Achievement goal orientation has been studied within education for many years, but the practical implications are frequently focused on K-12 students and classrooms and less often applied to established concepts within higher education. Prior research has connected the construct to student achievement, along with stress and anxiety that accompany the learning of challenging new material. This study uses achievement goal orientation as a context for exploring student engagement in postsecondary education, joining constructs from educational psychology and higher education. Data were drawn from over 8500 first-year and senior college students across 15 higher education institutions participating in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Using a series of ordinary least squares regression analyses, results indicate that students who employ a mastery-approach orientation are more likely to partake in a variety of engagement indicators, such as reflective and integrative learning, higher-order learning, quantitative reasoning, and student–faculty interaction. Performance-avoidance orientation generally showed a negative relationship with engagement indicators, while results for the performance-approach orientation were more mixed.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
The NSSE data set is proprietary and not currently available for free public use. Syntax for all analyses included in this paper are available from the authors upon request.
Aldrich, J. O. (2019). Using IBM SPSS Statistics: An interactive hands-on approach. Sage Publications, Inc.
Anaya, G. (1999). College impact on student learning: Comparing the use of self-reported gains, standardized test scores, and college grades. Research in Higher Education, 40, 499–526. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1018744326915.
Astin, A. W. (1993). What matters in college? Four critical years revisited. Jossey-Bass.
Baird, L. (2005). College environments and climates: Assessments and their theoretical assumptions. Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, 10, 507–537. https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-3279-X_10.
Barron, K. E., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2003). Revisiting the benefits of performance-approach goals in the college classroom: Exploring the role of goals in advanced college courses. International Journal of Educational Research, 39, 357–374. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2004.06.004.
Blaich, C., & Wise, K. (2011, January). From gathering to using assessment results: Lessons from the Wabash national study (NILOA Occasional Paper no. 8). University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. https://www.learningoutcomesassessment.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/OccasionalPaper8.pdf.
Bowman, N. A. (2010). College diversity experiences and cognitive development: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 80(1), 4–33. https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654309352495.
Bowman, N. A. (2011). Promoting participation in a diverse democracy: A meta-analysis of college diversity experiences and civic engagement. Review of Educational Research, 81(1), 29–68. https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654310383047.
Bowman, N. A. (2013). How much diversity is enough? The curvilinear relationship between college diversity interactions and first-year student outcomes. Research in Higher Education, 54(8), 874–894. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11162-013-9300-0.
BrckaLorenz, A., Ribera, T., Kinzie, J., & Cole, E. (2012). Examining effective faculty practice: Teaching clarity and student engagement. To Improve the Academy, 31, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2334-4822.2012.tb00679.x.
Bruning, R. H., Schraw, G. J., & Norby, M. M. (2011). Cognitive psychology and instruction. Pearson.
Cabrera, A. F., Crissman, J. L., Bernal, E. M., Nora, A., Terenzini, P. T., & Pascarella, E. T. (2002). Collaborative learning: Its impact on college students’ development and diversity. Journal of College Student Development, 43(1), 20–34.
Cabrera, A. F., Nora, A., Terenzini, P. T., Pascarella, E. T., & Hagedorn, L. S. (1999). Campus racial climate and the adjustment of students to college: A comparison between white students and African-American students. Journal of Higher Education, 70, 134–160. https://doi.org/10.1080/00221546.1999.11780759.
Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 39(7), 3–7.
Clayton, K., Blumberg, F., & Auld, D. P. (2010). The relationship between motivation, learning strategies and choice of environment whether traditional or including an online component. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(3), 349–364. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2009.00993.x.
Denson, N. (2009). Do curricular and cocurricular diversity activities influence racial bias? A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 79(2), 805–838. https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654309331551.
Denson, N., & Chang, M. J. (2009). Racial diversity matters: The impact of diversity-related student engagement and institutional context. American Educational Research Journal, 46(2), 322–353. https://doi.org/10.3102/0002831208323278.
Diseth, A., & Kobbeltvedt, T. (2010). A mediation analysis of achievement motives, goals, learning strategies, and academic achievement. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 80, 671–687. https://doi.org/10.1348/000709910X492432.
Durik, A. M., Lovejoy, C. M., & Johnson, S. J. (2009). A longitudinal study of achievement goals for college in general: Predicting cumulative GPA and diversity in course selection. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 34, 113–119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2008.11.002.
Elliot, A. J. (2006). The hierarchical model of approach–avoidance motivation. Motivation and Emotion, 30, 111–116. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-006-9028-7.
