Motivational goals and learning strategies
AbstractThe researchers examined the motivational goals and learning strategies of nontraditional college students. Quantitative and qualitative data-gathering and analyses was used for this study. The first segment of the study is the
Some students have difficulty in learning and achieving their goals, while others are able to attain their goals on their own. Why? Maybe it is due to individual differences of each student or maybe because these students are not able to regulate their own learning. Self-regulated learning or SRL can help students tremendously in achieving their own goals, especially in school. SRL is not a mental ability, nor a skill, but it is a process (Zimmerman, 2002), a process that involves key processes such as goal- setting, time management, learning strategies, self-evaluation, self-attributions, seeking help or information, and important self-motivational beliefs such as self-efficacy and intrinsic task interest (Zimmerman, 2002). It is defined as a process that is active and practical in a way wherein learners are able to set goals and from these goals, are able to monitor, regulate and control their cognition, behavior and motivation, which are directed and controlled by the goals that they made, together with the contextual features in the environment (Wolters, C.A., Pintrich, P.R. & Karabenick, S.A., 2003).
For this study, the researchers want to know how nontraditional college students self-regulate their own learning in the Filipino setting. This study focuses specifically on the participant's motivational goals and their learning strategies. Students who self-regulate are considered to be aware of their own strengths and limitations (Zimmerman, 2002). According to Zimmerman (2002), students who self-regulate are guided by personally set goals and task-related strategies which enable them to monitor their behavior in terms of their goals and are able to reflect on their increasing effectiveness. When their self-satisfaction is enhanced, they are more motivated to continue to improve their methods of learning. Also, according to Jarvela and Salovaara (2004), personal goals are the energizing and directing force of student's activity.
Self-regulated learning is necessary to study motivational goals and learning strategies because they are involved in attaining academic achievement. Learning strategies are techniques, principles or rules that will facilitate the acquisition, manipulation, integration, storage, and retrieval of information across situation and settings (Masters, Mori, A. & Mori, B., 1993). In addition, learning strategies are not to be interchanged with learning styles as the later is less structured (Conti & Kolody, 1995 in Ausburn, 2004). Learning strategies are more related to personal preferences and choices developed by experience and elected by learners in undertaking and accomplishing learning tasks (Conti & Kolody, 1995 in Ausburn, 2004). The research states that the choice of learning strategy is more organized regardless of any learning environment and it is also more appropriate because these kinds of learners are more experienced and have already been exposed beyond the four walls of the classroom. They use their desired learning strategies for their academic achievement and they may or may not have different preferences than that of traditional students (Harlin &Weeks, 2001)
SRL was proven to be effective in producing superior learning, even for young learners. It covers all learning levels, thus includes nontraditional learners (Mccormick, 1995 in Zimmerman, 2008). Nontraditional learners are those who enter or re-enter colleges and universities for economic reasons, and not for social reasons (Jacobson & Haris, 2008). Nontraditional students are called 'nontraditional' because traditional students are those who usually attend school in the age that they are to pursue their studies, and thus calling the students who are adults and who enter, or re-enter school as nontraditional. These kinds of learners may have other priorities aside from school. Some could be employed, may it be part time, full time or even multiple jobs, and some may be dependent, or even have their own company to run (Harlin &Weeks, 2001). Although these are not quite enough descriptions of what makes nontraditional students nontraditional, or unique. Every learner is different from another learner (Diamond, 2004). They all have individual differences, this includes the way they learn, the way they are motivated, or the way they use strategies to achieve their goals. Personal characteristics are related to students' classroom performance (Pintrich & De Groot, 1990).
There have been limited studies concerning students' motivational goals and learning strategies among nontraditional college students in the Filipino setting. The previous research focus on nontraditional students in general in relation to academic success and how they cope in their environment (Risquez, Moore, & Morley, 2008; Scott & Homant, 2008; & Crossan, et. al, 2003). Risquez, Moore & Morley (2008) found that nontraditional college students find it difficult to maintain an academically challenged life because they have to juggle academics with part-time jobs and for some, a demanding family. Being able to do three things at the same time would involve techniques and strategies to be successful in school, work and even home. According to Scott & Homant (2008), success for nontraditional college learners is measured either by completing a college program or continuing one. Workshops and mentor programs are ways of helping nontraditional college students adjust to the school environment (Scott & Homant, 2008).
