Research has shown the importance of goal orientation in predicting academic performance for children, adolescents, and college students in traditional educational settings. Studies on this relationship within adult distance education, however, are lacking. To fill this gap, the present study was conducted to investigate the relationship between goal orientation and academic performance in adult distance learners. A sample of N = 1128 distance university students (age 18-75 years) filled out an online questionnaire. Their exam grades were collected from the files of the Open University of the Netherlands (OUNL). A mixed model regression showed performance approach goal orientation to be a positive predictor of academic performance, whereas performance avoidance and work avoidance were negative predictors of academic performance. Non-significant results were found for mastery approach as well as for mastery avoidance. Implications of these results are discussed.
- ALOUD study,
- adult distance students,
- achievement goal questionnaire,
- work avoidance,
- mixed model analysis
Download the article in PDF to read it.
- Abd-El-Fattah, S. M., & Patrick, R. R. (2011). The relationship among achievement motivation orientations, achievement goals, and academic achievement and interest: A multiple mediation analysis. Australian Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, 11, 91-110.
- Anderman, E. M., & Midgley, C. (1997). Changes in achievement goal orientations, perceived academic competence, and grades across the transition to middle-level schools. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 22, 269-298. https://doi.org/10.1006/ceps.1996.0926
- Berge, Z. L., & Huang, Y.-P. (2004). A Model for sustainable student retention: A Holistic perspective on the student dropout problem with special attention to e-learning. Deosnews, 13(5), 26.
- Bernt, F. M., & Bugbee, A. C. (1993). Study practices and attitudes related to academic success in a distance learning programme. Distance Education, 14, 97-112. https://doi.org/10.1080/0158791930140108
- Brdar, I., Rijavec, M., & Loncaric, D. (2006). Goal orientations, coping with school failure and school achievement. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 21, 53-70. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03173569
- Briggs, S. R., & Cheek, J. M. (1986). The role of factor analysis in the development and evaluatbn of personality scales. Journal of Personality, 54, 106-148. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.1986.tb00391.x
- Butler, R. (2008). Ego-involving and frame of reference effects of tracking on elementary school students' motivational orientations and help seeking in math class. Social Psychology of Education, 11, 5-23. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-007-9032-0
- Cellar, D. F., Stuhlmacher, A. F., Young, S. K., Fisher, D. M., Adair, C. K., Haynes, S., ... Riester, D. (2011). Trait goal orientation, self-regulation, and performance: A meta-analysis. Journal of Business and Psychology, 26, 467-483. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-010-9201-6
- Chen, W. W. (2015). The relations between perceived parenting styles and academic achievement in Hong Kong: The mediating role of students' goal orientations. Learning and Individual Differences, 37, 48-54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2014.11.021
- Cohen, S. (1992). A power primer. Psychological Bulletin, 112, 155-159. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.112.1.155
- Cury, F., Elliot, A. J., Da Fonseca, D., & Moller, A. C. (2006). The social-cognitive model of achievement motivation and the 2 x 2 achievement goal framework. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 666-679. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.1246
- DeShon, R. P., & Gillespie, J. Z. (2005). A motivated action theory account of goal orientation. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 90, 1096-1127. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.90.6.1096
- Diseth, Å. (2011). Self-efficacy, goal orientations and learning strategies as mediators between preceding and subsequent academic achievement. Learning and Individual Differences, 21, 191-195. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2011.01.003
- Duckworth, A. L., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2006). Self-discipline gives girls the edge: Gender in self-discipline, grades, and achievement test scores. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98, 198-208. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-06126.96.36.199
- Dweck, C. S. (1986). Motivational processes affecting learning. American Psychologist, 41, 1040-1048. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.41.10.1040
- Elliot, A. J., & Church, M. A. (1997). A hierarchical model of approach and avoidance achievement motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 218-232. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.52
- Elliot, A. J., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (1996). Approach and avoidance achievement goals and intrinsic motivation: A mediational analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 461-475. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.2061
- Elliot, A. J., & McGregor, H. A. (2001). A 2 × 2 achievement goal framework. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 501-519. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35220.127.116.111
- Elliot, A. J., & Murayama, K. (2008). On the measurement of achievement goals: Critique, illustration, and application. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100, 613-628. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0618.104.22.1683
- Elliot, A. J., Murayama, K., & Pekrun, R. (2011). A 3 × 2 achievement goal model. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103, 632-648. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0023952
- Eum, K., & Rice, K. G. (2011). Test anxiety, perfectionism, goal orientation, and academic performance. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 24, 167-178. https://doi.org/10.1080/10615806.2010.488723
- Eurostat. (2016). Lifelong learning statistics. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/
- Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS. London: SAGE.
