and achievement. They emphasize the importance of training teachers in the use of a wide variety of instructional techniques so as to reach a larger number of students. For example, a teacher who typically uses the lecture method can learn to use the small group discussion or case analysis techniques. Their research suggests that students who may not be initially motivated can become motivated when taught in a way that complements how they learn.

It is especially important to consider student differences in levels of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation when selecting instructional techniques. Deci and Ryan (1985) identify three major motivational drives: intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation and amotivation. Intrinsically in·trin·sic  
1. Of or relating to the essential nature of a thing; inherent.

2. Anatomy Situated within or belonging solely to the organ or body part on which it acts. Used of certain nerves and muscles.
 motivated students are likely to be energized, persistent, and genuinely interested in learning. Intrinsic motivation can be maintained and also increased if students are given experiences in the classroom that make them feel competent and capable of accomplishing tasks. Teachers who use instructional techniques that foster intrinsic motivation are more likely to be effective. Vallerand & Bissonnette (1992) describe how intrinsic motivation can be increased when students engage in activities that are self-determined and that they find to be creative, interesting, and associated with positive emotions. On the other hand, students can become demotivated when faced with situations or experiences that make them feel incompetent incompetent adj. 1) referring to a person who is not able to manage his/her affairs due to mental deficiency (lack of I.Q., deterioration, illness or psychosis) or sometimes physical disability. , not in control, threatened, and pressured. For example, Bransford et al. (1982) compared successful and unsuccessful students and noted that successful students tended to spontaneously spontaneously Medtalk Without treatment  take on an active role in learning by elaborating on given information and relating it to previous experiences.

Similarly, Grasha (1994) provides a conceptual framework of various teaching styles (expert, formal authority, personal model, facilitator, and delegator) and emphasizes the importance of varying these styles to match students' knowledge and motivation in order to promote student interest and learning. He explains that the expert/formal authority style is most suitable when students are not familiar with the content of the course and the teacher is willing to manage all the classroom activities. On the other hand, when students are knowledgeable, and motivated to take initiative and responsibility for their learning, a teacher could use a combination of expert/facilitating/delegating styles. Such matching of teaching strategy to students' preferences is more likely to result in student engagement in the classroom. Similarly, Miller (1991) underscores the importance of taking into account student differences in personality, motivation, and learning styles and adjusting teaching techniques so as to appeal to a broader range of students.

The Current Research

Prior research has highlighted a number of potential positive and negative attributes of course website usage and has also identified a number of potential linkages between specific instructional techniques and various student outcomes. However, very little research has directly examined how preferences for various instructional strategies are related with individual differences in students' academic motivation. The current research was designed to directly examine the linkages between the perceived value of various instructional techniques and individual differences in academic motivation. Given the dearth of prior research on this issue, our research was exploratory in nature. Thus, we did not make specific predictions about the likely relationships between each of the 16 AMI subscales and each of the three instructional techniques. In stead stead  
1. The place, position, or function properly or customarily occupied by another.

2. Advantage; service; purpose: "His personal relationship with the electorate stands in good stead" 
, we adopted the general reasoning that students would be most receptive receptive /re·cep·tive/ (re-cep´tiv) capable of receiving or of responding to a stimulus.  to those teaching techniques that overlap o·ver·lap
1. A part or portion of a structure that extends or projects over another.

2. The suturing of one layer of tissue above or under another layer to provide additional strength, often used in dental surgery.

 with the elements of academic life that they find most motivating, and that the resulting pattern of relationships would be amenable AMENABLE. Responsible; subject to answer in a court of justice liable to punishment.  to a motivational fit explanation.


We collected data from a sample of 172 undergraduates at a large, public, Midwestern university The P.A. Program is a 2-year program that starts in the summer. The D.O.,Pharm D., and Psy.D are 4-year programs. The D.O. degree is the legal and professional equivalent of the M.D.  who participated to receive extra credit points or to complete a course requirement. The current research was part of a larger study examining academic motivation in relation to a variety of personality and situational factors. A previous article reports the results for relationships between academic motivation and the Big Five personality dimensions, and also presents a principal components factor analysis of the sixteen AMI subscales (for details see Komarraju & Karau, 2005). The current paper focuses on relationships between the AMI and specific instructional strategies. The instructional strategies data and analyses are new and previously unpublished. All participants were enrolled in courses in psychology or business. Nearly all of the courses in both departments maintained websites that provided details about the syllabus A headnote; a short note preceding the text of a reported case that briefly summarizes the rulings of the court on the points decided in the case.

