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Making the Grade: Understanding Learning and Grade Orientations of First-Year Students

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First-year undergraduate students enter college with varying expectations, motivations, and goals and are being bombarded with messages about the importance of grades, sometimes to the detriment of learning. This descriptive, cross-sectional study employs LOGO II to describe the learning and grade orientations of first-year students and identify differences between students enrolled at two- and four-year institutions. Predictor variables and effect sizes related to each orientation are also reported. Results show that students are motivated to learn for the sake of learning, not simply to earn good grades, and help paint a more complete picture of first-year student motivation in the college classroom.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition is a semiannual refereed journal providing current research on the first college year and other significant student transitions. The primary purpose of the Journal is to disseminate empirical research findings on student transition issues that inform practice in all sectors of postsecondary education, such as explorations into the academic, personal, and social experiences (including outcomes related to success, learning, and development) of students at a range of transition points throughout the college years; transition issues unique to specific populations (e.g., non-traditional, traditional, historically underrepresented students, transfer students, commuters, part-time students); and explorations of faculty development, curriculum, and pedagogical innovations connected to college transitions.
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