STUDENTS’ PERSPECTIVES
ON THE
CONCEPTUAL &
PSYCHOSOCIAL FACTORS
IMPACTING THEIR LEARNING
MOTIVATION
Presented by :
Gaunette Sinclair-Maragh
Lecturer
University of Technology, Jamaica
PURPOSE
OF THE
CASE STUDY
• To highlight the perspectives of tertiary level students
regarding the conceptual and psychosocial factors
impacting their learning motivation
• To garner strategies geared towards establishing a
Teaching-Learning Model for tertiary training/education
in Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM), which
will enhance student learning motivation and prepare
graduates for the labour market
BACKGROUND OF CASE
STUDY
Research was conducted at Institution X to
determine whether or not the students’ learning
motivation (SLM) was affected by any
conceptual and psychosocial factors.
This is the initial phase of a much wider
study which will be comparing the factors
mentioned above in two or more tertiary
institutions offering training in HTM.
BACKGROUND TO
RESEARCH PROBLEM
Challenges relating to :
• the need to determine existing gaps in the
learning motivation of tertiary students studying
HTM
• variation in students’ learning needs,
motivational issues, interest levels and sociocultural backgrounds
BACKGROUND TO RESEARCH
PROBLEM (Cont’d)
Challenges relating to :
• the effectiveness of the teaching-learning process
in tertiary institutions offering training in HTM
 National and Regional Universities
 Offshore Universities
 Teachers’ Colleges
 Community Colleges
BACKGROUND TO RESEARCH
PROBLEM (Cont’d)
Challenges relating to :
• the effectiveness of the teaching methodologies
used by faculty for all students irrespective of
their cognitive abilities and learning styles
• work readiness of the students
• industry expectations
RESEARCH QUESTIONS
• What are the different levels of academic interest and
motivation among students at Institution X
• What is the role of faculty in motivating students to
learn?
• What types of learning strategies and styles are being
used by the students?
• What are the major conceptual challenges confronting the
students?
• What are the major psychosocial challenges faced by the
students?
DEFINITION OF TERMS
• Conceptual Factors : Elements pertaining to mental concepts and the
development of mental processes e.g. metacognition, mental abilities
and types of intelligences
• Psychosocial factors : Psychological and social forces

Psychological forces e.g. personality, emotion, attitude and
behaviour

Social forces e.g. value system, cultural practices and the
physical environment
• Learning Motivation : The desire to participate in and benefit from
academic activities that are meaningful and worthwhile.
LITERATURE REVIEWED
• The Concept of Motivation (Tuckman,1999)
• The Role of the Teacher in Students’ Learning
Motivation (McNeil & Wiles, 1999)
• Conceptual Factors affecting Students’ Learning
Motivation (Woolfolk, 2001)
• Students’ Learning Strategies and Styles (Hartley,
1998)
• Psychosocial Factors impacting Students’
Learning Motivation (Bandura, 1997)
METHODOLOGY
• Descriptive design using the survey
method
• Instrument : Structured Questionnaire
• Random sampling of 15% of the student
population
• Period : October 2004 to January 2005
• Response Rate : 94%
RESEARCH FINDINGS
AND ANALYSIS
DEMOGRAPHICS
AGE
• Majority of respondents (54%) : 18 - 21 age range
• Minority of respondents ( 8%) : 26 - 30 age range
GENDER
• Female 82%
•
Male 18%
RESEARCH OBJECTIVE 1
What are the different levels of
academic interests and motivation
among students at Institution X?