The syllabus appears before the text of the opinion.
, contact information and hours for the instructor and teaching assistants, lecture notes, and grade information. In addition, many of the websites included additional resources such as sample tests, review sheets, course-related assignments (e.g., statistical, spreadsheet spreadsheet

Computer software that allows the user to enter columns and rows of numbers in a ledgerlike format. Any cell of the ledger may contain either data or a formula that describes the value that should be inserted therein based on the values in other cells.
, or case assignments), feedback about items missed on exams, links to publisher-provided support information (e.g., quizzes, internet links), or links to full-text articles. Very few course websites incorporated online discussion.

To measure perceptions of different instructional techniques, we created scales assessing the perceived value of course websites (6 items), active learning (4 items), and traditional lectures (2 items, see Table 1). We also included additional items to assess computer access, computer usage, frequency and type of course website usage, and perceptions of overall course website usefulness (see Table 2). Students were also asked to complete the Academic Motivations Inventory (Moen & Doyle, 1977) that consists of 90 items and includes 16 dimensions of academic motivation. The sixteen dimensions are thinking, persisting per·sist  
intr.v. per·sist·ed, per·sist·ing, per·sists
1. To be obstinately repetitious, insistent, or tenacious.

, achieving, facilitating anxiety, debilitating de·bil·i·tat·ing
Causing a loss of strength or energy.

Weakening, or reducing the strength of.

Mentioned in: Stress Reduction
 anxiety, grades orientation, economic orientation, desire for self-improvement, demanding, influencing, competing, approval, affiliating, withdrawing, dislike school, and discouraged dis·cour·age  
tr.v. dis·cour·aged, dis·cour·ag·ing, dis·cour·ag·es
1. To deprive of confidence, hope, or spirit.

2. To hamper by discouraging; deter.

 about school (see Table 3 for Alpha levels).


We first examined descriptive information to obtain a profile of students' computer access and usage (see Table 2). The data revealed that a large majority of students had readily available computer access and used the computer to contact the instructor as well as fellow students, and to access course materials. These results also showed that the vast majority of courses maintained websites, and students used websites most commonly to get course information, check grades, access sample tests, and download To receive a file transmitted over a network. In any communications session, "download" means receive, and "upload" means send. The download/upload often implies a big/little scenario, in which data is being downloaded from the "big" server into the "little" user's computer.  notes. Finally, 93% of students reported finding websites useful, and 91% said they would like to see more classes make information available via websites.

We then conducted correlation analyses to examine relationships between the 16AMI subscales and the three instructional strategies. As shown in Table 3, a complex pattern of statistically significant correlations of modest magnitude (ranging from .17 to .32) emerged, suggesting that students' preferences for specific instructional strategies are indeed related to their profiles of academic motivation. Specifically, the perceived value of traditional lectures was positively related with thinking, persisting, achieving, facilitating anxiety, grades orientation, desire for improvement, and affiliation motives, and negatively related with disliking school. The perceived value of in-class activities was positively related with thinking, desire for improvement, influencing, approval, and affiliation motives, and negatively related with withdrawal. Finally, the perceived value of course websites was positively related with thinking, grades orientation, desire for improvement, influencing, approval, and affiliation.

In order to clarify these relationships in a more parsimonious par·si·mo·ni·ous  
Excessively sparing or frugal.

 manner, we examined the relationship between the instructional strategies and three key components of the AMI that we had identified in our previous article (Komarraju & Karau, 2005). Specifically, we had previously found that principal components factor analysis of the sixteen subscales of the AMI produces three factors (with eigenvalues eigenvalues

statistical term meaning latent root.
 of 4.94, 2.79, and 1.71) explaining 59% of the variance The discrepancy between what a party to a lawsuit alleges will be proved in pleadings and what the party actually proves at trial.