Filipinos value education more than knowledge itself because they believe that in order to be successful, in terms of economic status, one needs an education (Bulatao, 1962; Andres, 1981 in Church & Katigbak, 1992). Filipinos place more emphasis on productivity, performance standards, and analysis and expression, but greater emphasis on attaining school approval and enhanced economic status as compared to Americans (Church and Katigbak, 1992).
For this study, the researchers also want to investigate on the characteristics of nontraditional college students. Nontraditional college students are a special sample compared to traditional college students. These students are worth studying because of their growing number in the student body, their rich life experiences, their adaptability to cross-cultural differences and also because they have self-assured, focused goal (Orndorff, 1993).
Review of Related Literature
The following section consists of a brief review regarding motivational goals, learning strategies and their relation to SRL. Academic achievement is also discussed because it is a product of motivational goals and learning strategies. Nontraditional college students are also included in this section to give an overview of the kind of participants that will be selected for this study. Finally, in the following section, the conceptual framework that show the high and low achievement of nontraditional college students and its result to motivational goals and learning strategies.
Motivational goals are student's personal goals that are the energizing and the directing force to the student's task of activity (Jarvela & Salovaara, 2004). These goals play an important role in learning due to the fact that they are the learner's reasons and purposes for performing learning tasks (Jarvela & Saloaara, 2004).
Motivation is characterized as learner's willingness or desire to be engaged and commit effort to completing a task. This is an important component of classroom learning that students may self-regulate (Wolters, 1998). According to Schunk and Zimmerman (1994) in Boekaerts (1996), the construct of SRL is reciprocally related to motivation. They defined the former construct as "the process whereby students activate and sustain cognitions, behaviors, and affects, which are systematically oriented toward attainment of their goals," and the latter as "the process whereby goal directed activities are instigated and sustained". In motivational self-regulation has to do with other aspects of behavior, such as inclination, sensitivity, choice, level and time of involvement, and effort expenditure (Boekaerts, 1996).
Student motivation will also vary in terms that they are more intrinsically motivated or extrinsically motivated. In which, intrinsic motivation comes from factors that are inherent in task completion and can be achieved only by engaging in the cognitive operations that are a part of the task (Wolters, 1998). In contrast, extrinsic motivation is derived from factors not inherently part of the learning task but instead come from outside of the task. On the other hand, it was stated that the sources of intrinsic motivation would include students' value for the course material, personal interest, and feelings of mastery, which accompany learning. And for extrinsic motivation, it comes from factors such as teacher praise, grades, or other external rewards contingent on doing better than others (Wolters, 1998).
It was suggested that motivation strategies can be either domain-specific or domain-transcending (Pintrich, Garcia, & De Groot, 1994 in Boekaerts,1996). It is assumed that as students grow older, their motivation strategies become more differentiated. Therefore the researchers took into consideration in focusing on the motivation strategies of the nontraditional students.
A goal, as stated by Ames (1992, p.261) defines an integrated pattern of beliefs, attributions, and affect that produces the intentions of behavior represented by different ways of approaching, engaging in and responding to achievement-type activities. In school, each student is given an opportunity for them to achieve more in their studies. They have their own goals which allow them to do extra effort to attain it. Although when students set goals that are not only bound in the classroom, these are not achievement goals anymore. Achievement goals are limited to the four-walls of the classroom and in school. Nontraditional college students are a special population. These students engage in having goals that are motivated by extrinsic and intrinsic forces when their situation is not only to succeed in school, but also in their part-time jobs, at home and among their families. These goals are motivational goals, which are again, personal goals that are the energizing and the directing force to the student's task of activity (Jarvela & Salovaara, 2004).
