Discipline: Science and Mathematics Education
Joshua Alijah Smith - North Carolina A&T State University
Co-Author(s): Andrea N. Ofori-Boadu, North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC
The COVID-19 pandemic caused large disruptions in educational systems. STEM studentscomplained about lack of motivation to learn and complete STEM course requirements. Toprovide more targeted interventions during future high-risk situations, it is important to gaininsights into learning motivation challenges (LMC) during the pandemic. As part of a largernationwide study investigating decision-making processes in STEM students during the COVID-19 pandemic, the purpose is to examine interactions between Student Grade Point Average(GPA) and LMCs. Qualtrics-based surveys required undergraduate STEM students in six USinstitutions to use a five-point Likert scale to rank the extent of their agreement to 15 LMCstatements. Qualtrics crosstab analysis tools were utilized to analyze data from 190 surveys usingfour student GPA subgroups. Overall, lower GPA (2.00 – 2.49) students had the highest level of agreement with LMCstatements, making them appear most vulnerable. All of them agreed that uncaring professors,assignment overloads, as well as the lack of in-person study spaces, laboratory experiences, andpeer interactions lowered motivation. Contrary to higher GPA (≥2.50) students, lower GPArespondents were significantly more likely to agree to the overly lenient professor LMC. Thismay be because overly lenient professors are less strict and reduce the sense of urgency tocomplete STEM course requirements, especially in lower GPA respondents. Seventy-fivepercent of lower GPA students agreed that personal habits lowered motivation. Notably,compared to over 50% of higher GPA respondents agreeing to the poor comprehension LMC, itis unclear why only 25% of lower GPA respondents agreed. Further research may provideadditional insights. A limitation to this study is that students with GPAs less than 2.00 opted notto participate in the surveys. Early identification strategies should be followed by effective andtargeted interventions to strengthen learning motivation in lower GPA students. Findings willcontribute to enhancing student and institutional resiliency during future high-risk situations suchas pandemics. Future research will assess the effectiveness of targeted interventions.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This study was supported by a National Science Foundation grant (NSF 2028811) awarded to Dr. Andrea Ofori-Boadu, an Associate Professor at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Andrea Ofori-Boadu, email@example.com
Role: The part of Qualtrics crosstab analysis tools were utilized to analyze data from 190 surveys using four student GPA subgroups; 2.0-2.49, 2.5-2.99, 3.0-3.49, 3.5-4.0