In Zoning law, an official permit to use property in a manner that departs from the way in which other property in the same locality
. Engagement (alpha = .79) includes six subscales from the original instrument: thinking, facilitating anxiety, desire for self-improvement, influencing, approval, and affiliating. Avoidance (alpha = .75) includes six subscales: debilitating anxiety, demanding, economic orientation, withdrawing, disliking school, and discouraged about school. Achievement (alpha = .80) includes four subscales: persisting, achieving, grades orientation, and competing. Thus, in the current analyses, we examined correlations between instructional strategies and these three broader dimensions of academic motivation. As shown in Table 4, engagement was positively related with the perceived value of all three instructional techniques. Achievement motivation was positively correlated cor·re·late  
v. cor·re·lat·ed, cor·re·lat·ing, cor·re·lates
1. To put or bring into causal, complementary, parallel, or reciprocal relation.

 with the perceived value of traditional lectures and course websites, but had no relationship with experiential exercises. Finally, avoidance was not significantly related with any of the three instructional techniques.

Finally, to further understand how the mix of these three instructional techniques influenced engagement, avoidance, and achievement motivation, we conducted a series of stepwise stepwise

incremental; additional information is added at each step.

stepwise multiple regression
used when a large number of possible explanatory variables are available and there is difficulty interpreting the partial regression
, forward regression regression, in psychology: see defense mechanism.

In statistics, a process for determining a line or curve that best represents the general trend of a data set.
 analyses. For each analysis, gender was included in the first step of the analysis as a possible control variable, but was not significant in any of the analyses. As shown in Table 5, engagement and achievement motivation were each influenced by a different pattern of significant predictors. Specifically, when looking at engagement motivation, 19% of the variance was explained by all three instructional techniques (Course Websites, Active Learning, and Traditional Lecture), F (3,129) = 10.08, p<.001, adjusted [R.sup.2] = .17. Course websites emerged as the strongest predictor, explaining 10% of the variance in engagement motivation. For achievement motivation, only one instructional technique (Traditional Lecture) was a significant predictor explaining 7 % of the variance, F (1,133) = 9.79, p<.01, adjusted [R.sup.2] = .06.


The results of our study clearly suggest that various teaching techniques are significantly associated with distinct aspects of students' academic motivation. This is an important finding, considering that the relative match between learning preferences and academic environments has been found to play an important role in student learning (e.g., Bransford et al. 1982; Grasha, 2000, Pintrich, McKeachie, & Lin, 1987). By understanding relationships between instructional techniques and various elements of academic motivation, teachers may be able to enhance student involvement, retention, and application. Indeed, our results clearly suggest that students enter the classroom with different types of academic motivation and drives that make them differentially receptive to specific instructional techniques.

Our factor analysis revealed three profiles of academic motivation, each associated with unique learning preferences: engagement, avoidance, and achievement motivation. Specifically, engagement was positively associated with all three instructional techniques. The perceived value of websites, active learning, and traditional lectures all explained significant variance in engagement motivation, with perceived value of websites explaining the greatest variability. From a teaching standpoint The Standpoint is a newspaper published in the British Virgin Islands. It was originally published under the name Pennysaver, largely as a shopping-coupon promotional newspaper, but since emerged as one of the most influential sources of journalism in the , engaged students appear to be ideal and seem to be motivated by a variety of strategies. Thus, in relation to the AMI subscales, students who enjoy thinking about what they are learning and desire self-improvement are likely to respond to a larger variety of teaching strategies.

In contrast, avoidance was not significantly associated with any of the instructional techniques. Thus, avoidant avoidant /avoid·ant/ (ah-void´ant) moving away from; negatively oriented.  students pose a special challenge to effective teaching. They are more likely to experience anxiety and worry about not doing well, to dislike school, to feel discouraged about their studies, and to be withdrawn or disengaged from the learning process. These are the students who seem least likely to respond to any of the teacher's instructional techniques, whether it is the traditional lecture, in-class activities or web-based learning.

Interestingly, achievement was positively correlated with the perceived value of both traditional lectures and course websites, but had no relationship with the perceived value of active learning. However, in our regression analysis In statistics, a mathematical method of modeling the relationships among three or more variables. It is used to predict the value of one variable given the values of the others. For example, a model might estimate sales based on age and gender. , the perceived value of traditional lectures was the only instructional technique that emerged as a significant predictor of achievement motivation, with the perceived value of course websites no longer a significant predictor when controlling for the other two instructional techniques. This suggests that achievement-oriented students--who tend to be more persistent, competitive, achievement focused, and grades oriented--seem to prefer learning via traditional lectures. Perhaps they prefer a more structured and predictable learning environment and are not comfortable with learning opportunities involving role-plays, case studies, and small group discussions.