Learning strategies are regarded as essentials of self-regulation and autonomous learning (Watson, 2006). Learning strategies are specific actions that could help learners in certain circumstances which could make them remember things well and make tasks easier pleasant, more efficient, and more manageable (Oxford, 1990). Learning strategies can be very important in the lives of nontraditional college students. Since these learners attend school and at the same time have other priorities such as part-time jobs and family, learning strategies are very useful to help them get the things done.
According to Zimmerman (2002), learning is an activity that students do for themselves in a proactive way. It was found that beliefs are students' conceptions of learning itself. Learning is something that is personal (Purdie, Hattie & Douglas, 1998). That is why there are different learning strategies that match different types of learners. Learning strategies are believed to be less rigid than learning styles, and more related to personal preferences and choices developed through experience and elected by learners in undertaking and accomplishing learning tasks (Conti & Kolody, 1995 in Ausburn, 2004). Learning strategies are not to be interchanged with learning styles as the later is less structured. Learning strategies are more related to personal preferences and choices developed by experience and elected by learners in undertaking and accomplishing learning tasks while learning styles have no effect on learning outcome unless it is specifically related to ability to perform specific learning task requirements (Ausburn, 2004).
There are different types of learning strategies that can be used in the SRL process. Student ability is they key factor in student's learning. According to Purdie, Hattie and Douglas (1998), SRL focuses on why and how students start and control their learning. The how in SRL can be evident in terms of student's specific strategies used in completing learning tasks (Purdie, Hattie & Douglas, 1998).
Examples of self-regulate learning strategies could be found in Zimmerman & Martinez-Pons'(1986) study, 'The Development of a Structured Interview for Assessing Student Use of SRL'. The following examples are: self-evaluation, organizing and transforming, goal setting and planning, seeking information, keeping records and monitoring, environmental structuring, self-consequences, rehearsing and memorizing, seeking social assistance, and reviewing of records. These examples could be used in assessing a student's SRL learning strategies.
Academic achievement, in relation to SRL, is the product of students who engage in active learning processes, which result to an increase in academic performance (Ablard & Lipschultz, 1998). Academic achievement is not a skill, nor a process, but a product that is achieved through many processes of hard work and through set-goals. An individual pursues achievement tasks because of the achievement goals (Jarvela & Salovaara, 2004) that they set for themselves, and in product, produces academic achievement.
There are variations in SRL that suggest that there will be some students who will continue to excel, while some may be at risk in failing or underachievement (Risemberg & Zimmerman, 1992 in Ablard & Lipschultz, 1998). SRL, therefore, provides an important framework in order to further understand the reasons why some high achievers able to attain or retain academic achievement (Ablard & Lipschultz, 1998).
Nontraditional College Students
Nontraditional students are considered to be older students, students of color and students who are working on a part-time basis (Jacobson & Harris, 2008; Mortain & Smart, 1977). In the Filipino setting, the category, 'student of color' does not apply in the Filipino setting because the Filipinos are not separated or identified by the color of their skin. Nontraditional learners enter or re-enter colleges and universities for economic reasons, and not for social reasons (Jacobson & Haris, 2008). According to foreign studies, nontraditional learners currently make-up 75% of students enrolled in the undergraduate studies (Jamilah, 2002; Choy; 2002; Dill & Henley, 1998; Hoskins & Newstead, 1997; in Jacobson & Harris, 2008). In the Filipino setting, there are only a few studies that shed light on Filipino nontraditional students.
Nontraditional learners have gone through more experiences compared to traditional students, they may have advantages and disadvantages that could affect their learning in the classroom. One disadvantage may be their age because according to Crossan et.al. (2003), these learners are considered as adults who return to school with limited or broken histories of previous participation in their earlier years of schooling. The way traditional or younger students would do things in terms of performance could be different with how nontraditional students may perform. Another disadvantage would be the lack of time. Since most of the se students are working students, or who have part-time jobs (Cross, 1980), there is lack of time to do all the things and responsibilities they have to do. As mentioned by the same author, these are students who maintain responsibilities like work, family and other adult responsibilities (Cross,1980).
