Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Frontiers in Education Conference, 2013 IEEE Year: 2013 Pages: 1637 - 1643, DOI: 10.1109/FIE.2013.6685116


Copyright © 2013 IEEE. Used by permission.


The need for more post-secondary students to major and graduate in STEM fields is widely recognized. Students’ motivation and strategic self-regulation have been identified as playing crucial roles in their success in STEM classes. But, how students’ strategy use, self-regulation, knowledge building, and engagement impact different learning outcomes is not well understood. Our goal in this study was to investigate how motivation, strategic self-regulation, and creative competency were associated with course achievement and long-term learning of computational thinking knowledge and skills in introductory computer science courses. Student grades and long-term retention were positively associated with self-regulated strategy use and knowledge building, and negatively associated with lack of regulation. Grades were associated with higher study effort and knowledge retention was associated with higher study time. For motivation, higher learning- and task-approach goal orientations, endogenous instrumentality, and positive affect and lower learning-, task-, and performance-avoid goal orientations, exogenous instrumentality and negative affect were associated with higher grades and knowledge retention and also with strategic self-regulation and engagement. Implicit intelligence beliefs were associated with strategic self-regulation, but not grades or knowledge retention. Creative competency was associated with knowledge retention, but not grades, and with higher strategic self-regulation. Implications for STEM education are discussed.