One important implication of these results is that the inclusion of course websites is most likely to appeal to students who are high in engagement .Another important implication is that the lecture method does appeal to students who are motivated to learn (i.e., students who are either engaged or achievement motivated). This is heartening heart·en  
tr.v. heart·ened, heart·en·ing, heart·ens
To give strength, courage, or hope to; encourage. See Synonyms at encourage.

Adj. 1.
 to note, as many courses are still based primarily on the lecture method due to its structural efficiency. Teachers who are aware of these differences could combine various teaching strategies to connect with a wider range of students and be more sensitive to the advantages of trying new instructional techniques. These results support existing research that highlights the importance of a good fit between a student's motivation, personality, learning style and how he or she is taught (e.g., Biggs, 1993; McKeachie et al. 1978).

Our study also sheds further light on how computers are actually being used in university courses. Consistent with other recent research (e.g., Mioduser et al. 2000), we found that students have widely available access to computers and use them frequently to contact the instructor and other students, to access the internet, to check grades, and to download course materials and lecture notes. It seems that the typical course website, at least at the university studied, presents basic course information and serves as a resource for getting course materials as needed as needed prn. See prn order. . The use of more interactive technologies, such as online discussion groups is far less common. Nevertheless, nearly all of our student sample found the websites useful and would like to see more classes with websites.

We should also acknowledge that our study had some limitations that might be addressed in future research. Most important, the AMI had low to moderate levels of internal consistency In statistics and research, internal consistency is a measure based on the correlations between different items on the same test (or the same subscale on a larger test). It measures whether several items that propose to measure the same general construct produce similar scores.  on several subscales (see Table 3). Hence, conclusions on those specific subscales should be considered tentative tentative,
adj not final or definite, such as an experimental or clinical finding that has not been validated.
. Although the AMI is useful for examining many aspects of academic motivation, the Academic Motivation Scale (AMS AMS - Andrew Message System ; Vallerand, Pelletier, Blais, Briere, Senecal, & Vallieres, 1992) provides an alternative measure with good psychometric psy·cho·met·rics  
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The branch of psychology that deals with the design, administration, and interpretation of quantitative tests for the measurement of psychological variables such as intelligence, aptitude, and
 properties. Also, although we have established a number of significant relationships between instructional techniques and academic motivation, we note that a number of these relationships were fairly small in magnitude, particularly when examined at the level of the 16 AMI dimensions. Our measures of instructional techniques, created specifically for this study, were also fairly basic in nature. More comprehensive measures could be developed to address additional aspects of instructional techniques.

It will also be important for future research to examine the relative contribution of academic motivation on student learning in light of other key variables such as cognitive ability, thinking styles, learning styles, cultural factors, and personality (e.g., Church & Katigbak, 1992; Schmeck & Geisler-Brenstein, 1991; Zhang, 2002). In particular, the work of Bransford and his colleagues (Bransfordet al., 1982, Bransford, Sherwood, Vye, & Rieser, 1986, Schwartz & Brantford, 1998) emphasizes the potential for teachers to enhance student learning through the use of problem-based learning and other techniques. We also acknowledge that our study cannot establish the causal direction of the relationships between instructional techniques and academic motivation. It might also be desirable for future research to examine a wider variety of students to allow stronger conclusions about generalizability. Nevertheless, we take the vital first step of documenting interesting linkages that vary across different types of academic motivation. Future research could seek to shed additional light on the nature of the complex and dynamic relationships between academic motivation and other components of teaching and learning.

