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Does motivation matter?: On the relationship between perceived quality of teaching and students' motivational orientations


  • Darren W. Dahl
  • Kamal Smimou


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to focus on the perceptions that undergraduate students formed and provides further insight into the relationship between perceived teaching quality (with its descriptors) and student motivation. Design/methodology/approach - The paper reports the findings from a survey of student perceptions of quality teaching and its interaction with various motivational orientations that students exhibit in higher education. The proposed hypotheses and conceptual model were tested using regression and correlation analyses, as well as analysis of variance from a survey of 271 undergraduate students in programs at two different universities. Findings - The findings document the explanatory role of various motivations in students' perceptions of teaching quality: correlation analysis found intrinsic motivation to be positively correlated with the perceived teaching quality, while extrinsic motivation was found to be moderately correlated, suggesting that motivational orientation dimensions are influential in students' assessments of their teaching experience in school. Intrinsic motivation with its possible states and factor loadings showed strong positive impact on the teaching quality and students' evaluation, even after accounting for the reputation (general opinion) of the educational institution (or program). Thus, we cannot ignore the value-added nature of various motivational orientations and their influence upon the perceptions of students. Surprisingly, few differences in perception based on gender, age, and country of birth (ethnicity) were found. Young students (less than 25-year old) and Canadian- and American-born students exhibited significant negative reactions (difference) to perceived teaching quality; in contrast, female students exhibited positive reactions towards it. Practical implications - The results presented here will assist researchers, professors, and higher-education administrators by capitalizing on students' existing intrinsic motivation and understanding the relationship between student perceptions of teaching quality and their degree of motivation to further expand and implement a better quality-assurance educational system. A viable strategy to enhance and further motivate students extrinsically and intrinsically in their learning will significantly enhance their perceptions. Originality/value - The article explores for the first time the link between students' motivational orientations and their perceptions about teaching quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Darren W. Dahl & Kamal Smimou, 2011. "Does motivation matter?: On the relationship between perceived quality of teaching and students' motivational orientations," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(7), pages 582-609, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:mfipps:v:37:y:2011:i:7:p:582-609

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carl Shapiro, 1982. "Consumer Information, Product Quality, and Seller Reputation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(1), pages 20-35, Spring.
    2. Yoon, Eunsang & Guffey, Hugh J. & Kijewski, Valerie, 1993. "The effects of information and company reputation on intentions to buy a business service," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 215-228, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mira Fischer & Patrick Kampkoetter, 2014. "Effects of the German Universities' Excellence Initiative on Ability Sorting of Students and Perceptions of Educational Quality," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 05-01, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences, revised 25 Jun 2016.


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