Measuring Student Motivation in an Introductory Biology Class

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Student motivation is widely regarded as an essential prerequisite for learning and success. To learn more about biology student motivation and how it changes over time, pre/post-surveys were administered to a large introductory biology course during the fall of 2015. These pre/post-surveys contained motivation subscales from the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) and the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ). Although students began the course with high levels of motivation, the pre/post-survey scores revealed that their intrinsic motivation, self-efficacy, and value scores declined during the semester. The value/usefulness (IMI), pressure/tension (IMI), and test anxiety (MSLQ) pre-survey scores were the best predictors of course performance. The implications of these findings and suggestions for improving student motivation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-26
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Biology Teacher
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 National Association of Biology Teachers. All rights reserved. Please direct all requests for permission to photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California Press's Reprints and Permissions web page, .


  • IMI
  • MSLQ
  • Motivation
  • anxiety
  • biology student
  • value


Dive into the research topics of 'Measuring Student Motivation in an Introductory Biology Class'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this