Students' initial course motivation and their achievement and retention in college cs1 courses

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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

The goal of this study was to investigate how students' entering motivation for the course in a suite of CS1 introductory computer science courses was associated with their subsequent course achievement and retention. Courses were tailored for specific student populations (CS majors, engineering majors, business-CS combined honors program). Students' goal orientations (learning, performance, task), perceived instrumentality (endogenous, exog-enous), career connectedness, self-efficacy, and mindsets (growth or fixed) were assessed at the start of the course. Grades were significantly predicted from entering motivation; but prediction was highly variable across courses, ranging from not predicted for the engineering courses to highly predictable for the business-CS honors program. Course withdrawal was significantly predicted. Likelihood of withdrawing was decreased by future time career connectedness and learning approach goal orientation and in-creased by having an incremental theory of intelligence. Findings suggest that CS1 students who set learning approach goals for their classes have better academic outcomes and higher retention. Other motivational beliefs were inconsistent in their impacts and varied by course and student population. Except for students in an honors program, entering motivational beliefs weakly predicted achievement and retention, suggesting that impacts of the course itself on motivation and how motivation changes during the course are perhaps more important than student's initial motiva-Tion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSIGCSE 2016 - Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages639-644
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450338561
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 17 2016
Event47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education, SIGCSE 2016 - Memphis, United States
Duration: Mar 2 2016Mar 5 2016

Publication series

NameSIGCSE 2016 - Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education

Other

Other47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education, SIGCSE 2016
CountryUnited States
CityMemphis
Period3/2/163/5/16

Keywords

  • CS1 Achieve-ment
  • Goal orientation
  • Retention
  • Student motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education

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