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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Instructional Technology

First Advisor

Rita C. Richey


The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between strategy use (i.e., cognitive strategies and metacognitive), motivation (i.e., value motivation and expectancy motivation), and ultimately, academic achievement. Although research has demonstrated that motivation will influence the use of cognitive and metacognitive strategies, the reciprocal nature of this relationship has been unclear. It has been proposed that these two variables have a dynamic relationship and greater strategy use will enhance the learner's level of motivation. This study sought to clarify the nature of the relationship between information processing strategies and motivation and ultimately to help determine how improved levels of academic performance could be reached. Participants for this study consisted of a wide representation of approximately 260 students from a Midwestern community college. The Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) was used to collect the data. The relationships among the various variables were examined through correlation analyses and a path analysis. Although many of the variables in this study produced zero order correlations, the results of the path model were more limited. The path model indicates that the cognitive strategies of elaboration and critical thinking predict changes in one measure of motivation (i.e., self-efficacy). In turn, higher levels of self-efficacy predict improved levels of academic performance. Because of these positive relationships, instructional designers may wish to consider actively training learners in how to effectively utilize elaboration and critical thinking strategies when faced with academic challenges.

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