This paper presents a continuation of prior research exploring the impact of motivation factors on performance in cornerstone and capstone design courses. The previous longitudinal study focused on a single cohort of 32 students, examining their motivation at two instances in time: their freshman cornerstone design course and their senior capstone design course. The results from the prior quantitative research revealed that student grades in their freshman cornerstone design course were impacted by their anxiety levels with significance. The student’s senior capstone design grades were determined by their intrinsic motivation, and the delta in their grade between their freshman and senior year was correlated to their freshman year anxiety and their residency.
An interesting finding from the quantitative survey was the student’s anxiety levels did not decrease significantly between their cornerstone and capstone design course. However, the student’s capstone design grades were not affected by their anxiety. This indicated that there was a paradigm shift in which the students no longer allowed their anxiety to dictate their performance in design courses. This prompted the authors to further explore the impact of motivation on the student’s performance in their senior capstone design courses. This study focuses on a cohort of 80 students, and uses data from two instances in time: their Fall and Spring senior capstone design course. The findings from the prior longitudinal study also impelled the authors to implement a qualitative survey to gain insight into the student’s perspective of their motivation. Both of the surveys measure five factors of student motivation: cognitive value, intrinsic value, self-regulation, self-efficacy, and test/presentation anxiety.
This paper presents quantitative and qualitative results to further explore the impact of student motivation on their performance in senior capstone design courses. The study also examines the student’s motivation factors with regard to their demographic information. This includes the student’s gender, age, residency (domestic or international), family income, and the highest degree attained by parents.
The results of the study indicate that the students’ fall, spring, and change in performance are all impacted by their intrinsic value, with the students’ spring performance being further exacerbated by their cognitive value. Their performance in the spring is also found to be closely related to their residency. Interestingly, the student’s intrinsic value actually dropped, with significance, between the beginning of the fall and end of the spring semester. The results of the qualitative study indicate that the students who were confident entering into senior capstone design identify necessary areas of improvement by the end of the two semester course.
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