Edited by Pierre Benckendorff and Anita Zehrer
Chapter 8: Student motivation in inquiry learning: lessons from a service development project
Motivation of students is generally seen as the key to good learning but it can also be seen as an outcome of a suitable pedagogical approach chosen by the educators. Motivation and interest are the key elements in inquiry learning, which is the pedagogical approach implemented on Haaga-Helia Porvoo Campus. In inquiry learning learners are expected to actively create knowledge in real life development projects, requiring them to take responsibility for their own learning process. If students are not motivated to actively proceed in the project, teachers have to find tools to enhance the process. Thus a deeper understanding of the factors influencing the motivation of the students at universities of applied sciences is needed. This chapter reports on factors influencing the motivation of students working in an inquiry learning project in order to identify motivational factors that should be considered in designing successful learning situations. Data were collected by asking the students involved in the project to write essays about their motivation in the project, as well as by organizing focus groups with the students when the project finished. The findings indicate that student motivation was mainly influenced by extrinsic motivations such as the other members in the team, the nature of the project, and the feedback from the teachers and the commissioner during the process. Factors related to intrinsic motivations such as need for self-development as well as eagerness to learn were, on the other hand, rarely mentioned in the data analyzed.
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