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Session Overview
SYM-12: Why Don’t Students Study?
Time: Wednesday, 29/Aug/2012: 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Session Chair: Richard Anthony Walker, University of Sydney
Discussant: Stuart Karabenick, University of Michigan
Organizer: Luke K. Fryer, Kyushu Sangyo University
Organizer: Thomas Martens, DIPF
Location: 254

Session Abstract

“Not studying”, although a seemingly straightforward problem, comes in many forms and has a range of potential antecedents. The first paper explores the role of self-efficacy and autonomous motivation on academic procrastination in an Israeli elementary school. Regression analysis revealed that students with both high and low self-efficacy procrastinate less often when adopting an autonomous orientation towards their studies. These results suggest that improving students’ self-efficacy is not sufficient to address procrastination issues in early schooling. A more autonomous orientation towards independent study is related to less procrastination and therefore an essential part of any answer to this question. The second paper examines amotivation in the context of compulsory e-learning at one university in Japan. Students reported themselves as being amotivated by Effort belief related reasons. After controlling for prior ability and self-concept, female students were less likely to be amotivated and teachers had a significant effect on students’ amotivation. Results suggest that teachers have the responsibility to and can be efficacious in ameliorating the negative effect of effort beliefs towards studying online. The final research was carried out at one German university. Researchers aimed to confront the fact that many students are unwilling to invest the time necessary to learn effectively. Person-centered analysis resulted in 5 groups of students. Students within the negative learning motivation group had surprisingly high achievement and reported investing considerable time in their studies. It is theorized that students exhibiting amotivation for their studies may employ time strategies to compensate for their maladaptive motivational regulation.


"I'll do it later": The Role of Students' Autonomous Motivation in the Relations between Self-efficacy and Homework Procrastination

Idit Katz, Keren Eilot, Noa Nevo

Ben-Gurion University, Israel

Procrastination on academic tasks is a common maladaptive behavior that has been investigated primarily in undergraduate students. In this study, we investigate this phenomenon in elementary school students, aiming to explore the role of motivation in the relations between self efficacy and procrastination. One hundred seventy-one fifth-grade students completed questionnaires assessing the type of motivation they have for homework, the level at which they procrastinate on homework, and their self efficacy regarding homework. The results indicate that autonomous motivation mediates the relations between self-efficacy and procrastination. Moreover, a regression analysis revealed that students with higher and lower self-efficacy procrastinate less when adopting autonomous type of motivation. These results highlight the importance of students' type of motivation for homework, suggesting that in order to avoid procrastination it is not enough to address students self- efficacy, but it is necessary to help them adopt a more autonomous type of motivation for homework.

E-learning: Why students don’t want to study

Luke K. Fryer, Hiroyuki Bovee, Kaori Nakao

Kyushu Sangyo University, Japan

Despite the widespread use of e-learning in higher education, little is known about the motivational orientations of learners who are required to use e-learning in a compulsory context. In this study, an adapted version of Legault's Academic Amotivation Inventory (AAI) was administered to students at a Japanese tertiary institution (n = 953) in order to measure amotivational orientations toward compulsory computer-assisted language learning (CALL). The dimensionality of the adapted AAI in this context was assessed via exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, resulting in a questionnaire that reliably measures three sources of amotivation: ability beliefs, effort beliefs, and task value. Structural equation modeling was employed to measure the effect of background variables (gender and department), teacher, English language self-concept, and English language ability (both measured 2 months prior). Preliminary results indicate that prior English ability and English language self-concept have no significant effect on students’ self-reported amotivation, while gender and teacher both show small positive effects. Descriptive statistical results establish that English ability beliefs and task value in regards to the CALL were, on average, not sources of amotivation; students’ effort beliefs however, were. These preliminary results highlight the importance for teachers, in this compulsory context, to clearly outline the time and effort required to complete the CALL tasks while emphasizing the fact that they can be completed with a reasonable expenditure of effort. We feel the study fits well within the self-determination theory motivational framework and draws attention to the need for further research on amotivation in compulsory educational contexts.

Academic Motivation and Amotivation: the Interplay of Time Investment and Motivational Regulation

Thomas Martens1, Christiane Metzger2, Rolf Schulmeister2

1DIPF, Germany; 2University Hamburg

The starting point for this investigation was the hypothesis that university students don’t invest enough learning time.

In the first study 57 bachelor students of business administration in their first year were asked to fill out web-based time budget forms on a day to day basis for a period of 5 month. The results of the time budget analysis showed that most students do not meet the planned workload and no statistical correlation between the applied study time and academic success (grades) were detected.

In the second study the motivational regulation was investigated: which pattern of motivational regulation leads to a satisfying learning behaviour? As theoretical background for analysing the motivational regulation served a comprehensive theoretical approach ofaction and learning which broadens the theory of action phases (Gollwitzer, 1990; Heckhausen, 1991) with specific elements of emotional regulation (Kuhl, 2000). 205 bachelor students of business administration filled out an online questionnaire including the 54 students from the first sample.

Questionnaire Scales: Perceived Threat, Sensitive Coping, Acceptance of Responsibility, Outcome Expectancy, Self-Efficacy, Persistent Goal Pursuit: Maintenance, Persistent Goal Pursuit: Distraction, Goal Congruent Self Monitoring, Working with Peers, Generation of Positive Emotions, Effort Avoidance after Negative Emotions, Metacognitive Learning Strategies.

In a 2-step-analysis process based on IRT methods, 5 pattern of motivational regulation were identified: Pragmatic Learning Motivation (25,9%), Strategic Learning Motivation (20,5%), Threat Oriented Leaning Motivation (20%), Negative Learning Motivation (17,1%), Self-Determined Learning Motivation (16,6%)

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