STUDENTS’ CAREER GOALS
Ultim ate Career Goal
50%
45%
44%
40%
35%
30%
25%
Series1
18%
20%
15%
10%
12%
7%
8%
8%
Uncertain
No Response
3%
5%
0%
Entrepreneurs Policy Makers
Executive
Chefs
Event
Coordinators
Executive
Managers
REASONS FOR SELECTING
AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION
Reason for choosing area of Specialization
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Career Goal
Diverse Course Opt ion
Job Opport unit ies
Formal Cert if icat ion
Second Choice
R e a sons
Only Programme
No Response
Uncert ain
STUDENTS’ LEVELS OF
INTEREST IN PROGRAMMES
Interest
In Selected Programme
7%
22%
16%
Pass exams
Career Development
Foundation for other career
Other
55%
STUDENTS’ LEVELS OF
MOTIVATION
Le v e l of M ot i v a t i on
3%
0%
5%
5%
High
39%
Average
Low
Undecided
No Response
48%
STUDENTS’ INTEREST
& MOTIVATION LEVELS
• INTEREST IN TERTIARY EDUCATION
90% :
Intrinsically motivated
7% :
Parental Influence
3% :
No Response
• LEARNING MOTIVATION GOALS
79% :
Learning Goal
13% :
Performance Goal
3% :
Work Avoidance
5% :
No Response
STUDENTS’ INTEREST
& MOTIVATION LEVELS (Cont’d)
• Relatively high interest levels
• High learning goals
• Majority of students were motivated to focus on
achieving their career objectives
• Selected areas of specialization assisted in
students’ learning motivation
Intrinsic motivation is that which motivates a
student to learn without being compelled to do so
(Raffini, 1996).
RESEARCH OBJECTIVE 2
What is the role of faculty in
motivating students to learn?
ROLE OF FACULTY IN
MOTIVATING STUDENTS
• 49% : Faculty members have no role
• 39% : Faculty members have a role to play
• 5% : Faculty members should guide and
facilitate the learning process
MOST EFFECTIVE
TEACHING METHODS
•
TEACHING STYLES
The various ways in which teachers teach ( McNeil & Wiles, 1990).
92% : Democratic
8% : Authoritative
0% : Laissez Faire
•
TEACHING STRATEGIES
Patterns of instruction that are used by teachers to match their teaching style with students’
learning needs ( McNeil & Wiles, 1990).
69% : Teacher Centred / Direct Pattern
23% : Student Centred / Indirect Pattern
0% : Teacher as Facilitator / Self Direct Pattern
STUDENTS’ PERCEPTION OF
THE BEST TEACHING STYLE
BestTeaching Style
0%
8%
Authoritarian
Democratic
Laissez Faire
92%
TEACHING QUALITY
RATINGS
%
Excellent
8
Good
56
Fair
29
Poor
2
ROLE OF FACULTY
(Cont’d)
•
Majority of students believed that faculty members are not responsible for their learning
• However they :
 indicated the need for teacher-student interaction
 prefer the teacher-centred approach
Teachers should act as facilitators allowing students to accomplish their learning
independently (McNeil & Wiles, 1999).
•
Majority of students stated that the quality of teaching was good.
Teacher skills in motivating learners should be seen as central to teaching effectiveness
(Good and Brophy, 1994).
RESEARCH OBJECTIVE 3
What types of learning strategies
and styles are being used by the
students?
STUDENTS’ LEARNING
STRATEGIES AND STYLES
LEARNING STRATEGIES
• Methods used by students to help
them to process information /learn
(www.readingonline.org/articles)
LEARNING STYLES
• How students approach the
different learning tasks
based on their cognitive
ability
 Student-centred Learning
(www.readingonline.org/articles)
 Interactive Approach
 Field Dependent and
Independent Approach
 Self-directed Approach
 Deep and Surface Learning
 Convergent & Divergent
Thinking
STUDENTS’ LEARNING STYLES
Do these students change the structure and meaning of words to ascertain their own understanding?
•
Field Independent Students : 77%
Reasons

For better understanding
Easier to remember
To deduce correct meaning
Doing so depends on the subject
No Reason
(57%)
(
(
(
(
8 %)
4 %)
2 %)
6 %)
These students reorganize learning material to suit their own needs and conception (Hartley,1998)
•
Field Dependent Students : 10%
These students are tied to the structure and language of a
text book (Hartley, 1998)
STUDENTS’ LEARNING STYLES
(Cont’d)
Do these students analyze or memorize what they
read?
Deep Learners : 60%
These students try to understand thoroughly the
meaning of what they read (Hartley,1998).
• Surface Learners : 18%
These students concentrate their efforts on
memorising and not on analysing what they have
read (Hartley, 1998).
STUDENTS’ LEARNING STYLES
(Cont’d)
• Some students considered themselves to be
both deep and surface learners : 12%
An individual student may be both a deep
and surface learner, this however depends
on the nature of the task (Hartley, 1998).
