Making the Grade: Understanding Learning and Grade Orientations of First-Year Students
Author(s): Purcell, J. M.
Citation: Purcell, J. M. (2009). Making the Grade: Understanding Learning and Grade Orientations of First-Year Students. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 21(2), 35-46.
First-year undergraduate students enter college with varying expectations, motivations, and goals and are being bombarded with messages about the importance of grades, sometimes to the detriment of learning. This descriptive, cross-sectional study employs LOGO II to describe the learning and grade orientations of first-year students and identify differences between students enrolled at two- and four-year institutions. Predictor variables and effect sizes related to each orientation are also reported. Results show that students are motivated to learn for the sake of learning, not simply to earn good grades, and help paint a more complete picture of first-year student motivation in the college classroom.