FIRST-YEAR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ EDUCATIONAL/COGNITIVE MOTIVES FOR STUDYING IN RIGA AND SMOLENSK SAMPLES
Keywords:first-year university students, group of Educational/cognitive motives, learning motivation, psychological atmosphere in student group
For a successful pedagogical process, university teachers need to know the learning motivation of students, monitor it, and take into account its peculiarities while developing learning materials and choosing educational strategies. Especially great attention should be paid to the motivation of first-year students, as in the first months of studies freshmen face increasing difficulties sometimes negatively affecting their motivation. The paper presents some results of an international study of students’ motivation and focuses on one group of learning motives of first-year students, namely, on their Educational/cognitive motives. The aim of the study is to analyse and compare the Educational/cognitive motives of the first-year students at the universities of Riga and Smolensk, as well as to study the interrelationship between this kind of learning motives and the psychological atmosphere in the student group. In the survey carried out in December 2019, 129 students from EKA University of Applied Sciences (Riga, Latvia) and Smolensk State University (Russia) participated. The technique of diagnostics of learning motivation by 7 content scales was used for data collection. For studying the psychological atmosphere in the student group, the technique of 10 bipolar scales was chosen. Table method, descriptive statistics, analysis of statistical indicators, method of comparison, correlation analysis were used in the data processing. The data analysis shows that a few months after the start of studying, the learning motivation of the first-year students is at an average level. However, for successful training, it could and should be improved. In the Latvian sample, indicators for both the general learning motivation and Educational/cognitive motivation are slightly higher than in the Russian one. The correlation analysis reveals statistically significant correlations between the psychological atmosphere and motivation of students. The results of the study are useful for further investigation of students’ motivation and search of the ways to increase it.
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