In summary, our results suggest that students do differ in terms of their preferences for various instructional techniques and this appears to be related to their level and type of academic motivation in the classroom. Teachers could capitalize on Cap´i`tal`ize on`   

v. t. 1. To turn (an opportunity) to one's advantage; to take advantage of (a situation); to profit from; as, to capitalize on an opponent's mistakes s>.
 this knowledge by seeking to match instructional techniques to specific types of students, although this may be difficult, especially in large classes. Alternatively, teachers could employ multiple techniques in order to ensure that all students are being reached, at least some of the time. Motivating students who typically do not respond to certain strategies (lectures, in-class activities, or use of web based Coming from a Web server. See Web application.  teaching) and capturing their attention and interest probably is a teacher's greatest challenge. Our results suggest that, by attending to the relative match between instructional techniques and the patterns of academic motivation exhibited by specific students, teachers may be able to support and enhance student engagement and achievement.


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Meera Komarraju, Department of Psychology, Southern Illinois University Southern Illinois University, main campus at Carbondale; state supported; coeducational; est. 1869, opened 1874 as a normal school, renamed 1947. It has a center for archaeological investigation and a fisheries research laboratory. There is also a campus at Edwardsville.  at Carbondale. Steven J. Karau, Department of Management, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Correspondence should be addressed to Meera Komarraju, Department of Psychology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901-6502. email:
Table 1
Items Used To Measure Three Instructional Techniques: Website Usage,
Active Learning, and Traditional Lecture

Instructional Techniques and items              No. of items   Alpha

  Course Websites                               6              .87
Increased my learning
    Increased my interest in the course
    Increased my involvement in the course
    Increased my satisfaction with the course
    Increased my information about the course
    Increased my motivation in the course
  Active Learning                               5              .77
In class debates
    In-class cases
    In-class group discussion
    In-class role-playing exercises
    In-class group presentations
  Traditional                                   2              .69
    Lectures with examples

Table 2
Student Profile of Computer and Course Website Usage

Factor                                           Percentage

Computer Access
  Own a computer                                    81%
  Have access to a computer at home                 92%
  Use a computer on campus                          79%
Computer Usage
  Email Instructor                                  86%
  Email other students or friends                   98%
  Go online at least once per day                   84%
Course Website
  Do courses have websites?                         98%
  Check course information on the web?              94%
  Check grades online?                              94%
  Access sample tests?                              92%
  Download lecture notes?                           69%
  Use website for discussion groups?                19%
Overall view of course websites
  Find website useful                               93%
  Would like to see more classes with websites      91%

Table 3 Correlations Between AMI Subscales and Three Instructional

                                   Website   Active     Traditional
Motive                     Alpha   Usage     Learning   Lecture

Thinking                   .76      .23 **    .22 *      .23 **
Persisting                 .68      .12      -.02        .21
Achieving                  .88      .11       .16        .32 **
Facilitating anxiety       .54      .15       .15        .18 *
Debilitating anxiety       .72      .12       .01        .14
Grades orientation         .78      .24 **    .06        .23 **
Economic orientation       .55      .10      -.02       -.09
Self-improvement           .68      .23 **    .23 **     .20 *
Demanding                  .53      .01       .03        .03
Influencing                .63      .23 **    .32 **     .16
Competing                  .66      .09       .00        .01
Approval                   .82      .23 **    .17 *      .16
Affiliating                .45      .30 **    .17 *      .30 **
Withdrawing                .69     -.07      -.32 **    -.09
Disliking school           .77     -.12      -.05       -.20 *
Discouraged about school   .71     -.03       .04       -.03

* p<.05

** p<.01

Table 4 Correlations Between Three subscales of Academic Motivation
and Three Instructional

                                 Academic Motivation Subscales
Perceived value of
Instructional Techniques   Engagement   Avoidance    Achievement

Course Websites              .32 **         .01          .21 *
Active Learning              .28 **        -.07          .08
Traditional Lecture          .27 **        -.04          .26 **

Note. N ranges from 132 to 139.

* p<. p05

** p<01

Table 5 Forward Multiple Regression Results With Instructional
Techniques Regressed on Academic Motivation Factors

                                                            Change in
Factor        Step   Predictor          Beta    [R.sup.2]   [R.sup.2]

Engagement    1      Course Websites   .26 **      .10         .10
              2      Active Learning   .21 **      .16         .05
              3        Lecture         .19 *       .19         .03
Achievement   1        Lecture         .26 **      .07         .07

* p <.05

** p <.01
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Author:Komarraju, Meera; Karau, Steven J.
Publication:Journal of Instructional Psychology
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Date:Mar 1, 2008
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