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to Enhance Student Achievement

Understanding Student Autonomy
to Enhance Student Achievement

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  • “From the analysis presented it appears that using a flexible assessment approach has been well received and appreciated by students. It ...allows students some power of choice and thus a feeling of being more in control of their own learning approach. It has not increased the amount of administrative work...It appears that students who have worked steadily throughout the semester, and have sat the mid-semester exam, and worked on all the five CML quizzes, are rewarded with the better results. The practice and feedback obtained through the CML quiz component appears to contribute strongly to students’ quality of learning. An important effect of the flexible assessment system has been the observed change in approach and attitude of the students. The reduction of some student stress levels, and students being more responsible for their method of learning, must be counted as positive outcomes.”(p.548-549) “...Students will learn better with continuous exposure and practice (allowing for reinforcement, feedback, self-assessment and a deeper approach) rather than heavy cramming at the end of a course which encourages a surface approaching and feelings of panic from ‘too much to learn’.” (p.546)

  • “...Results suggested that students’ experience of autonomy plays an important role in their course value, and especially their intrinsic and utility ... value for a course.” (p.27)

  • “...It shows that autonomy support has generally been associated with more intrinsic motivation, greater interest, less pressure and ... tension, more creativity, more cognitive flexibility, better conceptual learning, a more positive emotional tone, higher self-esteem, more trust, greater persistence of behavior change, and better physical and psychological health than has control.” (p.1024)

  • “Therefore, when offering choices, teachers should construct options that meet their students’ needs. In particular, options should be constructed ... that are relevant to students’ interests and goals (autonomy support), are not too numerous or complex yet not too easy (competence support), and are congruent with the values of the students’ families and culture of origin (relatedness support). It is also important that these choices be offered in a manner and context that meets students’ needs, or at least does not threaten those needs.” (p.439)

  • “In 2 studies, personal choice generally enhanced motivation more for American independent selves than for Asian interdependent selves.... (p.194). In addition, Anglo American children showed less intrinsic motivation when choices were made for them by others than when they made their own choices, whether the others were authority figures or peers. In contrast, Asian American children proved most intrinsically motivated when choices were made for them by trusted authority figures or peers.” (p.349)

  • “Fewer the attributes considered, the fewer non-dominated options appear...Thus, considering fewer attributes has the benefit of making the ... choice (p.194) “less conflicted and less complicated...Our results suggest that one reason why decision makers find it easier to choose in the presence of fewer as opposed to more attributes (Malhotra, 1982) might lie in the reduced number of non-dominated options in the former case, which can reduce choice conflict, increase choice confidence, and thereby possibly decrease deferral of choice or purchase (Dhar, 1996).” (p.20)

  • “Results revealed that autonomy-supportive instruction caused students to (a) become more intrinsically motivated which in turn, caused them ... to (3) (p.194) put more effort into completing a learning packet, (c) sustain their attention, and report they would (d) participate in future classes with that instructor, and (e) refrain from spreading negative comments.” (p.80)

  • “The college students here who perceived their instructors to be supportive of autonomy by allowing students to participate in course ...policy-making, reported greater levels of motivation at the end of the semester, even after partialling out the effects of pretest motivation. Perceptions of autonomy had positive effects not only on intrinsic motivation, but also upon task value and self-efficacy...As a whole, the pattern of results reported here indicate that experiences of classroom autonomy in the college classroom are more closely related to motivational factors than to performance.” (p.484)

  • “It was concluded that providing increased control over a task often results in increased concern for self-presentation that may lead to a ...better performance on the task.” (p.350) “People in positions of increased control also may experience an increase in their feelings of personal responsibility for the outcomes of the situation and an increase in their concern for public evaluation following the outcomes.” (p.358)

  • “The study revealed that: (1) students’ reports of entering the course for relatively autonomous (vs. controlled) reasons predicted higher ...perceived competence and interest/enjoyment and lower anxiety and grade-focused performance goals during the course, and were related to whether or not the students dropped the course; and (2) students’ perceptions of their instructors’ autonomy support predicted increases in autonomous self-regulation, perceived competence, and interest/enjoyment, and decreases in anxiety over the semester. The change in autonomous self-regulation in turn predicted students’ performance in the course. Further, instructor autonomy support also predicted course performance directly, although differences in the initial level of students’ autonomous self-regulation moderated that effect, with autonomy support relating strongly to academic performance for students initially low in autonomous self-regulation but not for students initially high in autonomous self-regulation.” (p.740)

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