Elliot, A. J., & Hulleman, C. S. (2017). Achievement goals. In A. J. Elliot, C. S. Dweck, & D. S. Yeager (Eds.), Handbook of competence and motivation: Theory and application (2nd ed.) (pp. 43–60). Guilford Press.
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//0022-3518.104.22.1681.
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/10.1037/0022-0622.214.171.1243.
Elliot, A. J., Murayama, K., & Pekrun, R. (2011). A 3 × 2 achievement goal model. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103(3), 632–648. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0023952.
Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS (3rd ed.). Sage Publications.
Flowers, L. A., & Pascarella, E. T. (2003). Cognitive effects of college: Differences between African American and Caucasian students. Research in Higher Education, 44(1), 21–49. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021313511802.
Fosnacht, K., Sarraf, S., Howe, E., & Peck, L. (2017). How important are high response rates for college surveys? The Review of Higher Education, 40, 245–265. https://doi.org/10.1353/rhe.2017.0003.
Gillet, N., Lafreniere, M. K., Vallerand, R. J., Huart, I., & Fouquereau, E. (2014). The effects of autonomous and controlled regulation of performance-approach goals on well-being: A process model. Social Psychology, 53(1), 154–174. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjso.12018.
Goodsell, A. S. (1992). Collaborative learning: A sourcebook for higher education. National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.
Greene, B. A., & Miller, R. B. (1996). Influences on achievement: Goals, perceived ability, and cognitive engagement. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 21(2), 181–192. https://doi.org/10.1006/ceps.1996.0015.
Gurin, P., Dey, E. L., Hurtado, S., & Gurin, G. (2002). Diversity and higher education: Theory and impact on educational outcomes. Harvard Educational Review, 72(3), 330–367. https://doi.org/10.17763/haer.72.3.01151786u134n051.
Harackiewicz, J. M., Barron, K. E., Tauer, J. M., Carter, S. M., & Elliot, A. J. (2000). Short-term and long-term consequences of achievement goals: Predicting interest and performance over time. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92(2), 316–330. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-06126.96.36.1996.
Harackiewicz, J. M., Barron, K. E., Tauer, J. M., & Elliot, A. J. (2002). Predicting success in college: A longitudinal study of achievement goals and ability measures as predictors of interest and performance from freshman year through graduation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94(3), 562–575. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-06188.8.131.522.
Hayek, J. C., Carini, R. M., O’Day, P. T., & Kuh, G. D. (2002). Triumph or tragedy: Comparing student engagement levels of members of Greek-letter organizations and other students. Journal of College Student Development, 43, 643–663.
Hsieh, P., Sullivan, J. R., & Guerra, N. S. (2007). A closer look at college students: Self-efficacy and goal orientation. Journal of Advanced Academics, 18(3), 454–476. https://doi.org/10.4219/jaa-2007-500.
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.
Huang, F. L. (2020). MANOVA: A procedure whose time has passed? Gifted Child Quarterly, 64(1), 56–60. https://doi.org/10.1177/0016986219887200.
Hulleman, C. S., Schrager, S. M., Bodmann, S. M., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2010). A meta-analytic review of achievement goal measures: Different labels for the same constructs or different constructs with similar labels? Psychological Bulletin, 136, 422–449. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0018947.
Karlen, Y., Suter, F., Hirt, C., & Merki, K. M. (2019). The role of implicit theories in students’ grit achievement goals, intrinsic, and extrinsic motivation, and achievement in the context of a long-term challenge task. Learning and Individual Differences, 74(2019), 101757. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2019.101757.
Krathwohl, D. R. (2002). A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy: An overview. Theory into Practice, 41(4), 212–218. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15430421tip4104_2.
Kuh, G. D. (1993). In their own words: What students learn outside the classroom. American Educational Research Journal, 30(2), 277–304. https://doi.org/10.3102/00028312030002277.
Kuh, G. D. (2001). Assessing what really matters to student learning: Inside the National Survey of Student Engagement. Change, 33(3), 10–17, 66. https://doi.org/10.1080/00091380109601795.
Kuh, G. D. (2003). What we’re learning about student engagement from NSSE. Change, 35(2), 24–32. https://doi.org/10.1080/00091380309604090.
Kuh, G. D., & Hall, J. E. (1993). Cultural perspectives in student affairs work. In G. D. Kuh (Ed.), Cultural perspectives in student affairs work (pp. 1–20). American College Personnel Association.
Kuh, G. D., & Hu, S. (2001). The effects of student–faculty interaction in the 1990s. Review of Higher Education, 24(3), 309–332. https://doi.org/10.1353/rhe.2001.0005.
