I asked them to consider their motivation for any class - not just math - to keep the results general.
Here is what we found out about ourselves:
I study more:
- when midterms and practicals are approaching
- when I find the material to be interesting and practical
- when I like the teacher
but not... when the class is difficult and I am afraid of failing.
I am motivated to study:
- because I want to get good grades
- because I actually want to know the material
- because I want to prove something to myself
but not... because studying makes me feel good or because I want to outdo my classmates or friends.
My top reasons for not studying are:
- I would rather go out or hang out with my friends
- I have no time to study because of work and family obligations
- I'll never even remember or use the content of the course later on (tied with #2)
- I hate the course or topic
but not... because the facilities at school are conducive to study, because I would not do well in the course anyway or because my teacher is "cool" or "easy."
As for their primary motivation style, our class is primarily goal-oriented (preferring a direct and obvious route; not finding the process of learning much fun) and relationship-oriented (preferring learning through interactions with others).
Only six students indicated being learning-oriented (preferring to focus on the process of actually learning and problem solving).
Reflections to follow.