Change in test-taking motivation and its relationship to test performance in low-stakes assessments
- 699 Downloads
Since the turn of the century, an increasing number of low-stakes assessments (i.e., assessments without direct consequences for the test-takers) are being used to evaluate the quality of educational systems. Internationally, research has shown that low-stakes test results can be biased due to students’ low test-taking motivation and that students’ effort levels can vary throughout a testing session involving both cognitive and noncognitive tests. Thus, it is possible that students’ motivation varies throughout a single cognitive test and in turn affects test performance. This study examines the change in test-taking motivation within a 2-h cognitive low-stakes test and its association with test performance. Based on expectancy-value theory, we assessed three components of test-taking motivation (expectancy for success, value, and effort) and investigated its change. Using data from a large-scale student achievement study of German ninth-graders, we employed second-order latent growth modeling and structural equation modeling to predict test performance in mathematics. On average, students’ effort and perceived value of the test decreased, whereas expectancy for success remained stable. Overall, initial test-taking motivation was a better predictor of test performance than change in motivation. Only the variability of change in the expectancy component was positively related to test performance. The theoretical and practical implications for test practitioners are discussed.
KeywordsTest-taking motivation Low-stakes tests Large-scale assessments Expectancy-value theory Growth modeling
We thank Sara J. Finney for her enriching comments and methodological support as well as Bo Bashkov for proofreading the manuscript.
- Asseburg, R. (2011). Motivation zur Testbearbeitung in adaptiven und nicht-adaptiven Leistungstests [Test-taking motivation in adaptive and sequential achievement testing] (Doctoral dissertation). Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel. Retrieved from the website http://d-nb.info/1013153863/34.
- DeMars, C. E., Bashkov, B. M., & Socha, A. B. (2013). The role of gender in test-taking motivation under low-stakes conditions. Research & Practice in Assessment, 8, 69–82.Google Scholar
- Eklöf, H. (2008). Test-taking motivation on low-stakes tests: A Swedish TIMSS 2003 example. In Issues and methodologies in large-scale assessments, IERI Monograph Series (Vol. 1, pp. 9–21). Hamburg: IEA-ETS Research Institute.Google Scholar
- Eklöf, H. (2010b). Student motivation and effort in the Swedish TIMSS Advanced field study. Presented at the meeting of the 4th IEA International Research Conference, Gothenburg.Google Scholar
- Eklöf, H., Pavešič, B. J., & Grønmo, L. S. (2013). A cross-national comparison of reported effort and mathematics performance in TIMSS Advanced. Applied Measurement in Education, 131127082739006. doi: 10.1080/08957347.2013.853070.
- Horst, S. J. (2010). A mixture-modeling approach to exploring test-taking motivation in large-scale low-stakes contexts (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Harrisonburg: James Madison University.Google Scholar
- Kong, X. J., Wise, S. L., Harmes, J. C., & Yang, S. (2006). Motivational effects of praise in response-time-based feedback: A follow-up study of the effort-monitoring CBT. Presented at the annual meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education, San Francisco.Google Scholar
- Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (1998). Mplus user’s guide (7th ed.). Los Angeles: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
- Pant, H. A., Stanat, P., Schroeders, U., Roppelt, A., Siegle, T., & Pöhlmann, C. (2013). The IQB National Assessment Study 2012. Competencies in mathematics and the sciences at the end of secondary level I. Summary. Münster: Waxmann. Retrieved from http://www.iqb.hu-berlin.de/laendervergleich/laendervergleich/lv2012/Bericht/IQB_NationalAsse.pdf.
- Penk, C., Pöhlmann, C., & Roppelt, A. (2014). The role of test-taking motivation for students’ performance in low-stakes assessments: an investigation of school-track-specific differences. Large-Scale Assessments in Education, 2(1). doi: 10.1186/s40536-014-0005-4
- Ramm, G., Prenzel, M., Baumert, J., Blum, W., Lehmann, R., Leutner, D., … Schiefele, U. (2006). PISA 2003: Dokumentation der Erhebungsinstrumente [Documentation of the assessment instruments]. Münster: Waxmann.Google Scholar
- Rheinberg, F., Vollmeyer, R., & Burns, B. D. (2001). FAM: Ein Fragebogen zur Erfassung aktueller Motivation in Lern-und Leistungssituationen [A questionnaire for the measurement of current achievement motivation in learning and achievement situations]. Diagnostica, 47(2), 57–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Schunk, D. H., Pintrich, P. R., & Meece, J. L. (2008). Motivation in education: theory, research, and applications (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
- Stanat, P., & Christensen, G. (2006). Where immigrant students succeed: a comparative review of performance and engagement in PISA 2003. Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.Google Scholar
- Stanat, P., & Lüdtke, O. (2013). International large-scale assessment studies of student achievement. In J. Hattie & E. M. Anderman (Eds.), International guide to student achievement (pp. 481–483). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Sundre, D. L. (2007). The Student Opinion Scale: a measure of examinee motivation: test manual. Retrieved from the Center for Assessment and Research Studies website: http://www.jmu.edu/assessment/resources/resource_files/sos_manual.pdf.
- Sundre, D. L., & Kitsantas, A. (2004). An exploration of the psychology of the examinee: can examinee self-regulation and test-taking motivation predict consequential and non-consequential test performance? Contemporary Educational Psychology, 29(1), 6–26. doi: 10.1016/S0361-476X(02)00063-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wise, S. L., & Smith, L. F. (2011). A model of examinee test-taking effort. In J. A. Bovaird, K. F. Geisinger, & C. W. Buckendahl (Eds.), High-stakes testing in education: science and practice in K-12 settings (1st ed., pp. 139–153). Washington: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wise, S. L., Bhola, D. S., & Yang, S. (2006). Taking the time to improve the validity of low-stakes tests: the effort-monitoring CBT. Presented at the annual meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education, San Francisco.Google Scholar
- Zilberberg, A., Finney, S. J., Marsh, K. R., & Anderson, R. D. (2014). The role of students’ attitudes and test-taking motivation on the validity of college institutional accountability tests: a path analytic model. International Journal of Testing, 14(4), 360–384. doi: 10.1080/15305058.2014.928301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar