Discipline-Based Education Research Group


Date of this Version


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DBER Group Discussion on 2015-10-29


Copyright (c) 2015 Duane Shell & Leen-Kiat Soh.


Students’ motivation and strategic engagement have been identified as playing crucial roles in their success in STEM and CS classes. Numerous motivational constructs have been identified including goals, instrumentality of the course, mindsets, emotional/affective reactions, and self-efficacy. These are thought to motivate students’ to achieve and to drive the self-regulation and engagement necessary for student-centered learning. Despite sometimes lengthy histories of research in these constructs and behaviors, there are still many questions about how students are motivated in their courses and how they can become effective self-directed, engaged learners. This talk will discuss research findings from five years of classroom research in introductory computer science courses. We have employed comprehensive pre- and post-survey questionnaires assessing student motivation, affect, and strategic engagement and examined impacts on grades and learning and the dynamics of motivation change across the semester. Courses have included computer science majors as well as engineering and other STEM and non-STEM undergraduates. We will talk about our findings and discuss implications for CS and STEM teaching and instruction in the undergraduate classroom.