Kuh, G. D., Pace, C., & Vesper, N. (1997). The development of process indicators to estimate student gains associated with good practices in undergraduate education. Research in Higher Education, 38(4), 435–454. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1024962526492.
Lambert, A. D., & Miller, A. L. (2014). Lower response rates on alumni surveys might not mean lower response representativeness. Educational Research Quarterly, 37, 38–51.
Lau, L. K. (2003). Institutional factors affecting student retention. Education, 124(1), 126–136.
Lee, Y. J., & Anderman, E. M. (2020). Profiles of perfectionism and their relations to educational outcomes in college students: The moderating role of achievement goals. Learning and Individual Differences, 77(2020), 101813. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2019.101813.
Lewis, A., & Smith, D. (1993). Defining higher order thinking. Theory into Practice, 32(3), 131–137. https://doi.org/10.1080/00405849309543588.
Linnenbrink, E. A. (2005). The dilemma of performance-approach goals: The use of multiple goal contexts to promote students’ motivation and learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 97(2), 197–213. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-06184.108.40.206.
Linnenbrink-Garcia, L., Tyson, D. E., & Patall, E. A. (2008). When are achievement goal orientations beneficial for academic achievement? A closer look at main effects and moderating factors. International Review of Social Psychology, 21, 19–70.
Lochbaum, M., & Gottardy, J. (2015). A meta-analytic review of the approach-avoidance achievement goals and performance relationships in the sport psychology literature. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 4, 164–173. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jshs.2013.12.004.
Lochbaum, M., Zanatta, T., & Kazak, Z. (2020). The 2 × 2 achievement goals in sport and physical activity contexts: A meta-analytic test of context, gender, culture, and socioeconomic status differences and analysis of motivations, regulations, affect, effort, and physical activity correlates. European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education, 10, 173–205. https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe10010015.
Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2006). New directions in goal-setting theory. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15(5), 265–268. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8721.2006.00449.x.
Loes, C., Pascarella, E., & Umbach, P. (2012). Effects of diversity experiences on critical thinking skills: Who benefits? The Journal of Higher Education, 83(1), 1–25. https://doi.org/10.1353/jhe.2012.0001.
Marjanović, M., Comoutos, N., & Papaioannou, A. (2019). The relationships between perceived motivational climate, achievement goals and self-talk in physical education: Testing the mediating role of achievement goals and self-talk. Motivation and Emotion, 43, 592–609. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-019-09760-2.
Mayhew, M. J., Rockenbach, A. N., Bowman, N. A., Seifert, T. A., & Wolniak, G. C. (2016). How college affects students, volume 3: 21st century evidence that higher education works. Jossey-Bass.
McConnell, D. A., Chapman, L., Czajka, C. D., Jones, J. P., Ryker, K. D., & Wiggen, J. (2017). Instructional utility and learning efficacy of common active learning strategies. Journal of Geoscience Education, 65, 604–625. https://doi.org/10.5408/17-249.1.
McCormick, A. C., Kinzie, J., & Gonyea, R. M. (2013). Student engagement: Bridging research and practice to improve the quality of undergraduate education. In M. B. Paulsen (Ed.), Higher education: Handbook of theory and research (Vol. 28, pp. 47–92). Springer.
McMillan, J. H., & Schumacher, S. (2001). Research in education: A conceptual introduction. Longman.
Midgley, C., Kaplan, A., & Middleton, M. (2001). Performance-approach goals: Good for what, for whom, under what circumstances, and at what cost? Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(1), 77–86. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-06220.127.116.11.
Miller, A. L. (2012). Investigating social desirability bias in student self-report surveys. Educational Research Quarterly, 36(1), 30–47.
Miller, A. L., Sarraf, S. A., Dumford, A. D., & Rocconi, L. M. (2016). Construct validity of NSSE Engagement Indicators (NSSE Psychometric Portfolio Report). Center for Postsecondary Research, Indiana University, School of Education. http://nsse.indiana.edu/pdf/psychometric_portfolio/Validity_ConstructValidity_FactorAnalysis_2013.pdf.
Miller, A. L., & Speirs Neumeister, K. L. (2017). The influence of personality, parenting styles, and perfectionism on performance goals in high ability students. Journal of Advanced Academics, 28(4), 313–344. https://doi.org/10.1177/1932202X17730567.
National Survey of Student Engagement. (2009). Validity: 2009 Known groups validation (NSSE Psychometric Portfolio Report). Center for Postsecondary Research, Indiana University, School of Education. http://nsse.indiana.edu/pdf/psychometric_portfolio/Validity_GroupMembership.pdf.
