To improve students’ performance, it is important to understand what prevents them from studying efficiently. In other words, students’ motivation must be explored. However, motivation issues can be approached from several angles. Defining the key tests that locate major motivation problems, a teacher can solve most of the related problems. At present, six tests are used widely to assess students’ motivation.
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Students’ learning patterns and the stages of information processing, which students go through, must be observed closely from the very start of the child’s academic life. Unless certain problems are spotted while they are yet in embryo stage, it will be very hard to get rid of them after a student develops a particular learning pattern. Therefore, the retention and modalities rates among young students, or, to be more specific, students at the age of 4–9, must be evaluated, and the factors affecting students’ motivation for learning must be identified, along with the factors that hinder students’ knowledge and skills acquisition.
Motivation as One of the Key Constructs: Significance
Weirdly enough, in the modern academic and business world, with all the focus on success and impressive performance, the issue of motivation has been raised comparatively recently. Nevertheless, it has already gained a tremendous significance. True, efficient leadership is an essential factor affecting students’ performance; however, once students are unwilling to strive for better results, even a change of the leadership style alone is not going to be of much help. Instead, motivation should be considered. Hence, it would not be a mistake to say that motivation defines students’ performance and, therefore, retention and modalities rate.
Defining the Specifics of Motivation
Speaking of the specific aspect of motivation, which is going to be assessed in the further studies, one must mention its effects on students’ performance. There are many ways of looking at motivation. Some schools of pedagogy claim that motivation defines students’ success in their academic performance; others claim that motivation is merely one of the factors facilitating faster acquisition of skills and information. Therefore, the rate to which motivation affects students’ performance is going to be assessed.
Tests and Instruments: Validity and Reliability
There are a number of ways to evaluate motivation. Depending on the social or economic aspect, from which the retention rates for a particular education establishment or students are provided, it can be evaluated with the help of different instruments. Among the ones that are used most frequently for assessing motivation, the following tools should be listed:
- Likert scale survey (Carpita & Manisera, 2011);
- Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (Feng, Zhi & Lin, 2010);
- The revised two-factor Study Process Questionnaire (R-SPQ-2F) (Stes, Maeyer & Petegem, 2013);
- National survey of student engagement (Carle, Jaffee, Vaughan & Eder, 2009);
- Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (Markland & Hardy, 1997);
- Approaches and study skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST) (Valadas, Goncalves & Faı´sca, 2009, p. 261).
Though most of the instruments provided above have been created quite recently, each of them has been tested and analyzed in a range of credible studies, which makes these instruments credible and reliable. The Likert Scale Survey, however, seems the most authoritative and appropriate for addressing literacy issues.
Improving students’ motivation is crucial for them to be able to get their priorities straight, set goals and work towards these goals achievement. Hence, students’ motivation can be viewed as a crucial construct of the research. There are a number of ways to evaluate the given construct; some of them have stood the test of time, others need to be put to practice several times more. However, they all allow looking at the issue from a certain angle and, thus, work towards providing every student with a unique motivation.
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