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Title: Using motivation theories to analyse students' perceptions of an examination and their inclination to study for it
Author: Park, Sang Bok
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2011
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Abstract:
This thesis has systematically examined an issue which has been under-researched in language testing: students' perceptions of a high stakes examination in terms of their motivation and their inclination to study for the exam. I started this study with the assumption that students' perceptions of an examination may influence bow they study for the examination. I analysed Korean Overseas Students' perceptions of their high stakes examination in relation to the six variables generated by understanding what directs an individual 's motivation from three motivation theories: Flow Theory, Expectancy Value Theory and Attribution Theory. I investigated students' perceptions of each section of the UEEKOS English exam in interviews conducted in 2007. In order to complement students' perceptions of each section of the exam, I examined their perceptions of the whole exam in a questionnaire administered in 2011. I also studied the relationship between their perceptions of the examination and their motivation, as represented by their claims about the amount attention they paid when they studied for it and their explanations for their perceptions and claims. The analysis showed four significant relationships between the students' perceptions of each section of their high stakes examination and their motivation - as represented by their claims of the amount of attention they paid when they studied for it - and six cause and effect relationships between their perceptions and their motivation. Four significant relationships • 1: The students who liked studying vocabulary were more likely to pay most attention to it than those who disliked studying it (Section 5.3.2). • 2: The students who liked studying essay writing were more likely to pay most attention to it than those who disliked studying it (Section 5.3.5). • 3: The students who disliked studying essay writing most were more likely to pay least attention to it than those who liked studying it (Section 5.3.5). • 4: The students who believed the essay to be the least important section were more likely to pay least attention to it (Section 6.3.5). Six direct cause and effect relationships • I (3 out of 3): Some students paid least attention to the vocabulary section because they disliked studying it (Section 5.4.2.1). • 2 (3 out of 5): Some students paid most attention to the reading section because they liked studying it (Section 5.4.3. I). • 3 (4 out of 7): Some students paid least attention to the reading section because they believed it to be easy (Section 5.4.3.2). • 4 (19 out of 22); Some students paid most attention to vocabulary because they believed it to be the most important section (Section 6.4.2). • 5 (6 out of 6): Some students paid most attention to the essay section because they believed it to be the most important (Section 6.4.5). • 6 (5 out of 7): Some students paid least attention to the essay section because they believed it to be the least important (Section 6.4.5). These findings showed that there are some cause and effect relationships between the perceptions of students and their motivation as represented by their claims about the amount of attention they paid when they studied. This study may be considered as an empirical study to examine two points. The first is that what causes washback may not be the importance and difficulty of the exam itself but rather students' perceptions of its importance and difficulty (Watanabe 2001). The second is that there may be causal effects between students' perceptions and their behaviour (Cheng 2008). The study also answers Alderson's important questions (2004): What brings washback about? Why does washback exist? It is hoped that this thesis may contribute towards a better understanding of washback on students in terms of motivation, especially the direct and causal influence of testing on students' perceptions and their behaviour.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.619265  DOI: Not available
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