Increasing motivation by adapting intelligent tutoring instruction to learner achievement goals
Lockhart, Tony F.
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The impact of affect on learning and performance has caused many researchers in the field of cognitive psychology to acknowledge the value of motivationally supportive instruction. Goal orientation, which refers to the perceptions and behaviors of the learner in achievement situations, has been the most predominant theory in learning motivation. However, research suggests multiple components are responsible for affecting student cognitive engagement. The traditional framework distinguishes individuals who are self-motivated to master challenging tasks from those who are motivated to earn favorable judgments of performance as intrinsic and extrinsic learners, respectively. In addition, learners may be further categorized by an eagerness to ensure a positive outcome or by their vigilance in avoiding negative outcomes. As such, my research explores how these motivational categories can be utilized to construct a more robust instructional model. The objective of this research is to evaluate the effectiveness of adaptive remediation strategies on motivation and learning performance. Research suggests the cost of integrating cognitive tasks with error analysis outweigh the benefits of sparse learning gains. However, further investigation is required to understand how feedback can improve these outcomes. The experiment presented here seeks to evaluate the adaptive instruction of two pedagogical agents embedded within two separate versions of the Virtual BNI Trainer. The basic coach uses a model of the learner's experience level to determine an appropriate level of elaboration required during remediation. In contrast, the motivationally enhanced coach uses a model of the learner's goal orientation to construct feedback that appeals to their natural disposition. A controlled experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of adaptive instruction on student self-efficacy, engagement, and learning performance in the Virtual BNI Training Environment. The results of this experiment are used to establish guidelines for integrating goal orientation, error analysis, and feedback within a virtual coach, to improve motivation and learning performance. In addition, these findings also indicate areas for future research.