National Survey of Student Engagement. (2011). NSSE Multi-Year Data Analysis Guide. Indiana University, Center for Postsecondary Research. http://nsse.indiana.edu/2011_Institutional_Report/pdf/NSSE%20MYDAG.pdf.
National Survey of Student Engagement. (2014). NSSE 2014 Annual Results: Bringing the institution into focus. Center for Postsecondary Research, Indiana University, School of Education. https://nsse.indiana.edu/NSSE_2014_Results/pdf/NSSE_2014_Annual_Results.pdf.
National Survey of Student Engagement. (2015). NSSE 2015 Overview. Indiana University, Center for Postsecondary Research. http://nsse.indiana.edu/2015_Institutional_Report/pdf/NSSE%202015%20Overview.pdf.
National Survey of Student Engagement. (2018). NSSE Conceptual Framework (2013) (NSSE Psychometric Portfolio Report). Center for Postsecondary Research, Indiana University, School of Education. http://nsse.indiana.edu/html/psychometric_portfolio.cfm.
Nelson Laird, T. F. (2005). College students’ experiences with diversity and their effects on academic self-confidence, social agency, and disposition toward critical thinking. Research in Higher Education, 46(4), 365–387. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11162-005-2966-1.
Nelson Laird, T. F., Shoup, R., & Kuh, G. D. (May, 2005). Measuring deep approaches to learning using the National Survey of Student Engagement. In Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Institutional Research, Chicago, IL.
O’Keefe, P. A., Ben-Eliyahu, A., & Linnenbrink-Garcia, L. (2013). Shaping achievement goal orientations in a mastery-structured environment and concomitant changes in related contingencies of self-worth. Motivation and Emotion, 37, 50–64. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-012-9293-6.
Ormrod, J. E. (2011). Human learning (6th ed.). Pearson.
Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (2005). How college affects students (Vol. 2). Jossey-Bass.
Phillips, J. M., & Gully, S. M. (1997). Role of goal orientation, ability, need for achievement, and locus of control in the self-efficacy and goal-setting process. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82(5), 792–802. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.82.5.792.
Pike, G. R. (1991). The effects of background, coursework, and involvement on students’ grades and satisfaction. Research in Higher Education, 32(1), 16–30. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00992830.
Pike, G. R. (1995). The relationship between self-reports of college experiences and achievement test scores. Research in Higher Education, 36(1), 1–22. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02207764.
Pintrich, P. R. (2000). Multiple goals, multiple pathways: The role of goal orientation in learning and achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92(3), 544–555. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0618.104.22.1684.
Pintrich, P. R. (2004). A conceptual framework for assessing motivation and self-regulated learning in college students. Educational Psychology Review, 16(4), 385–407. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-004-0006-x.
Post, T., & van der Molen, J. H. W. (2020). Effects of an inquiry-focused school improvement program on the development of pupils’ attitudes towards curiosity, their implicit ability and effort beliefs, and goal orientations. Motivation and Emotion. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-020-09851-5.
Putwain, D. W., Symes, W., Nicholson, L. J., & Becker, S. (2018). Achievement goals, behavioural engagement, and mathematics achievement: A mediational analysis. Learning and Individual Differences, 68(2018), 12–19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2018.09.006.
Quaye, S. J., & Harper, S. R. (2015). Student engagement in higher education: Theoretical perspectives and practical approaches for diverse populations (2nd ed.). Routledge.
Rocconi, L. M. (2013). Analyzing multilevel data: Comparing findings from hierarchical linear modeling and ordinary least squares regression. Higher Education, 66(4), 439–461. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-013-9615-y.
Rocconi, L. M., Lambert, A. D., McCormick, A. C., & Sarraf, S. A. (2013). Making college count: An examination of quantitative reasoning activities in higher education. Numeracy, 6(2), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.5038/1936-4622.214.171.124.
Schmidt, A. M., & Ford, J. K. (2003). Learning with a learner control training environment: The interactive effects of goal orientation and metacognitive instruction on learning outcomes. Personnel Psychology, 56, 405–429. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2003.tb00156.x.
Senko, C., Durik, A. M., Patel, L., Lovejoy, C. M., & Valentiner, D. (2013). Performance-approach goal effects on achievement under low versus high challenge conditions. Learning and Instruction, 23, 60–68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2012.05.006.
Senko, C., & Miles, K. M. (2008). Pursuing their own learning agenda: How mastery-oriented students jeopardize their class performance. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 33, 561–583. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2007.12.001.
Shim, S. S., Ryan, A. M., & Anderson, C. J. (2008). Achievement goals and achievement during early adolescence: Examining time-varying predictor and outcome variables in growth-curve analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100(3), 655–671. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-06126.96.36.1995.
