Secondary student motivation orientations and standards-based achievement outcomes
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Background. Individual student characteristics such as competence motivation, achievement values, and goal orientations have been related in meaningful ways to task attainment. The standards-based National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) was developed in New Zealand with the intention of strengthening connections between student learning behaviours and achievement outcomes. Aim. This study investigates interrelationships between self-reported motivation orientations and achievement outcomes on the NCEA, a standards-based, criterionreferenced assessment system for senior secondary students. Sample. Participants were 3,569 Year 11-Year 13 students at 20 nationally representative secondary schools in New Zealand. Method. Survey data were factor analysed followed by regression analyses to examine relationships across demographic factors, self-report survey results, and NCEA achievement outcomes. Results. Several theoretically meaningful self-reported motivation orientations were strongly related to actual achievement including doing my best (high achievement) and doing just enough (low achievement). These dimensions varied by gender, ethnicity, and school zone decile. Conclusions. These findings illustrate how particular design features of a standards based assessment system relate to student attitudes and achievement. They also highlight the need for longitudinal research to investigate patterns over time as well as the possible impact of interventions to alter motivation and/or academic task performance.
British Journal of Educational Psychology