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Grading results in negative motivational and affective outcomes: a self-determination perspective

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Abstract
Grading students is a generally accepted part of assessment in schools, but its motivational impact has not been investigated yet. Grounded in Self-Determination Theory (SDT), the present study investigated the differences in perceived competence, quality of motivation and levels of fear during a lesson in which students were graded compared to a lesson in which no grading occurred. Apart from grading, assessing students could also encompass diagnosing students’ learning process in order to stimulate learning (Assessment for Learning; AfL). As such this study examined whether AfL might moderate the effects of grading on students’ perceived competence, quality of motivation and levels of fear, so that possible negative effects are reduced. Forty classes with 440 secondary school students completed two validated questionnaires measuring AfL (SAFL-Q), competence satisfaction and frustration (BPNSFS), motivation (BRPREQ) and fear (LASSI) after both types of lessons. Multilevel regression analyses were deployed. In line with the hypothesis, students reported more competence frustration, controlled motivation, amotivation and fear, and less competence satisfaction and autonomous motivation during a lesson in which they were graded compared to a lesson during which no grading occurred. Furthermore, the moderating role of AfL in the cross-interaction between two types of lessons displayed significant effects for competence satisfaction, competence frustration, controlled motivation and amotivation. Against expectations, the negative effect of grading was more pronounced when teachers applied high AfL support. Grading results in negative motivational and affective outcomes, which increase when the teacher focuses more explicitly on learning progress (AfL). Perhaps ‘violation of expectation’ occurred so that students were disappointed when teachers, at first, provided positive information focused on personal progress after which they received unsatisfactory grades. Future research is needed to investigate whether these negative outcomes represent incidental experiences or lasting experiences and, if these negative outcomes affect students’ learning.

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MLA
Krijgsman, Christina, et al. “Grading Results in Negative Motivational and Affective Outcomes: A Self-Determination Perspective.” JURE 2015, Abstracts, 2015.
APA
Krijgsman, C., Maes, J., Borghouts, L., van Tartwijk, J., Cardon, G., Vansteenkiste, M., & Haerens, L. (2015). Grading results in negative motivational and affective outcomes: a self-determination perspective. In JURE 2015, Abstracts. Limassol, Cyprus.
Chicago author-date
Krijgsman, Christina, Jolien Maes, Lars Borghouts, Jan van Tartwijk, Greet Cardon, Maarten Vansteenkiste, and Leen Haerens. 2015. “Grading Results in Negative Motivational and Affective Outcomes: A Self-Determination Perspective.” In JURE 2015, Abstracts.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Krijgsman, Christina, Jolien Maes, Lars Borghouts, Jan van Tartwijk, Greet Cardon, Maarten Vansteenkiste, and Leen Haerens. 2015. “Grading Results in Negative Motivational and Affective Outcomes: A Self-Determination Perspective.” In JURE 2015, Abstracts.
Vancouver
1.
Krijgsman C, Maes J, Borghouts L, van Tartwijk J, Cardon G, Vansteenkiste M, et al. Grading results in negative motivational and affective outcomes: a self-determination perspective. In: JURE 2015, Abstracts. 2015.
IEEE
[1]
C. Krijgsman et al., “Grading results in negative motivational and affective outcomes: a self-determination perspective,” in JURE 2015, Abstracts, Limassol, Cyprus, 2015.
@inproceedings{7262422,
  abstract     = {{Grading students is a generally accepted part of assessment in schools, but its motivational impact has not been investigated yet. Grounded in Self-Determination Theory (SDT), the present study investigated the differences in perceived competence, quality of motivation and levels of fear during a lesson in which students were graded compared to a lesson in which no grading occurred. Apart from grading, assessing students could also encompass diagnosing students’ learning process in order to stimulate learning (Assessment for Learning; AfL). As such this study examined whether AfL might moderate the effects of grading on students’ perceived competence, quality of motivation and levels of fear, so that possible negative effects are reduced.
Forty classes with 440 secondary school students completed two validated questionnaires measuring AfL (SAFL-Q), competence satisfaction and frustration (BPNSFS), motivation (BRPREQ) and fear (LASSI) after both types of lessons. Multilevel regression analyses were deployed.
In line with the hypothesis, students reported more competence frustration, controlled motivation, amotivation and fear, and less competence satisfaction and autonomous motivation during a lesson in which they were graded compared to a lesson during which no grading occurred. Furthermore, the moderating role of AfL in the cross-interaction between two types of lessons displayed significant effects for competence satisfaction, competence frustration, controlled motivation and amotivation. Against expectations, the negative effect of grading was more pronounced when teachers applied high AfL support.
Grading results in negative motivational and affective outcomes, which increase when the teacher focuses more explicitly on learning progress (AfL). Perhaps ‘violation of expectation’ occurred so that students were disappointed when teachers, at first, provided positive information focused on personal progress after which they received unsatisfactory grades. Future research is needed to investigate whether these negative outcomes represent incidental experiences or lasting experiences and, if these negative outcomes affect students’ learning.}},
  author       = {{Krijgsman, Christina and Maes, Jolien and Borghouts, Lars and van Tartwijk, Jan and Cardon, Greet and Vansteenkiste, Maarten and Haerens, Leen}},
  booktitle    = {{JURE 2015, Abstracts}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  location     = {{Limassol, Cyprus}},
  title        = {{Grading results in negative motivational and affective outcomes: a self-determination perspective}},
  year         = {{2015}},
}