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Studying Technology-Based Strategies For Enhancing Motivation In Mathematics

Abstract

"During the middle school years, students frequently show significant declines in motivation toward school in general and mathematics in particular. One way in which researchers have sought to spark students' interests and build their sense of competence in mathematics and in STEM more generally is through the use of technology. Yet evidence regarding the motivational effectiveness of this approach is mixed. Here we evaluate the impact of three brief technology-based activities on students' short-term motivation in math. 16,789 5th to 8th grade students and their teachers in one large school district were randomly assigned to three different technology-based activities, each representing a different framework for motivation and engagement and all designed around an exemplary lesson related to algebraic reasoning. We investigated the relationship between specific technology-based activities that embody various motivational constructs and students' engagement in mathematics and perceived competence in pursuing STEM careers."

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