Motivation and Self-Regulated Learning in Computer Science: Lessons Learned from a Multiyear Program of Classroom Research

Markeya S. Peteranetz, Leen Kiat Soh, Duane F. Shell, Abraham E. Flanigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Contribution: This article presents a synthesis of the findings and implications from the IC2Think program of research in undergraduate computer science (CS) courses examining student motivation and self-regulated learning (SRL). These studies illuminate both the difficulty and potential for motivating CS students, as well as the uniqueness of CS as a context for studying undergraduate motivation. Background: Computing disciplines are increasingly important in preparing the future workforce. It is imperative that CS educators understand how to motivate students and enhance student outcomes. Synthesizing findings across multiple studies allows for the emergence of new insights into student motivation and SRL. Research Questions: Which aspects of students' motivation and SRL are predictive of achievement and retention in CS and how can findings inform CS education? Methodology: The primary methodology is a comprehensive review of seven years of research on undergraduate CS education. Studies use a variety of analysis techniques, examine a range of constructs, and include multiple introductory and advanced CS courses. Studies of relationships between variables and change over time were conducted. Findings: The present synthesis of studies on motivation and SRL highlights the complex, counter-intuitive, and positive aspects of student motivation in CS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9336046
Pages (from-to)317-326
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Computer science (CS)
  • motivation
  • self-regulated learning (SRL)
  • undergraduate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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