PREFERRED MODES OF
ASSESSMENT
Types of Assessment
No Response
2%
Essays
25%
36%
Short Answers
8%
True/False
Multiple Choice
29%
0%
5%
10%
15%
20%
25%
30%
35%
40%
STUDENTS’ LEARNING
STYLES (Cont’d)
MOST PREFERRED MODE OF
ASSESSMENT
•
•
•
•
Short Answers (36%):Convergent Thinker
Multiple Choice(29%):ConvergentThinker
Essay
(25%) :Divergent Thinker
True/False
( 8%) :Divergent Thinker
STUDENTS’ LEARNING
STYLES (Cont’d)
CONVERGENT
THINKERS
These students perform
well at tests that require
a single answer to the
Problem (Hartley,1998).
DIVERGENT
THINKERS
These students have
the capacity to
generate responses,
invent new ones,
explore and expand
ideas (Hartley, 1998).
RESEARCH OBJECTIVE 4
What are the major conceptual
challenges confronting the
students?
METACOGNITION
The capabilities of thinking critically, reasoning,
comprehending, solving problems and learning (Woolfolk,
2001).
• 92% : Used critical thinking to solve problems and make
sound decisions
• 90% : Reasoned rationally and objectively
• 80% : Understood the material taught
• 75% : Planned and coordinated learning activities with
available resources
STAGES OF
COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
STAGES
• :
Sensorimotor
• :
AGE DESCRIPTION
(Years) (Piaget, 1996)
0-2
Sensory experiences
Pre-Operational
2-7
Use of symbols & pictures
Concrete Operational
7 - 11
Use of diagrams and charts
Formal Operational
Adolescents Logical and critical
thinking, reasoning
& Adults
& problem solving
STAGES OF COGNITIVE
DEVELOPMENT (Cont’d)
Stag e s o f C o g n itive De ve lo p m e n t
35%
32%
30%
24%
25%
20%
18 %
S e r i e s1
15 %
10 %
10 %
10 %
6%
5%
0%
S e n so r i m o t o r
P r e - Op e r a t i o n a l
C o n c r e t e Op e r a t i o n a l
Fo r m a l Op e r a t i o n a l
M u l t i p l e R e sp o n se s
N o R e sp o n se
CONCEPTUAL CHALLENGES
• Although the majority of students have
metacognitive abilities they were at the
concrete operational level
This situation frequently occurs among
adult learners due to a combination of
maturation problems and inappropriate
learning environment (Piaget, 1996).
CONCEPTUAL CHALLENGES
(Cont’d)
Types of Intelligences
3%
3%
No Response
39%
Int rapersonal
Int erpersonal
1
5%
Musical
Bodily Kinest het ic
Logical -Mat hemat ical
2%
Linguist ic/ Verbal
9%
39%
0%
5%
10%
15%
20%
25%
30%
35%
40%
45%
CONCEPTUAL CHALLENGES
(Cont’d)
• Majority of the students have linguistic/verbal
and also interpersonal intelligences
Persons are endowed with their individual
intelligence type which impacts on how and what
they learn (Kulieke et al 1990).
Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple
Intelligences also explains the reasons why
people can perform certain tasks very well but
perform less well or poorly on others
(Gardner, 2008).
RESEARCH OBJECTIVE 5
What are the major psychosocial
challenges faced by the students?
PSYCHOSOCIAL CHALLENGES
• SELF- EFFICACY
The belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute
the courses of action needed to achieve goals
(Bandura, 1997).
