1.1 Background of Study
Goals and motivation are one of the most important factors that drive a student to perform in schools; therefore, it is very important to conduct research seeking to understand students’ goals and orientation and how they can influence a student’s progress in college. The easiest way
to de- define a goal is as a desired result envisioned by a person or a group and accompanied
by an effort aimed at achievement. The setting of goals is important to guide the students to
their defined objectives. Setting goals can give long-term vision and short-term motivation.
It focuses on acquisition of knowledge, and helps to organize time and resources so that students can make the most of their life. By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, students can mea-sure and take pride in the achievement of those goals, and they see forward progress in what might previously have seemed a long pointless grind. As students recognize their own ability
and competence in achieving the goals that they set, their confidence and self-esteem will increase. Without goals, a student will not have any purpose to perform in schools.
Motivation is also important because it is the psychological catalyst needed by the students in order to reach their goals. Motivation is defined as a reason or a set of reasons that fueled people’s actions, desires, and needs, it is also one’s direction to behavior, or what causes a person to want to repeat a behavior. Without it, students will not be encouraged to push forward.
Motivation is primarily influenced by achievement, advancement, personal growth, recognition, and responsibility. Human beings cannot achieve these needs without motivation. Especially among the students, motivation is very important for them to perform in schools.
There are two type of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is defined as joining an activity for its inherent satisfactions rather than for some separable con-sequence (Ryan & Deci, 2000). For example, a student performs well academically because she really wanted to have a sense of achievement. Intrinsically motivated state has long been
associated with feelings of self-determination, control, and satisfaction (Hennessey, Moran, Altringer & Amabile, 2015). Occasionally, rewards may enhance intrinsic motivation through a process of motivational synergy; it was also linked with creativity of performance, longer-lasting learning, and perseverance (Hennessey, Moran, Altringer & Amabile, 2015).Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, contrasts with intrinsic motivation as it refers to doing an activity simply for its instrumental value rather than interest (Ryan & Deci, 2000). For example, a student put all his effort in assignment only because he fears being reprimanded by tutors and lecturers for not doing it well is extrinsically motivated to do so in order to avoid that outcome. At the same time, a student does her work because she believe it is important for her future is doing it not because of personal interest.
There were questions about how students’ goals had anything to do with their motivation. It was said that a student’s motivation was heavily influenced by his goals. However, there is not much research that investigates these two. The purpose of this study was to investigate the connection between these two elements and how they are able to contribute to the self-growth of the students and how students will be able to better themselves.
1.2 Statement of problem
Nowadays, students often perform poorly in college. There were studies conducted to investigate the reason behind it. However, most of these studies often focused on these students’ learning behavior, way of learning, and study habits. They often overlook some of the most important aspects of the students, such as goal orientation and motivation. If a student doesn’t have any clear purpose for studying in college, then he would not have the drive to perform in colleges, thus his academic performance will dropped. Therefore, this study intends to investigate students’ goal orientation and motivation and how it would affect their academic performance.
1.3 Research objective
1. Relationship between goal orientation and motivation among students in Tunku Abdul Rahman University College
2. To examine gender differences in motivation
1.4 Research Questions
Does a student’s goal orientation have anything to do with his motivation in school?
1. A student’s goal orientation is associated with his motivation.
2. Female students are more motivated to achieve goals than male students
1.6 Significance of Study
This study is important to the academic community because goals can influence a student’s motivation, which in turn can lead to improved performance among the students. This can help to predict how a student is going to perform academically. For example, a student whose goal was to have a good and promising future would be more motivated to study and therefore performed better than a student whose goal is just not to retake the exam or being reprimanded by teachers or parents. In addition, teachers and administrators can also guide students whose beliefs and goals that contain maladaptive patterns of learning that hamper their progress in school. Teachers can enhance their instructional practices by determining which areas of their students’ abilities to target. This allows teachers to assist their students to increase their fundamental ability to set and achieve goals that are meaningful to them, focused on personal improvement, based on reasonable expectations and insightful feedback.
1.7 Definition of Variable
Goal Orientation: degree to which a student focuses on tasks and the end results of those tasks
Motivation: student’s desire to achieve results
Gender: male or female
Goal Orientation: The way to measure this is via the Goal Setting Questionnaire, which looks at general goal orientation of students.
