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A conceptual framework for assessing motivation and self-regulated learning in college students

Citation Pintrich, P. R. (2004). A conceptual framework for assessing motivation and self-regulated learning in college students. Educational Psychology Review, 16(4), 385–407. Springer. Sidewiki
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author = {Pintrich, P.R.},
date-added = {2012-02-06 14:54:07 -0500},
date-modified = {2012-02-10 11:37:02 -0500},
journal = {Educational Psychology Review},
keywords = {motivation; self-regulated learning; assessment},
number = {4},
pages = {385--407},
publisher = {Springer},
read = {1},
title = {A conceptual framework for assessing motivation and self-regulated learning in college students},
volume = {16},
year = {2004},


Highlights (11%)

A conceptual framework for assessing student motivation and self-regulated learning in the college classroom is presented. The framework is based on a self-regulatory (SRL) perspective on student motivation and learning in con- trast to a student approaches to learning (SAL) perspective. The differences between SRL and SAL approaches are discussed, as are the implications of the SRL conceptual framework for developing instruments to assess college student motivation and learning. The conceptual framework may be useful in guiding future research on college student motivation and learning. p. 1

SAL models are usually charac- terized as being based on bottom-up models derived from in-depth quali- tative interviews with students about their own actual motivation, learning, p. 1

and studying in real college and university contexts (Biggs, 1993; Dyne et al., 1994; Entwistle and Waterston, 1988; Marton and Saljo, 1976). p. 2

SAL models also use quantitative methods, particularly self-report surveys and questionnaires to assess college student motivation and learning. p. 2

In contrast, North American researchers have used the information processing (IP) approach more often (e.g., Pintrich et al., 1991, 1993; Weinstein et al., 1988). The IP approach is often described as being derived in a top-down manner from psychological constructs and theories in cogni- tive and educational psychology and then applied to college student learn- ing using quantitative methods (Biggs, 1993; Dyne et al, 1994; Entwistle and Waterston, 1988). Although many current models of learning in college stu- dents are historically derived from an information processing perspective, a more accurate characterization of this perspective now would be to use the term “self-regulated learning” (SRL) perspective (Pintrich, 2000b; Winne and Hadwin, 1998; Zimmerman, 2000). p. 2

the SRL perspective takes a much more inclusive perspective on student learning to include not only cognitive, but also motivational and affective factors, as well as social contextual factors (Pintrich, 2000b) p. 2

there is a much stronger empirical base underlying the SRL perspective, given all the recent research on self- regulation and self-regulated learning in different contexts (see Boekaerts et al., 2000). p. 2

Given the theme of this special issue, there is some discussion of general assessment issues, although recent reviews regarding the construct validity of assessments of self-regulated learning (e.g., Pintrich et al., 2000; Winne et al., 2001; Winne and Perry, 2000) provide much more detail. p. 2


There are four general assumptions that most SRL models share. One common assumption is the active, constructive assumption that follows from a general cognitive perspective. That is, under a SRL perspective, learners are viewed as active participants in the learning process. p. 3

A second, but related, assumption is the potential for control assump- tion. An SRL perspective assumes that learners can potentially monitor, control, and regulate certain aspects of their own cognition, motivation, and behavior as well as some features of their environments. p. 3

A third general assumption is the goal, criterion, or standard assump- tion. SRL models of regulation assume that there is some type of goal, cri- terion, or standard against which comparisons are made in order to assess whether the learning process should continue as is or if some type of change is necessary. p. 3

However, in many SAL models, there is a fixed one-to-one correspon- dence between motivation and strategies for learning, with more extrinsic p. 3

goals linked to surface learning strategies and intrinsic goals linked to deeper learning strategies (Biggs, 1993). However, this type of merger of goals and strategies into approaches to learning (e.g., general surface vs. deep approaches) does not recognize the possibility that students can flex- ibly combine different goals and strategies in different ways in different contexts. p. 4

A fourth general assumption of a SRL perspective is that self- regulatory activities are mediators between personal and contextual char- acteristics and actual achievement or performance. That is, it is not just indi- viduals’ cultural, demographic, or personality characteristics that influence achievement and learning directly, nor just the contextual characteristics of the classroom environment that shape achievement, but the individuals’ self-regulation of their cognition, motivation, and behavior that mediate the relations between the person, context, and eventual achievement. p. 4


Table I displays a framework for classifying the different phases and ar- eas for regulation. p. 5

Phase 1 involves planning and goal setting as well as activation of per- ceptions and knowledge of the task and context and the self in relation to the task. Phase 2 concerns various monitoring processes that represent metacognitive awareness of different aspects of the self and task or con- text. Phase 3 involves efforts to control and regulate different aspects of the self or task and context. Finally, Phase 4 represents various kinds of re- actions and reflections on the self and the task or context. p. 5

The four phases do represent a general time-ordered sequence that in- dividuals would go through as they perform a task, but there is no strong as- sumption that the phases are hierarchically or linearly structured such that earlier phases must always occur before later phases. p. 5

Pintrich et al. (2000) suggest that much of the empirical work on monitoring (Phase 2) and control/regulation (Phase 3) does not find much separation of these processes in terms of people’s experiences as revealed by data from self- report questionnaires or think-aloud protocols. p. 5

t is crucial that it is understood that the MSLQ, which was developed well over 10 years ago, does not represent an instrument designed to assess all compo- nents of the current conceptual model in Table I. p. 8

These motivational self-regulatory strategies include attempts to con- trol self-efficacy through the use of positive self-talk p. 11

Students also can attempt to increase their extrinsic motivation for the task by promising themselves extrinsic rewards or making certain positive activities p. 11

Students also can try to increase their intrinsic motivation for a task by trying to make it more interesting p. 11

or to maintain a more mastery-oriented focus on learning (Wolters, 1998) p. 12

Finally, Wolters (1998) found that college students would try to in- crease the task value of an academic task by attempting to make it more relevant or useful to them or their careers, experiences, or lives. p. 12

Pintrich, P. R. (2000b). The role of goal orientation in self-regulated learning. In Boekaerts, M., Pintrich, P. R., and Zeidner, M. (eds.), Handbook of Self-Regulation, Academic Press, San Diego, CA, pp. 451–502. p. 21

Winne, P., and Perry, N. (2000). Measuring self-regulated learning. In Boekaerts, M., Pintrich, P. R., and Zeidner, M. (eds.), Handbook of Self-Regulation, Academic Press, San Diego, CA, pp. 531–566. p. 22


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ref/pintrich2004conceptual.txt · Last modified: 2014/07/05 00:29 by ryan