On the other hand, there are also advantages for nontraditional students, specifically the adult learners. They posses a self-concept of being responsible in making decisions, which causes them to know why they need to learn something before they exert effort to learn (Knowles, 1984; in Jacobson & Harris). These students who return to college possess certain traits and characteristics that can help them excel, at the same time, they also posses certain characteristics that could be "misinterpreted as evidence of inability" (Slotnick, et. al., 1993; in Jacobson & Harris, 2008).
The participants from this study will be nontraditional college students currently enrolled in the Career Development Program (CDP) of the College of St. Benilde (CSB). The career development program of the CSB is a night program offered to those individuals who are motivated to continue and complete their college education while working. It currently offers two degree programs which is Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Business Management (BSBA-BM). BSBA-BM focuses on core business functions. This program includes finance, marketing, strategy, operations, human resources and information systems. It focuses on computer skills and the application of information technology, teamwork, problem-solving and critical thinking for decision-making. The other degree program is Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Marketing Management (BSBA-MM). Its focus is on the planning and executing the concept, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives. it includes new product development, pricing, competitor analysis, market research, business development, advertising and public relations, retailing and sales, and entrepreneurship.
The conceptual framework shows that nontraditional students, whether high achieving or low achieving, have certain motivational goals and learning strategies they set for themselves. The researchers are interested in the special population, the nontraditional college students, and what their motivational goals and learning strategies are. Since most of the nontraditional students that were interviewed in this study were mostly working students, and some have families of their own, the researchers want to know the strategies they use in order to achieve their own goals.
The researchers are assuming that the high achieving nontraditional college students are those who set goals for themselves and are persevering and hardworking enough to attain their goals. They are the ones who have focus and are determined to reach their goals. The researchers also expect that the high achieving nontraditional college students are those who invest a lot in managing their time considering that they have more than one priority to juggle. For the low achieving nontraditional college students, the researchers are assuming that they too have set goals for themselves but are having a hard time succeeding more in school. The researchers assume that these students are those who entered or re-entered college for the sake of earning a degree. On the other hand, the researchers are also assuming that maybe the reason for their low CGPA is because they lack time because of the other important things they also have to attend to.
Statement of the Problem
Overall, the focus of the study is to investigate on the motivational goals and learning strategies of nontraditional college students in CSB. Also, the study aims to investigate the difference between high achieving and low achieving nontraditional college learners and how they handle their current situations.
The following research questions for study are:
- What are the motivational goals of nontraditional college students?
- What are the learning strategies of nontraditional college students?
- What is the comparison of high performing and low performing students' motivation or academic motives?
Significance of the Study
The present study generally focuses on the motivational goals and learning strategies of nontraditional college students. Every learner is different from one another. This study can serve as additional information that can lead to differentiated instruction for teachers who are handling nontraditional college students. Differentiated instruction must take place in order to allow students to take greater responsibility and ownership for their own learning (Diamond, 2004).
The researchers were able to identify the situations of high achieving and low achieving nontraditional college students and what they undergo. With this, their needs can be explored further on for future research. In line with this, the most commonly used learning strategies of nontraditional college students are presented and discussed.
The present study can help teachers address the difficulties encountered by nontraditional students by improving instructions to enhance high achievement and motivation. Educators, who are more knowledgeable on their students learning strategies, can involve themselves to a more diverse teaching strategies and diverse instructional methods. Thus, it can help teachers provide a more effective learning environment which can promote high achievement for nontraditional college students.
Scope and Limitations
The main study focuses on the motivational goals and learning strategies of Filipino, nontraditional college students. Moreover, the researchers made use of in-depth interview and survey. High achieving students and low achieving nontraditional college students are the main participants for the in-depth interview. The high achieving students are those who are consistent dean's listers during their stay in DLS-CSB. On the other hand, the low achieving students are those who attained scores 1-2 for their CGPA. Their motivational goals and learning strategies are the basis of this study. Learning strategies, compared to learning styles are less rigid and is based on more personal preferences of learning and this includes more experience. Adult learners, having more experience and more personal preferences when studying in college, are more motivated to learn; thus having motivational goals are given more credit and importance in this study.
