Academic motivation is one of the major factors in the success levels among students. Academic motivation can be defined as intrinsic and extrinsic factors that affect students desires to be motivated in an academic subject. Universities offers multiple opportunities to help their students increase their academic motivation. This can be seen through professors offering office hours, tutoring services in the library, one-on-one sessions in the writing center, and mental health help in case a student feel like they can no longer succeed in their university.
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Academic motivation is affected by teachers, advisors, parents, peers, etc. Academic motivation affects a student’s GPA, test scores, and overall performance. Van Rooij, Jansen, & Van De Grift (2017) sought to see how several factors affected students’ motivation in higher education. An outcome that the researchers noticed that is students’ who had the lowest confidence in their skill levels often had the higher GPAs and test scores. Van Rooij, Jansen, & Van De Grift research can be used to show students there is always room for improvement in their abilities due to the resources the institution has to help them succeed.
Students often start to be low in confidence when it comes to a subject or topic that they have a hard time in or find hard to comprehend. For example, students who have a hard time writing essays will lose academic motivation when a teacher asks them to write an essay. The student that is having a hard time with writing essays could do a rough draft and go to the writing center. The writing center will provide the student with tips on how to improve their essay increasing their motivation to confidence in their skills and encouraging them to not give up when it comes to writing another one. However, not all students will take this approach. Students who believe they cannot write a good essay because of past experiences will have lost academic motivation and either procrastinate by waiting until the last minute to do the essay giving half their best or they might have completely lost their academic motivation and not do the essay at all.
Academic motivation is affected when students possesses a growth mindset. When a student has a growth mindset, they do not let challenges interfere with their belief of their abilities. When faced with a subject they find challenging they go out their way to ensure they succeed by attending office hours to ask questions, pay attention during lectures, asking questions, do practice problems, etc. Students who have a growth mindset tend to have higher academic motivation because they always look for a way to achieve greatness. The students with this mindset often see more positives than negatives.
Academic motivation is also affected when a student possesses a fixed mindset. When a student has a fixed mindset, they tend to have little to no academic motivation. They often believe that since they cannot understand a lesson like their peers around then they never will because they are not smart enough. Students with this mindset find no need to try to improve their skills because they think it is not meant for them to succeed in this lesson. The student will often not complete the assignment that corresponds to the lesson or not give their full effort into the assignment because they think it is not point because they will fail anyways. Students with a fixed mindset often do not seek for help because they see no point. The students with this mindset often see more negatives than positives.
Students often go back and forth between mindsets due to several factors. Students with a growth mindset could go to a tutoring session and get discouraged by the instructor making the student feel as if they cannot succeed in the subject. This can resuly in the student switching from a growth mindset to a fixed mindset. Also, students who have a fixed mindset if they are encouraged by their peers or the teacher to try and/or them helping the student with the subject. This can cause a student to go from a fix mindset to a growth. No mindset is definite, the student can decide which mindset they want to be in depending on the subject they are in.
Students’ academic motivation is dependent on the leader. According to Siddique, Aslam, Khan, & Fatima (2011) study states that universities that pick the staff members that are here to help and encourage student education will promote student success in their school. Leaders play one of the most important roles in student motivation, they can either increase or decrease it. Leaders who encourage the students, provide feedback that will help the students become successful, are there to help the students, and provide resources to help them strive to be great often have students with higher academic motivation to succeed at the university resulting in higher test scores and class grades. When an institution hires a leader that does not care for student success and education it often results in students losing their academic motivation in that subject. “If proper academic leadership is not placed correctly then the universities could place a barrier to a student success,” Siddique, Aslam, Khan, & Fatima (2011). The study showed that faculty’s effort is a major component that leads to a student success and development in various aspects.
Students who have high external and internal academic motivations factors will often have better academic performances. There are multiple extrinsic and intrinsic components that affect a students’ academic performance such as cultural values, no alternative options, career and qualifications, and social pressures, Afzal, Imran, Khan, & Hamid (2010). When a student has defined their intrinsic motivators, it will help promote their success levels because they have identified their reason to succeed. If a student does not have define intrinsic motivators it could be harder for that student to continuously motivate themselves to keep going. Students who have define internal motivators will find extrinsic motivators that will help them complete the goal or goals they have set for themselves. Students who have set intrinsic motivators will often steer away from events or would not partake in events that steer away from their goals.
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Students can lose academic motivation when the stress from being in higher education becomes overwhelming. If a student takes on too much such as participating in a club, a sport, and taking 5 classes can find it hard to balance their day. The students who cannot balance their stress properly can find themselves overwhelmed to the point where they want to give up. Students who cannot handle this often become depressed or start to develop low performances in their classes. When a student becomes like this they often take a break from school until they feel like they are okay to go on, go to a counselor in the school to find way to get better when it comes to stress, or the study could drop the extracurricular activities they are partaking in so they can focus on their school work.
Colleges and universities provide multiple tools to ensure that the students that attend their school will succeed. They offer mental health screenings, therapy, counseling, tutoring, writing centers, and office hours. The students can use this to improve in their academic performances and ensure that their academic well-being is okay. Higher education institutions are one of the leading factors in all of the student’s success rates. Prove the students with good staff to help will result in positive results and increase academic motivation.
In conclusion the impact of academic motivation can lead to a student’s success. The research comparison between self-efficacy, leadership, and intrinsic and extrinsic motivators all show that different aspects have a common outcome when it comes to academic motivation. Mindsets, organizations, and coping with stress are other components that affect the academic motivation a student has when it comes to higher education. However, these studies could be disagreed and challenged by looking at a student’s personal environment and past experiences, the studies still provide valuable information that leads to improvement and maintaining academic motivation.
- Van Rooij M.E., Jansen P.E., & Van De Grift J.W. (2017). First-year university students’ academic success: The importance of academic adjustment. European Journal of Psychology of Education,33 (4),749–767.DOI 10.1007/s10212-017-0347-8
- Siddique A., Aslam D.H., Khan M., & Fatima O. (2011). Impact of academic leadership on faculty’s motivation, and organizational effectiveness in high education system. International Journal of Academic Research, 3 (3), 730-737.
- Afzal H., Imran A., Khan A.M., & Hamid K. (2010). A study of university students’ motivation and its relationship with their academic performance. International Journal of Business and Management, 5 (4), 80-88. DOI 10.2139/s2899435
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