- Greene, B. A., Miller, R. B., Crowson, H. M., Duke, B. L., & Akey, K. L. (2004). Predicting high school students' cognitive engagement and achievement: Contributions of classroom perceptions and motivation. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 29, 462-482. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2004.01.006
- Harackiewicz, J. M., Barron, K. E., Carter, S. M., Lehto, A. T., & Elliot, A. J. (1997). Predictors and consequences of achievement goals in the college classroom: Maintaining interest and making the grade. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 1284-1295. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.1244
- Harackiewicz, J. M., Durik, A. M., Barron, K. E., Linnenbrink-Garcia, L., & Tauer, J. M. (2008). The role of achievement goals in the development of interest: Reciprocal relations between achievement goals, interest, and performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100, 105-122. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-06126.96.36.199
- Huang, C. (2012). Discriminant and criterion-related validity of achievement goals in predicting academic achievement: A meta-analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104, 48-73. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026223
- King, R. B., & McInerney, D. M. (2014). The work avoidance goal construct: Examining its structure, antecedents, and consequences. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 39, 42-58. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2013.12.002
- Lee, Y., & Choi, J. (2011). A review of online course dropout research: Implications for practice and future research. Educational Technology Research and Development, 59, 593-618. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-010-9177-y
- Nagy, B., Farmer, J. D., Bui, Q. M., & Trancik, J. E. (2013). Statistical basis for predicting technological progress. PLoS ONE, 8(2), e52669. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0052669
- Neroni, J., Gijselaers, H. J. M., Kirschner, P. A., & de Groot, R. H. M. (2015). The adult learning open university determinants (ALOUD) study: Biological and psychological factors associated with learning performance in adult distance education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 46, 953-960. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12288
- Nicholls, J. G. (1984). Achievement motivation: Conceptions of ability, subjective experience, task choice, and performance. Psychological Review, 91, 328-346. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.91.3.328
- Payne, S. C., Youngcourt, S. S., & Beaubien, J. M. (2007). A meta-analytic examination of the goal orientation nomological net. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 128-150. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.92.1.128
- Pekrun, R., Elliot, A. J., & Maier, M. A. (2009). Achievement goals and achievement emotions: Testing a model of their joint relations with academic performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101, 115-135. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0013383
- Remedios, R., & Richardson, J. T. E. (2013). Achievement goals in adult learners: Evidence from distance education. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 664-685. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjep.12001
- Sachs, J. (2001). A path model for adult learner feedback. Educational Psychology, 21, 267-275. https://doi.org/10.1080/01443410120065478
- Schlosser, L. A., & Simonson, M. (2010). Distance education: Definition and glossary of terms. Distance education: Definition and glossary terms (3th ed.). Charlotte, North Carolina: Information Age Publishing.
- Steinmayr, R., Bipp, T., & Spinath, B. (2011). Goal orientations predict academic performance beyond intelligence and personality. Learning and Individual Differences, 21, 196-200. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2010.11.026
- Steinmayr, R., & Spinath, B. (2009). The importance of motivation as a predictor of school achievement. Learning and Individual Differences, 19, 80-90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2008.05.004
- Yukselturk, E., Ozekes, S., & Türel, Y. K. (2014). Predicting dropout student: An application of data mining methods in an online education program. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, 17, 118-133. https://doi.org/10.2478/eurodl-2014-0008