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Motivation of engineering students in higher education

Author(s): Nick Savage | Roy Birch | Eleni Noussi

Journal: Engineering Education
ISSN 1750-0044

Volume: 6;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 39;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: motivation | motivational influence | curriculum model

This paper examines motivational factors affecting Higher Education (HE) students in the Faculty of Technology at the University of Portsmouth. A reliable identification of motivational factors would usefully inform pedagogical interventions. Students who are more intrinsically motivated may benefit from less prescriptive assignments which offer more freedom to choose from ‘formative’ assessment topics in which they have a greater personal interest. For those who are more extrinsically motivated, where the final, ‘summative’ grade is thought of as the most important, pedagogical styles may less influence students’ motivation. In the current study, the investigatory approaches employed to assess motivation discover different results. While questionnaire responses indicated that students operate both intrinsically and extrinsically, semi-structured interviews found little evidence of the former, with most students indicating that they operate extrinsically.
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