Theoretical Framework

Although there has been a wealth of research exploring motivation within technological environments, few studies employ frameworks that are grounded in well-studied and rigorous theories of motivation.  Eccles and Wigfields’ expectancy-value theory provides a framework to research well-grounded motivation constructs that deal with students’ beliefs about their competence, and about how personally relevant their academic studies are.

Self-Efficacy
Individuals’ perceived capabilities to learn or accomplish tasks at designated levels of performance (i.e., “How confident are you that you can find the x-intercept given the slope of a line?”).

Implicit Theories of Ability
Individuals’ beliefs about whether math “smarts” is a static characteristic or a skill that can be augmented (i.e., “My math ability is something about me that can’t be changed very much”).

Value Beliefs

  • Attainment value: Importance of doing well on a task.
  • Interest value: Enjoyment of doing a task.
  • Utility value: How a task fits one’s personal agenda.
  • Cost value: What one has to give up to do a task. / How much effort must be exerted.