Motivation: The way to measure this is the Academic Motivation Scale which used a 7-point Likert scale, ranging from 1-does not correspond at all to 7-corresponds exactly. The scores recorded can indicate whether the students are extrinsically or intrinsically motivated. There
are three types of motivation shown in this scale, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and amotivation. The components of intrinsic motivation are to know, toward accomplishment, and to experience stimulation; the components of extrinsic motivation are identified, introjected, and external regulation.
Gender: classification of gender in the demographic section of informed consent form
Chapter 2: Literature Review
2.1 Literature Review
2.1.1 Relationship between Goal orientation and Motivation
In the past, there were many studies conducted to investigate the link between goal orientation and motivation. According to a study by Hsieh, Sullivan and Guerra (2007), students in good academic standing are reported to have high self-efficacy and establish more mastery goals; while students who are on academic probation are reported to have low self-efficacy and adopt performance-avoidance goals. This demonstrated that motivation and goal orien-tation can play an important role on student’s academic achievement.
Students’ motivation is being reinforced by self-efficacy, which is defined as people’s judgment of their capabilities to organize and successfully complete a task (Hsieh, Sullivan and Guerra, 2007). Thus, highly motivated students always have the tendency to participate more readily, work harder, pursue challenging goals, spend much effort toward fulfilling identified goals, and persist longer in the face of difficulty than lowly-motivated students because they have higher self-efficacy (Hsieh, Sullivan and Guerra, 2007).
According to the results of their studies, Hsieh, Sullivan, and Guerra (2007) made some contradicting discoveries. Students with high academic standing who had high motivation often do not adopt performance-avoidance goals which are consistent with goal-orientation theory. However in inconsistent with goal-orientation theory, probation students who have high levels of motivation often adopt performance-avoidance goals.
A possible explanation offered by the researchers was that the academic probation students were attending a workshop where there was an emphasis on performing well in college and the consequences of being on probation again. Students who were motivated to believed they were capable of being successful but do not put in the effort necessary to do well in college may have feel guilty and may have worried that others might equate their probation status to having low ability. Based on goal orientation theory, these students may have been concerned about their image more than their peers who had lower motivation, and may have displayed a strong adoption of the performance-avoidance goals.
2.1.2 Gender Differences in Motivation
According to a research conducted by Boyd (2017), female students have higher goal orientation than male students. This is in consistent with the research that has previously been conducted on goal orientation within other groups. Research has been found to support this statement by demonstrating that females are in fact, more likely to be categorized as high performers than males. This study also demonstrated that low performers are more likely to score higher in the work-avoidance dimension of goal orientation than high-performing students. Therefore, females are more likely to adopt work-approach goal orientation and males are more likely to adopt work avoidance goal orientation. This shows that female students are more likely to be motivated by an opportunity to succeed rather than avoiding failure. Because of their approach orientation, female students are more motivated to complete assignments, study for exams, and perform at a higher level in an educational setting. Goal–avoidant individuals are often associated with being disorganized, leaving tasks unfinished, and avoiding difficult tasks. These characteristics have led to the conclusion that individuals who are approach-oriented, are more likely to achieve a higher level of academic success than students who are avoidance-oriented.
2.2 Theoretical Framework
Incentive theory of motivation stated that behaviors are motivated for incentives and reinforcements. The motivation and behavior of individuals can be effectively changed in the way of supporting the desired effects (Petrova, 2017). People are motivated by the expected rewards to receive for their action or behavior, motivation is higher when rewards are expected (Petrova, 2017). For example, a student was motivated to perform well in school because he believes that this will help him to establish a successful career in the future.
Incentives are powerful if the reward is important to the student. But rewards had to be able to be obtained in order to be motivating. For example, a student may not be motivated to obtain a top grade if the assignment is too difficult to achieve or if the parents, tutors, or lecturers had little or no interest in the student’s achievements or whatsoever. A student might also not be interested in studying at all if he felt that the course he studied had no future.
Incentive theory can be likened to operant conditioning. Just as in operant conditioning, where behaviors are performed in order to either gain reinforcement or avoid punishment, incentive theory states that your actions are directed toward gaining rewards.
Good grades are one type of incentives that can motivate students to study hard and do well in colleges. Gaining approval from parents, teachers, and friends might be another. Money is also an excellent example of an external reward that motivates behavior. In many cases, these external rewards can motivate people to do things that they might otherwise avoid such as chores, work, and other tasks that they might find unpleasant, not just academic work alone.