Nevertheless, this study still faces a number of limitations. First, the participants are limited to those who are under the Career Development Program of DLS-CSB since the nontraditional students in this study should have under gone the same learning environment. The learning environment and experience is limited. Therefore, if the research was conducted to other nontraditional students who are in schools that also offer the same program, then the research could have been more reliable. Lastly, SRL which supports our study is a huge umbrella of concepts and ideas explaining how a student is able regulate their learning. Thus, this study is only limited to learning strategies and motivational goals.
Definition of Terms
Motivational Goals: personal goal that are energizing and the directing force to the student's task of activity (Jarvela & Salovaara, 2004).
Learning Strategy: is the how in completing learning tasks (Purdie, Hattie & Douglas, 1998).
Self Regulated Learning: refers to the self-directive processes and self-beliefs that engage learners to have the capacity to transform their abilities, mental and verbal ones, into academic performance skills (Zimmerman, 2008).
Nontraditional Learners: older students, students of color and students who are working on a part-time basis (Jacobson & Harris, 2008; Mortain & Smart, 1977), who enters or re-enters college to achieve an educational degree (Jacobson & Harris, 2008).
From the study conducted, nontraditional learners can also be defined as students with part-time jobs who enter or re-enter college for purposes of getting a college degree for better job opportunities, for self-fulfillment and for value of education. They are also individuals who juggle more than one priority which includes not just school, but also work, and family.
The design of the study is mixed method, qualitative and quantitative research method. For the qualitative method, in-depth interview was used to gather data and surveying was used to gather data for the quantitative data analysis.
The participants were sixty randomly selected nontraditional college students from De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (CSB), ranging from different levels that are currently taking up Business courses.
Academic Motivation Inventory (AMI) was used to measure the academic motives of the participants (see Appendix B). It is composed of 90 items and it asks about the participant's motivation in school. The survey made use of Likart Scale from 1 to 5, where the participants had to encircle the number corresponding to the statement that applies to them, 1 if the statement is not at all true for them, 5 if the statement is extremely true for them and so on. Internal consistencies and reliabilities are found to be acceptable for research purposes (Moen & Doyle, 1977). The construction of the instrument was based on the review of the academic motivation literature by Moen & Doyle (1977).
The Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) was used to measure the SRL and learning strategies of nontraditional college students (see Appendix C). It is composed of 31 items to measure the student's motivations for and attitudes about class, and another 31 items to assess the students learning strategies and study skills (Pintrich et al, 1991). This questionnaire is based on the cognitive view of motivation and learning strategies (Pintrich et al, 1991).
The AMI and the MSLQ were administered to one hundred randomly selected participants in CSB. For the sampling procedure of the survey, clustering was used in order to randomly select the participants. Both questionnaires were administered in English, the language academic instruction in the Philippines. The AMI and MSLQ usually takes 20-30 minutes to complete, which takes a lot of time for the participants to answer in one sitting, that is why both questionnaires were given to the participants in a packet, which they were given time to answer in one of their two hour classes. The participants also completed a demographic sheet which included questions and the estimated Cumulative General Point Average (CGPA) for the term (see Appendix A). The questionnaires are then subjected for data analysis.
The scores of the MSLQ and the AMI of all the participants were computed. For each scale, the items were grouped and the mean and standard deviation were computed as well.
The participants for the in-depth interview selected by the researchers based on the written CGPA on the demographic sheets they completed. The researchers double checked with the head professor of the CDP department, Sir Robert Espiritu, regarding the grades and who could be interviewed for the in-depth interview. The criteria for the participants were ten nontraditional college students with high CGPA (grade 3.0 and up) and ten nontraditional college students with low CGPA (2.0 and below).
Unfortunately, the head professor misplaced the demographic sheets the researchers handed to him. The group turned to Ms. Yeyen Yoto, the counselor of CDP and gave a list of willing participants to be interviewed. The criteria were still the same. Ten high achieving nontraditional college students were selected from the CDP's dean's list and ten nontraditional college students with low CGPA were selected by the CDP counselor.
