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Cooperative learning
Longitudinal study
Psychological needs
Self-determination theory
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Wang, J. C. K., Liu, W. C., Koh, C., Tan, O. S., & Ee, J. (2011). A motivational analysis of project work in Singapore using self-determination theory. The International Journal of Research and Review, 7(1), 45-66.
Our students today face a knowledge-based economy, which requires the ability to learn independently, to be innovative in using and synthesizing knowledge, and to adapt fast to the changing world. Project Work (PW) is introduced as one of the instructional models for a more student-centered approach of learning in Singapore. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of project work (PW) and study the motivational processes of PW using a self-determination theory (SDT) framework. A total of 435 students from Normal Academic stream (NA) and Normal Technical stream (NT) were recruited from four secondary schools in Singapore. Students‟ perceptions of the values of PW, basic psychological needs, relative autonomy, enjoyment, and grades were measured across three time points. Results showed that students valued the PW experience. However, their enjoyment, needs, and relative autonomy decreased significantly in the 10 to 12 weeks of PW experience. Multiple regression analyses revealed that post-PW enjoyment negatively predicted PW grades, while psychological needs, relative autonomy and pre-PW enjoyment positively predicted post-PW enjoyment. After 6-month PW, post-PW enjoyment emerged as a stronger predictor than grades in predicting the perceived skills learned from PW. The study applies self-determination theory to the PW context and highlights the importance of facilitating the three psychological needs in the PW context to enhance students‟ motivation and achievement in PW.
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