As we mentioned above, the setting of goals are important to guide the students to their defined objectives. Without goals, a student will not have any purpose to perform in schools. These goals can be lifelong and long-term, such as gaining future career prospects or helping to manage the family business in the future. As a result, goals can be a very good incentive to become the main driving force behind the students’ efforts, they will be better motivated to perform better academically because they wanted to work towards the goals they desired. Hence, I believe that the incentive theory of motivation is very suitable for my research.
2.3 Conceptual Framework
As shown by the diagram above, the independent variable will be the goal setting; while dependent variable will be motivation (extrinsic and intrinsic). The main driving force behind a student’s motivation will be the goal; the more important the goal is to the student, the more motivated he or she will in order to achieve that goal. Next, we will examine the gender differences in motivation. The possible outcomes were either male students are more motivated to achieve goals than female students; or female students are more motivated to achieve goals than male students.
Chapter 3: Research Methodology
3.1 Research Design
The research design I have chosen is survey design. I will administer the questionnaires to the participants and ask them to answer the written questions.
3.2 Sampling Technique and Procedure
The sampling technique I have chosen for this study was random simple sampling, which is a subset of a target population in which each member of the subset has an equal probability of being chosen. Before starting the survey, I will have to gain approval from the Students Affair Department. And when I started the survey, I will have to present the students with informed consent form.
3.3 Research Participants
The participants for this study would be students of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, the number of the students will be between 100-150. There will be 75 male students and 75 female students.
Students’ goal setting will be assessed using the Goal Setting Questionnaire and Academic Motivation Scale.
3.4.1 Goal Setting Questionnaire
There are 19 items in the scale. Example of items of scale:
1. I set short-term goals for myself (like finishing all my homework and exercise for an hour)
2. I set long-term goals for myself such as earning a college degree or entering a career
Responses will be recorded on a 5-point Likert scale, ranging from 1- not very like me to 5- very like me. The Cronbach alpha coefficient for the questionnaire was reported as 0.72 (Wale ; Abiodun, 2012). All the points will be sum up and then divided by the number of items.
1.4.2 Academic Motivation Scale
There are 28 items on the scale. Example of the scale:
1. Because with only a high-school degree I would not find a high-paying job later on.
2. Because I think that a college education will help me better prepare for the career I have chosen.
Responses will be recorded on a 7-point Likert scale, ranging from 1-does not correspond at all to 7- corresponds exactly. The alpha values are reported to range between .62–.86, .70–.86, and .70–.90 (Utvær ; Haugen, 2016). The recorded scores will then be sum up and decided whether the student will be in extrinsic motivation, intrinsic motivation, or amotivation.
3.5 Plan of Data Analysis
The data collected will be analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, also known as SPSS. The desirable technique to analyze the data is Pearson correlation, which measures the statistical relationship, or association, between two continuous variables like the students’ goal orientation and motivation. T-test will then be used to measure the gender differences in motivation.
Boyd, A (2017). An Examination of Goal Orientation between Genders – An Exploratory Study (2017), University Honors Program Theses, Georgia Southern University
Cherry, K (2017). Retrieved from http://www.verywell.com/the-incentive-theory-of-motivation-279538
Hennessey, B; Moran, S; Altringer, B; and Amabile, T (2015). Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation. Wiley Encyclopedia of Management 11, 1-4
Hsieh, P., Sullivan, J., & Guerra, N (2007). A Closer Look at College Students: Self-Efficacy and Goal Orientation. Journal of Advanced Academies, 18(3), 454-476
Ryan, R & Deci, E (2000). Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations: Classic Definitions and New Directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology 25, 54-67(2000)
Petrova, E (2017). The Influence of Positive Reinfo14rcements on Motivation for Education and Training Activities. Journal of Economic Development, Environment, and People, 6(3), 2017
Urdan, T & Maehr, M (1995). Beyond a Two-Goal Theory of Motivation and Achievement: A Case for Social Goals. Review of Educational Research, 65(3), 213-243
Utvær & Haugen (2016). The Academic Motivation Scale: Dimensionality, Reliability, and
Construct Validity Among Vocational Students. Nordic Journal of Vocational Education and Training 2016, 6(2), 17-45
Wale, J. & Abiodun, A (2012). Goal-Setting, Value-Orientation and Learning Styles as Predictors of Undergraduates’ Academic Achievement in Distance Learning System: Implications for Policy and Counselling. British Journal of Arts and Social Sciences, 4(1), 60-66