Summer 2023



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Julia Reimer

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Meredith Wardlaw Rodriguez

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

James Davenport


The main research question addressed in this study was: How do written self-assessment reflections affect student motivation in a social studies classroom? To answer this question, this study reviewed the student motivation literature to explore the causes of intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and amotivation. Based on the existing research, this study then examined the self-assessment literature as one way to improve student motivation in linguistically diverse classrooms. To test the impact of short self-assessment writing prompts at the end of each class on student motivation, a pre-experimental design of eight students (four English learners (ELs) and four non-ELs) in three sections of high school world history was conducted. Prior to the start of the self-assessment treatment, participants took the Academic Motivation Scale (AMS) - High School questionnaire to measure their baseline level motivation. Then the participants were given guidelines on how to answer the prompts and were shown exemplary responses. Next, over a five-week period participants were given written self-assessment prompts twice a week and content-based exit tickets as a control the other two days a week. After the treatment period, participants took the AMS questionnaire again as one way to measure how much the participants’ motivation changed. Work completion rates and quarterly grades from before and after the treatment period were also used as proxy variables to measure motivation. Comparisons of the mean changes in motivation among the participants suggest that the self-assessment prompts had no impact on motivation, suggesting that teachers need to do more than just include self-assessment prompts to improve student motivation. A single factor ANOVA test comparing the results of EL and non-EL participants also found that there was no statistically significant difference between these two groups of participants. Ultimately, even though self-assessments alone may not improve student motivation, they did not decrease motivation, work completion rates or quarterly grades. As a result, self-assessments can still be an effective informal assessment tool for teachers, especially in linguistically diverse classrooms.

Research Methodology

Descriptive Statistics, Survey (attitude scale, opinion, questionnaire)










School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

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