The instrument that was used for the in-depth interview were pre-constructed interview questions, which were face-validated both by Ms. Yeyen Yoto. The interview questions focus on the motivational goals and learning strategies of the nontraditional college students and how these played an important role in their lives as nontraditional college students. There were ten interview questions that were formulated, and probing took place in order to have a richer collection of data.
Interviews were done before and after the classes of the participants. Each researcher interviewed 6-7 participants in two separate days and each of the interviews lasted from 10-15 minutes. The participants were briefed about the objective of the study and were told that the interview will only be used for the purpose of the study. Permission to use voice recorders were asked from the participants. Confidentiality was assured. After all the interviews, the recorded conversations were transcribed and subjected to the data analysis.
The interviews were transcribed by the researchers. Each researcher listened to every interview and read all the transcribed interviews to make sure that every word said by the participants in the interview are the same, as to avoid one's own interpretive analysis. As a group, the researchers created domains to segment the interview data, and from these domains, core ideas were formulized to form summaries of the data. Then cross-analysis was used to construct common themes among the participants.
In addition, after the researchers have transcribed the interviews, it was sent back to the CDP through the counselor for the participants to check the data transcribed is accurate. After it was confirmed, data for the results and discussion proceeded.
This section shows the detailed presentation of the results that were gathered. There will be two parts of the results to show the quantitative data and the qualitative data.
Persisting Motives- refers to a student persevering to complete a certain task. The participants scored highest on this factor since Nontraditional College students are of age and their sense completing a task if important to them. With the given mean of (M=3.72) and (SD= 0.26), this is considered as the highest academic motivation that nontraditional college students posses.
Grades Orientation- refers to a person who always aims for high grades. This is the second to the highest scale the participants scored on, with the given mean of (M= 3.68) and standard deviation of (SD= 0.48).
Career/Economic Orientation- students have the perception that education is the key to success. Nontraditional students scored high in this scale (M= 3.62; SD= 0.67) which shows that one of their main reasons for entering or re-entering college is to get a degree for better job opportunities.
Dislike for School- refers to one's disinterest in school and preferring to do other activities, unrelated to school. The nontraditional college students scored very low in this factor with a mean of (M=2.23) and standard deviation of (SD= 0.60) Scoring low here may indicate that there are times when they dislike school, but not entirely.
Withdrawing Motives- is one's preference to work alone and is most of the time quiet in school. Nontraditional college students scored relatively low in this factor (M= 2.31, SD= 0.42).
Discouraged About School- feelings toward school are difficult and thinks that one has little control over how one performs in class. Score for this factor is relatively low (M= 2.53, SD= 0.42).
Task Value- individual's evaluation of how interesting, how important and how useful the task is. The participants scored the highest (M=5.71, SD= 0.37) in this scale.
Extrinsic Value- how a student sees him/herself in certain tasks for reasons grades, rewards, evaluation by others or even competition. The participants scored high (M= 5.64, SD= 0.08).
Test anxiety- occurs when students have negative thoughts towards learning which disrupts their performance. Nontraditional students scored lowest (M=4.04, SD=0.71) in this scale. The participants did not score very low in this scale, considering that some nontraditional students may still encounter test anxiety.
Peer Learning- only some of the participants of the survey relied on their peers to understand better the topics that they discussed. They accumulated a score of (M=4.51, SD=0.42).
It reveals that the motivational goals of nontraditional college students are mostly goals pertaining to earning a degree followed by their goal to finish college and their goal to find a better job. Three categories in the motivational goal domain appeared both on the high and low achieving nontraditional college students focusing mainly on earning a degree, wanting to help their parents and also for their future. A number of high achieving nontraditional college students mentioned that they re entered college because of how they value education. These students see how important education is that is why it can only be seen in high achieving students. Also in the high achieving side, we see students having goals with regards to their own family and kids. Some nontraditional college students already have a family of their own to raise other than their parents. Raising a family needs big responsibility especially when kids are present. A small number of high achieving students already have families and they set them as their goals and inspiration to re enter college to also learn more and give their family a better future. Variant responses can were mentioned about goals related to this becoming a second chance and in becoming socially accepted. These goals are were mentioned only by low achievers. These students see that being a nontraditional college student is a second shot in schooling and try to make up for their losses before and also these students want to become socially accepted by completing college.
