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28 - Measuring Motivation in Educational Settings

A Case for Pragmatic Measurement

from Part VI - Methods, Measures, and Perspective

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 February 2019

K. Ann Renninger
Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania
Suzanne E. Hidi
University of Toronto
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A reality of conducting motivation research in educational settings is that there are tensions between technical standards of research and practical constraints of a given situation. Although adherence to standards for high-quality measurement is critical for good-quality data to be collected, measurement also requires substantial resources to ensure quality. In the current chapter, we discuss several examples of real data collected in different educational settings using a pragmatic measurement framework. Based on contemporary measurement perspectives, the pragmatic measurement framework emphasizes building evidence-based arguments to support the use and interpretation of a measure. Example 1 explores college students’ attitudes toward general education classes. Example 2 tracks students’ classroom motivation over several time points. Example 3 assesses experimental differences from an online motivation intervention. Together the three examples cover a range of possible research questions that researchers may encounter. As a whole, this chapter demonstrates that important and meaningful insights can be gained using pragmatic approaches to measurement. Importantly, we discuss the trade-offs that researchers or other measure users must consider when adopting a pragmatic approach to measurement.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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