In this research paper, we studied the role of students' perceived motivational constructs on their academic performance.
Education literature showed that students' motivation affects their academic performance. Highly motivated students tend to be more determined or persistent in their performance. Similarly, engineering education studies have established that engineering students performed well with an appropriate intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in engineering courses. However, limited literature has explored the particular achievement-related motivation that has a relatively more profound effect on students' academic performance. In this research paper, we investigated the unique contribution of perceived motivational constructs on 120 first-year engineering students' academic performance in a required engineering course while accounting for their prior success. The motivational constructs include students' self-reported achievement goals (mastery goals, performance goals, and mastery avoidance), self-efficacy beliefs, and task value. We collected the data by administering surveys at the beginning of the course. We used AGQ-R for achievement goals and subscales of the MSLQ survey for students' course-related beliefs about self-efficacy and task value. Also, SAT scores and prior GPA determined students' prior success. We used students' scores in three exams as a measure of their academic performance in the course. We used stepwise hierarchical regression to identify the motivational constructs relatively account for the most variance to predict exam scores. Through simultaneous regression analysis, we determine the unique contribution of each motivational constructs. The results showed that students' prior success is the most significant predictor and accounted for the most variance in predicting students' academic performance in all three exams. In addition to prior success for exam1 and exam3, students' achievement goals played a significant role, while for exam2 students' self-efficacy beliefs accounted for the most variance. In this full paper, we discuss these results with the study's implications, limitations, and directions for future research.
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