P245: Challenges of measuring success in Supplemental Instruction: The role of student motivation
The university provides a small amount of funding for Supplemental Instruction (SI) and students are asked to pay for the rest of the cost in course fees. There is pressure to show that SI is worth the money that students pay. It is not difficult to show that students who attend SI earn higher grades than students who do not, but are the students who regularly attend SI more motivated to begin with? The authors looked at motivation theory, specifically Self-Determination Theory (SDT), to adapt the Academic Motivation Scale (AMS) developed by Robert Vallerand in 1992 to chemistry. The AMS operationalizes SDT by measuring degrees of self-determined motivation in academic contexts. Vallerand and colleagues developed and validated the AMS for the purpose of assessing three types of intrinsic motivation (IM-To Know, IM-To Accomplish, and IM-Stimulation), three types of extrinsic motivation (EM-Identified, EM-Introjected, and EM-External), and amotivation. The authors adapted the survey to chemistry and determined the internal consistency of the tool for first semester chemistry. The goals of the project are to determine the type of motivation exhibited by students who attend SI versus students who do not attend SI and to see if the practice of attending SI can lead to a change in motivation type likely to be exhibited by successful students.