39% :
16% :
16% :
25% :
4% :
Have willpower to learn
Are self-directed learner
Are capable of learning
Use various learning strategies
No response
PSYCHOSOCIAL CHALLENGES
(Cont’d)
Em otional Experiences
35%
30%
25%
20%
15%
Series1
10%
5%
0%
Series1
Anxiety
Depression
Combination
No Response
No Experience
26%
27%
12%
30%
5%
PSYCHOSOCIAL CHALLENGES
(Cont’d)
• HOME ENVIRONMENT
60% : Positive Impact
30% : Negative Impact
• SOCIAL CONNECTION
52% : No Connection
36% : Felt Connected
• SURROUNDING
COMMUNITY
60% : No Impact
25 % : Impact
• TRANSITION
CHALLENGES
48% : No challenges
37% : Were challenged
• CONFLICTING ROLES
54% : No challenges
46 % : Were challenged
• CLUB MEMBERSHIP
54% : Non-member
37% : Were members
PSYCHOSOCIAL CHALLENGES
(Cont’d)
PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS
Majority students have :
• High levels of Self-Efficacy
Self-determined learners
display high self-efficacy
(Bandura, 1997)
Self-efficacy is needed for self
directed learning (Bandura,
1997)
• Interest in Academic welfare
• Learning Motivation Goals
• Little Emotional Constraints
SOCIAL FACTORS
• Majority of homes are
conducive to learning
• The community has no
significant impact on SLM
• Having little or no connection
to the university’s environment
had no impact on SLM
SUMMARY
• Students were intrinsically motivated to achieve
their career goals
• The students’ high levels of motivation
stimulated their interest in selecting their
respective programmes
• Some students (minority) expressed the
importance of faculty’s role in their learning
motivation
• Although the majority of students were motivated
by the democratic teaching style, they preferred
the teacher-centred approach
SUMMARY (Cont’d)
• Although the students had metacognitive abilities
and were deep and field independent learners,
they were operating at the concrete operational
cognitive stage which points to their ability to do
basic tasks and the need for close supervision
Operating at this level will pose a challenge as it
suggests surface learning.
Students who are critical thinkers, problem
solvers and good decision makers are at the
formal operational stage ( Piaget 1996).
SUMMARY (Cont’d)
• Students had both verbal and interpersonal intelligences
and these are critical in the Hospitality and Tourism
Industry
• Students’ high levels of self-efficacy, interest and learning
goal attributed to their learning motivation
• Students’ learning motivation was not gravely affected by
the social forces identified ( home, community, tertiary
level transition, other roles)
• Majority students however did not feel connected to the
university and this did not impact significantly on their
learning
IMPLICATIONS
Most Obvious Implication : Students’ Stage of Cognitive
Development
• High motivational levels + high interest levels +
appropriate teaching strategies & styles + deep and field
independent learners + convergent thinkers + concrete
operational levels = cognitive & competency challenges
• Undergraduate students are expected to be employed at
the conceptual level in businesses. Therefore the ideal is :
High motivational levels + high interest levels +
appropriate teaching strategies & styles + deep & field
independent learners + divergent thinkers + formal
operational levels
IMPLICATIONS (Cont’d)
• Graduates may be at risk in the workplace by not having
as competitive an advantage in terms of upward mobility
compared to students from other tertiary institutions.
• Tertiary Institutions may be failing somehow in terms of :
 Preparing competent individuals for the labour market
 Moulding young and experienced adults for new roles in
the industry
 Creating equality of learning opportunities
 Preparing a new generation of citizens in this globalize
environment
CONCLUSION
• Students are intrinsically motivated and this is a
catalyst for the achievement of high academic
standards
• Faculty members are expected to facilitate
learning by providing the needed guidance
• Students’ Learning Motivation is also not
challenged by their level of intelligence as the
majority of students had linguistic and
interpersonal intelligences
CONCLUSION (Cont’d)
• Their Learning Motivation is impacted by their
convergent thinking pattern and level of
cognitive development
• The Learning Motivation of students is not
impacted significantly by the psychosocial
factors investigated
RECOMMENDATIONS
• APPROACH : A Wholistic Approach to manage the
students’ learning motivation and create synergy among
the various stakeholders in the education process
• SYSTEM : A Teaching-Learning Model that will will
stipulate standards from the applicant selection process to
the time of graduation and job placement
• PLAN : A Cognitive Development Management Plan
that will be an integral part of the Strategic Management
Plan of Tertiary Institutions
RECOMMENDATIONS
(Cont’d)
+ High Motivational Levels
+ High Interest Levels
+ Appropriate Teaching Strategies & Styles
+ Deep and Independent Learning
+ Divergent Thinking
+ Formal Operational Level
= Cognitive Development &
High Competency Level
LIMITATIONS
• To date the case study has only been
conducted at Institution X
• The case study did not focus on gender or
age
YOUR INPUT
?????????????????????????????
COMMENTS
IMPLICATIONS
RECOMMENDATIONS
END OF PRESENTATION
THANK YOU
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