The factors that affect the motivational goals of nontraditional college students show a general response to the lack of time. Nontraditional college students do not only balance text books but also their life priorities also which brings us to a typical response of low achievers, having too many responsibilities and another typical response of high achievers which is having too much pressure. When a student has priorities, one has to have responsibility over it and differs from student to student as to how they handle their priorities that would require the less effort needed thus less pressure. One of the priorities of Nontraditional college students are their careers but still this was mentioned as a variant response by both high and low achievers. Their careers or work eats up most of their time thus considering it as a factor that could affect the goals. A rare response emerges from low achieving nontraditional students\ putting focus on financial problems. This person sees how money is a big factor in accomplishing a goal.
The domain of motivation to learn are categorized into two. Myself, which includes ones personal view for education, ones goals, ones self satisfaction. In this category, this is a typical response by both high and low achieving students. The other category is other people which includes friends, family, professors and the like. These people likes to use others as inspiration or others as the who needs help from them.
The data shows that majority of nontraditional college students use time management as their learning strategy. Nontraditional college students has to balance their time between school and work and in some it includes parents and family. In using time management, it works hand in hand with prioritizing, but inline with this study, prioritizing school work was mentioned as a typical response. These students put academics as their top priority when it comes to doing work. A number of high achieving students make a friendly competition among their classmates as a type of strategy. This mini competition among them targets to become a part of the DL. Another is by self motivating one's self. Examples of these are putting post its in his locker with a note saying "don't be lazy, study". Variant low achiever responses are setting deadlines, consulting with profs and friends and also showing up in class.
According to the table, a general response to the advantage of being a nontraditional college student is that the things being taught to the students by the professor can be easily applied to their own professions. Also in line with it, the things taught by the professors can easily be understood or related by them because of experience. On the other hand, the general response to the disadvantage of a nontraditional college student is the lack of time. These students juggle their time working, studying, attending school and of course sleep. Some variant responses of high achievers on the advantages of being a nontraditional college students is that of experience. These students have already been exposed to the working world which gives them a rich experience pool of the outside world. Another is that you earn money and you realize the importance of money. Majority of these students are on self support already and they pay for their own tuition fees. Others are scholars of the CDP where every subject enrolled is free up until they fail one, then they pay that failed subject. Next is the value of education. Nontraditional students could have just continued their work without a degree and still do good but being a nontraditional student enlightens students on the importance of education and how it could make a student's life better, and thus students gain more knowledge that would help them be more equip in the working world. A low achieving student responded that nontraditional college student is better than those of traditional college students as an advantage because nontraditional students has more experience. Another advantage stated by a low achieving students is that it is a chance for old people to still study and learn. It is not limited only to young adults but to even aged ones also. A number of high achievers respond that a disadvantage of being a nontraditional college student is health problems due to fatigue and lack of sleep. Work in day time and school in night time does not really give enough room for rest for these students. Low achievers on the other hand responded in variant frequency that being a nontraditional college student has too much priorities and responsibilities that would lead to lack of time an fatigue aswell. A number of low achieving student said that peer pressure is a disadvantage in becoming a nontraditional college student because you are seated in a classroom with other working students and some of them have high ranks on their profession and thus making you feel pressured to do better or just lay low.
Nontraditional college students are a special population. They are the ones who enter or -re-entered college in order to have a better future (Jacobson & Harris, 2008). Aside from this, they are also the ones who study and are maintaining certain responsibilities at the same time, such as employment and family (Cross, 1980). With this, the researchers wanted to find out what motivational goals and learning strategies these nontraditional college students have given their current situation and lifestyle.