Sideridis, G. D. (2005). Goal orientation, academic achievement, and depression: Evidence in favor of a revised goal theory framework. Journal of Educational Psychology, 97(3), 366–375. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-06188.8.131.526.
Sideridis, G. D. (2008). The regulation of affect, anxiety, and stressful arousal from adopting mastery-avoidance goal orientations. Stress and Health, 24(1), 55–69. https://doi.org/10.1002/smi.1160.
Smiley, P. A., Buttitta, K. V., Chung, S. Y., Dubon, V. X., & Chang, L. K. (2016). Mediation models of implicit theories and achievement goals predict planning and withdrawal after failure. Motivation and Emotion, 40, 878–894. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-016-9575-5.
Smith, K. A., Sheppard, S. D., Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (2005). Pedagogies of engagement: Classroom-based practices. Journal of Engineering Education, 94(1), 87–101. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2168-9830.2005.tb00831.x.
Smith, R. E., Smoll, F. L., & Cumming, S. P. (2007). Effects of a motivational climate intervention for coaches on young athletes’ sport performance anxiety. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 29, 39–59. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.29.1.39.
Steen, L. A. (2001). Mathematics and democracy: The case for quantitative literacy. Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.
Stevens, C. K., & Gist, M. E. (1997). Effects of self-efficacy and goal-orientation training on negotiation skill maintenance: What are the mechanisms? Personnel Psychology, 50, 955–978. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6570.1997.tb01490.x.
Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2001). Using multivariate statistics (4th ed.). Allyn and Bacon.
Tuominen-Soini, H., Salmela-Aro, K., & Niemivirta, M. (2011). Stability and change in achievement goal orientations: A person-centered approach. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 36, 82–100. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2010.08.002.
Umbach, P. D., & Wawrzynski, M. R. (2005). Faculty do matter: The role of college faculty in student learning and engagement. Research in Higher Education, 46(2), 153–184. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11162-004-1598-1.
Van Yperen, N. W., Blaga, M., & Postmes, T. (2014). A meta-analysis of self-reported achievement goals and nonself-report performance across three achievement domains (work, sports, and education). PLoS ONE, 9(4), e93594. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0093594.
VandeWalle, D., Cron, W. L., & Slocum, J. W. (2001). The role of goal orientation following performance feedback. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(4), 629–640. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.86.4.629.
Vermetten, Y. J., Lodewijks, H. G., & Vermunt, J. D. (1999). Consistency and variability of learning strategies in different university courses. Higher Education, 37(1), 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1003573727713.
Vermunt, J. D. (1996). Metacognitive, cognitive and affective aspects of learning styles and strategies: A phenomenographic analysis. Higher Education, 31(1), 25–50. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00129106.
Volkwein, J., & Carbone, D. (1994). The impact of departmental research and teaching climates on undergraduate growth and satisfaction. Journal of Higher Education, 65(2), 147–167. https://doi.org/10.2307/2943921.
Weiss, R. E. (2003). Designing problems to promote higher-order thinking. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2003(95), 25–31. https://doi.org/10.1002/tl.109.
Whitt, E. J., Edison, M., Pascarella, E. T., Nora, A., & Terenzini, P. T. (1999). Interactions with peers and objective and self-reported cognitive outcomes across 3 years of college. Journal of College Student Development, 40(1), 61–78.
Wilkins, J. L. M. (2010). Modeling quantitative literacy. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 70(2), 1–24. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013164409344506.
Witkow, M. R., & Fuligni, A. J. (2007). Achievement goals and daily school experiences among adolescents with Asian, Latino, and European American backgrounds. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(3), 584–596. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-06184.108.40.2064.
Wolters, C. A. (2004). Advancing achievement goal theory: Using goal structures and goal orientations to predict students’ motivation, cognition, and achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 96(2), 236–250. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-06220.127.116.11.
Zepke, N. (2015). Student engagement research: Thinking beyond the mainstream. Higher Education Research and Development, 37(2), 328–342. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2015.1024635.
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institutional and/or National Research Committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The data collection and analysis adhere to all human subject guidelines, as specified by the Institutional Review Board at the authors’ institution, as well as with the Institutional Review Boards of all institutions participating in the study.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Rights and permissions
About this article
Cite this article
Miller, A.L., Fassett, K.T. & Palmer, D.L. Achievement goal orientation: A predictor of student engagement in higher education. Motiv Emot 45, 327–344 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-021-09881-7
- Higher education
- Achievement goal orientation
- Student engagement