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The Impact of Motivation on Studemts' Academic

The Impact of Motivation on Studemts' Academic

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I
NTERNATIONAL
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THE IMPACT OF MOTIVATION ON STUDEMTS' ACADEMICACHIEVEMENT IN MATHEMATICS IN PROBLEM BASED LEARNINGENVIRONMENT
Riasat Ali
1*
, Aqila Akhter 
2
, Saqib Shahzad
3
Najma Sultana
4
, Muhammad Ramzan
5
 
1
,3
Institute of Education & Research, University of Science & Technology, Bannu, (KPK).
2
Department of EducationGovernment of KPK,
5
Korakrum International University, Gilgit
(PAKISTAN)
 
*Corresponding author:
drriasatali@yahoo.com
ABSTRACT
The major focus of the study was to check the impact of motivation on students' academic achievement inproblem based learning environment in the mathematics elementary level. The study was experimental in natureand pre-test- post test design was used the study. Students were distributed into two groups. An experimentalgroup comprising 19 participants received problem based learning practice including students motivational techni-ques, e.g. (well structured problems, quiz, projects, self learning in groups, discussion in groups, representtation,self-assessment, peer-assessment). A control group comprising 19 participants received treatment of traditionalteaching in shape of lecture/demonstration method for four weeks. At the end, post-test was administered and thescores of pre-test and post-test were served as data of the study. It indicated the significant impact of motivation onthe academic achievement of students in problem based learning environment. The result further indicated thatmotivation in problem based learning plays more effective role than traditional method of teaching.
Key words:
Problem Based Learning, Mathematics, Motivation
 1. INTRODUCTION
An information and technology based society require individuals, who are able to think critically aboutcomplex issues, analyze and adapt to new situations, solve problems of various kinds and communicate their thinking effectively. The study of mathematics equips students with knowledge skills and habits of mind that areessential for successful and rewarding participation in such a society. The more the technology is developed thegreater the level of mathematical skill is required (Government of Pakistan, 2006). Mathematics as the mirror of civilization in all the centuries of painstaking calculation, and the most basic discipline for any person who would betruly educated in any science and in many other endeavors (Ukeje, 1986). Despite the importance placed onmathematics, researchers had observed that students lack interest in the subject and perform poorly in it (Obioma,2005).
2. MOTIVATION
It is generally agreed that motivation has positive impact upon learning-it stimulates, sustains, and givedirection to an activity. Highly motivated students often require little guidance from the teacher and are capable of doing many higher degree of complicated work independently. Usually environmental condition can motivatestudents other motivational factors include parental pressure, classrooms environment, teacher and peer approvalmay contribute to the motivation of a child (Siddiqui, 2004).Motivation is of particular interest to educational psychologist because of the crucial role it plays in studentlearning. However, the specific kind of motivation that is studied in the specialized setting of education differsqualitatively from the more general forms of motivation studied by psychologists in other fields.Motivation in education can have several effects on how students learn and how they behave towardssubject matter. It can:
Direct behavior toward particular goals
Lead to increased effort and energy
Increase initiation of, and persistence in, activities
Enhance cognitive processing
Determine what consequences are reinforcing
Lead to improved performance.Because students are not always internally motivated, they sometimes need situated motivation, which isfound in environmental conditions that the teacher creates.
2.1 Intrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic motivation is often associated with curiosity, which culminates in satisfaction through learning. Thistype of motivation prompted by want, desire, urge, or drive and this internal drive is referred to as intrinsicmotivation. Some research indicates that children with high curiosity either learn more in a given period of time or else retain more of what they experience. Problematic situations in which answers and explanations are notimmediately available help to stimulate curiosity. One of the main purposes of problem based learning is to raisequestions or problems, the answer of which is unknown, but which, it is hoped, will be discovered as they proceedwith the activity (Siddiqui, 2004).Intrinsic motivation
 
occurs when people are internally motivated to do something because it either bringsthem pleasure, they think it is important, or they feel that what they are learning is significant. It has been shown
 
 
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that intrinsic motivation for education drops from grades 3-9 though the exact cause cannot be ascertained. Also, inyounger students it has been shown that contextualizing material that would otherwise be presented in an abstractmanner increases the intrinsic motivation of these students
 
(Susan1981, Diana &Mark, 1995).
2.2. Extrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic motivation is initiated by outside stimulus. Group competition, reward from teacher, the opportunityfor participation in planning and decision making seems to have very beneficial effect upon learning. As a matter of facts, students readily become interested in things, which are new, or exciting, in things for which they can perceivepractical value (Kumar, 2006).Extrinsic motivation
 
comes into play when a student is compelled to do something or act a certain waybecause of factors external to him or her (like money or good grades).Whyte (1979) and Whyte & Lauridsen (1980) researched and reported about the importance of locus of control and academic achievement. Students tending toward a more internal locus of control are moreacademically successful, thus encouraging curriculum and activity development with consideration of motivationtheories.
3. MOTIVATION IN PROBLEM BASED LEARNING
Problem-based learning environment provides both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Many younger students seek to achieve stars, group points, and teacher’s approval, all of which are forms of rewards. Older students need to reflect on the motivational influences on their lives and learning. Problems provide opportunity tothe students to take risks, to apply knowledge, to adopt new understanding, and to experience the thrill of beingdiscoverers. Success at school and in examinations, as well as social influences, all is strong factors to motivatethem (Overall and Sangster, 2006).
4. THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The study sought to examine the impact of motivation in problem based learning environment on theacademic achievement of High achievers and Low achievers in the subject of mathematics.
5. RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
1. There is no significa9nt difference between the mean scores of high achievers of experimental and controlgroups.2. There is no significant difference between the mean scores of the low achievers of experimental andcontrol groups.
6. METHODOLOGY
The study was experimental in nature hence a pre-test post-test equivalent group design was used in thisstudy.
6.1. Population and Sampling Procedure
The students of class 8th of Government High /Middle Schools of district Bannu constituted the populationof the study. This was an experimental study, therefore only one school was selected for the experiment. Thesample of the study was 38 students comprising of two sections A and B of 8
th
class of Government Girls Higher Secondary School Ghoriwala, Bannu (Pakistan). Sample students were divided in to two groups, i.e. theexperimental group and the control group. Both the groups were equated on the basis of pre-test scores .Eachgroup comprised 38 students.
6.2. Instrumentation
A researcher made pre-test was administered before the allocation of students to the experimental andcontrol groups .Immediately after the treatment was over , a researcher made post-test was administered to boththe groups. The purpose of pre-test tests was to equate the control and experimental groups, while the purpose of post-test was to measure the achievement of students constituting the sample. Both the pre-test and post-test werealmost parallel with same difficulty level.
 
The test included 8 questions containing multiple choice questions,matching questions, fill in the blanks with correct answer and practical solutions to mathematical problems tomeasure students 'academic achievement and performance skills respectively. All the items in the test based onthe 8
th
grade mathematics syllabus in the area of Set, Information Handling and Geometry. The test was written inthe form to cover the areas of knowledge, comprehension and application level. The same mathematicsachievement test was used for post-test treatment but the numbers of questions were changed from the pre-test.The validity of the items was assessed by the doctoral committee and two mathematics education experts.
6.3. Data Collection Procedure
Experimental group (n = 19) were taught set, information handling and geometry using problem basedlearning as a teaching method while control group (n = 19) were taught the same topics with traditional method.The experiment lasted for four weeks and it was expected that this period was long enough as not to permit thepre-test to affect the post-test scores and the items were rearranged before administering the post-test.
7. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS
The data collected were analyzed using mean, standard deviation, and t-test and the results are presentedin the following tables
 
 
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Ho
1
:
There is no significant difference between the mean scores of high achievers of experimental andcontrol groups.
Table 1.
Significance of difference between high achieversof the experimental and the control groups on post-test
 Groups N M SD SED t- valueExperimental Group
19 64.05 11.363.9 2.89*
Control Group
19 52.78 12.83* Significant df = 36 t-value at 0.05 level=2.09Table1 indicates that the difference between mean scores of high achievers of experimental and the controlgroups on post-test was found to be significant at 0.05 level. Hence, the null hypothesis, “there is no significantdifference between the mean scores of high achievers of experimental and control group on post-test”, wasrejected, in the light of t-value obtained which is greater than the, table value i-e 2.09. Hence, there was asignificant difference in achievement of mathematics students taught and motivated using problem solving methodand those taught with routine method.
Ho
2
:
There is no significant difference between the mean scores of low achievers of experimental andcontrol groups.
Table 2.
Significance of difference betweenlow achievers of the experimental and the control groups on post-test
Groups N M SD SED t- valueExperimental Group
19 45.79 9.493.1 3.44*
Control Group
19 35.11 9.58* Significant df = 36 t-value at 0.05 level=2.09Table2 indicates significant difference between mean scores of low achievers of experimental and thecontrol groups on post-test in the favor of the experimental group. The calculated t value at 0.05 level is 3.44, whichis greater than the, table value i-e 2.09. Hence, the null hypothesis, “there is no significant difference between themean scores of low achievers of experimental and control group on post-test”, was rejected.
8. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
On the basis of analyzed data conclusions were drawn as; students taught and motivated using problemsolving method achieved better than those taught by routine method.Low achievers in authentic-learning style have significant superiority over low achievers learning mathe-matics by traditional method. Thus, problem-solving method is very effective method for teaching mathematics tothe low achievers as compared to traditional method of teaching.Similarly high achievers when they are taught mathematics by problem solving method learn more. Becausethe problem solving approach is considered to create interest among the students as they are free to learn fromtheir own efforts.This study proved that problem solving is more effective method of instruction for creation of interest andmotivation in mathematics as compared to routine (lecture/demonstration) method of teaching, therefore theteachers of mathematics should use problem solving method to improve the academic achievements of thestudents.It reveals from the study that the elementary students need more attention from the teacher to give themproper guidance, while they are busy in solving the problems. Teacher can help them in the form of askingquestions. It is, therefore recommended that the workload on teachers and the class size should less so that theteachers could give more attention to the performance of their students.There is no question that problem-based learning will lead naturally to a greater level of overall developmentof a child in term of understanding and skills. The research provides evidence that teachers are not reluctant totake on this kind of work, but often unclear as to how to proceed. Therefore, teachers should provide proper information about the new researches, new theories and methods of instructions continuously through seminars.
REFERENCES
1. Diana, C. Mark L. (1995). Intrinsic Motivation and the Process of Learning:Beneficial Effects oContextualization, Personalization, and Choice.2. Government of Pakistan (2006). National Curriculum for Mathematics Grade I-XII Ministry of Education, Islamabad, Pakistan. pp. 1,132-133.3. Kumar, S.J.V (2006). Techniques of Teaching Mathematics. Sonali Publications, New Delhi,India.pp. 9-33.

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