Dr. Michael Phillips

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Motivation and academic performance have been shown to be linked, so improvement in academic motivation or factors that influence it may have the potential to improve academic performance. Academic motivation can fluctuate over a semester or even throughout a day. Even with these fluctuations, some students have the skills to remain motivated to study, attend class, and complete assignments. Yet, some do not, thus, strategies to help these students maintain motivation throughout the semester can have benefits for academic success. The main objective of this study was to understand whether a mobile intervention could be utilized to increase students’ academic motivation, perception of educational value, and use of positive study strategies while improving overall academic performance. Thirty-eight participants from the University of Northern Colorado were recruited to pilot a novel mobile-intervention, with 19 participants being randomized to a control or intervention group. The intervention group received strategies to help them improve their use of study skills and increase their perception of educational value via prompts on a smartphone app. Using ecological momentary assessment (EMA), data was collected from both groups in their everyday lives, three times a day, over a two-week period. The EMA questions focused on how students study session time, what strategies they used, their self-efficacy toward learning, and their level of motivation in that particular moment. Between group factors such as self-regulation, self-efficacy, and academic performance (e.g., semester GPA) are examined. The results may have future implications for improving academic motivation and overall performance in college students.

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