Based on the quantitative results taken from the surveys that were administered to the 70 participants, they scored high on the AMI of the following scales: Persisting motives, which is defined as student's perseverance that is placed in the tasks given to them (M=3.72), grades orientation which is defined as student's who aim to get high grades in school (M=3.68) and career orientation, which is defined as students' belief that education is the key to success (M=3.62). The results from the survey suggest that nontraditional college students are persevering and hard working. When given tasks to be completed, they do it with a great amount of effort and try to enjoy them. In line with the qualitative data that the researchers gathered,
"Lage lang akong present at nagtatanong ako sa iba kung anu ang mga kelangan gawin. Nagstop din ako sa work ko for now kase gusto muna magfocus talaga sa pagaaral ko. Lage aq pumapasok ontime."
"Kunware may break time sa office, ngrereview aq, tapos on the way to school ngbabasa sa bus"
Reason for this is because they put value in their work. From the MSLQ, the nontraditional college students scored the highest in the Task Value Scale (M= 5.71). This means that they work hard and are persevering in the tasks that they are assigned to do, and thus values the task very much.
Nontraditional college students scored high in the grades orientation scale (M=3.68). This means that students put importance in the grades they get. It does not necessarily mean that they are grade conscious, but rather, they aim to get high grades to succeed and also to value education. From the interview, 4 out of 20 nontraditional college participants said that one of their goals is to be part of the dean's list or graduate college with flying colors. Below are some statements from the interviews that support this statement:
"As much as possible, maging DL... when I started working, that's when I realized the value of money because you really hard to earn it and you just don't pick it up from somewhere... Kaya I make sure that I become DL or I get high grades, basta my goal is not to fail any subject."
"Value of education. I don't want kc my daughter to think na ok lang kung hindi ako tapos. Also for work, but mostly for my daughter."
In the MSLQ, the second highest score is the Extrinsic value, which is how a student sees him/herself in certain tasks for reasons grades, rewards, evaluation by others or even competition.
Nontraditional college students also scored high in the Career Orientation scale (M= 3.62). For them, education is they key to success. According to Jacobson & Jarvella (2008), these students re-enter college for economic reasons like getting a better job, to earn money, and be successful in life. Education is the key to success. According to Church & Katigbak (1992), Filipinos value education because it is a means for better economic opportunity and status. In line with the interviews that were conducted,
"I don't want to have graveyard shifts like the one in the call center. I want kahit yung 8-5pm office job so that I have time to be with my family and my daughter at night."
"ang matapos agad as soon as possible ung course ko at makahanap ng trabaho na mas maayos"
Filipinos believe that the key to success is by finishing their education (Church & Katigbak, 1992). Most of the nontraditional college students in CSB do not show that they dislike school, are discouraged about school or show withdrawing motives. There are some, but majority of the students re-entered college to finish schooling. From the scores of the quantitative data, it goes to show that not all nontraditional college students who re-enter school are high achievers. There are still reasons why some do not achieve high in college even when coming back to school the second time around. The participants scored low for test anxiety and peer learning. Nontraditional college students aren't afraid to take tests, or in this case, report or present in class since most of their performance are based on these, due to the fact that they have more experience, especially with work background. For example, a participant said:
" ...since I'm a working student and since our courses is related to my work, parang I know the theoretical part already, and I can see na during reportings, I get to include and share a lot of my experiences."
Aside from test anxiety, nontraditional college students do not ask help from others in order to learn, peer learning. Instead they are independent enough to learn on their own, or participation in class is enough for them to understand the lesson. The statement below shows that the participant does not get to interact with his peers in school as much when it comes to school work because of the lack of time:
"...limited ka to participate, like for example, may group work, its hard to participate kc kung may meeting its hard kc I have work."
In this study, there are a number of recommendations that the researchers inferred. This study is restricted to describing the motivational goals and learning strategies of nontradtional students, it will be best for future studies if they can compare the motivational goals and learning strategies of both traditional and nontraditonal students.There must also be a clearer distinction on the characteristics of the traditional college students from the nontradtional students.Future research can also use correlation between the motivational goals and learning strategies to know whether there is a significant relationship between the two for the nontradtional college students. Another would be considering nontraditional college students from different schools to have a more reliable information on their motivational goals and learning strategies. Futhermore, the description of the nontradtional college students will be more distinct since the population might provide more diverse information. Future research may also look into other aspects of the SRL that is more appropriately used by the nontraditional college students.
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