Promoting motivation in mathematics through personalized relevance interventions
Drawing on expectancy-value theory, short interventions to enhance the perceived relevance of the learning material for students’ lives have shown to be highly promising for promoting students’ motivation, achievement, and academic choices. In MoMa-PR, the goal is to systematically test how these interventions can be personalized for students with different characteristics. A digital relevance intervention that enables personalization will be developed and its efficacy will be tested in the project.
The project Promoting motivation in mathematics through personalized relevance interventions (MoMa-PR) examines how students’ motivation in mathematics can be optimally promoted through personalized relevance interventions. These interventions are grounded in expectancy-value theory. This theory posits that students’ expectancies about how well they can do in a domain and their subjective valuing of this domain increase their motivation.
Indeed, an impressive body of research shows that students’ expectancies and values are important predictors of their engagement and achievement at school, as well as their educational trajectories. However, these motivational beliefs in various academic domains, particularly in mathematics, typically decrease over the school years. It is therefore important to find ways to sustain motivation in the school context.
Short interventions to enhance the perceived relevance of the learning material for students’ lives have shown to be highly promising for promoting students’ motivation, achievement, and academic choices. Such interventions can thus represent a powerful, cost-efficient lever to promote students’ academic development. At the same time, prior effects found heterogeneous effects for different groups of students. Thus, it is important to examine how these interventions can be designed to be effective for specific groups of students.
In the project, the goal is therefore to systematically test how these interventions can be personalized for students with different characteristics. Based on prior intervention studies, a digital relevance intervention will be developed that enables personalization. The efficacy of this intervention will be tested in a randomized field trial with ninth grade students.
Lead researcher at IFS
External project partners
- Prof. Judith M. Harackiewicz (University of Madison-Wisconsin, Department of Psychology)
Search & People Search
Location & approach
The most convenient highway exits are on the B 1/A 40 (Dortmund-Barop) (closer to the North Campus) and on the A45 (Dortmund-Eichlinghofen). The university is signposted at both exits. In the local road network you will find signs to Campus Nord, where the Campus Treff is also located. From Emil-Figge-Strasse, entrance no. 18 and from Vogelspothsweg entrance no. 23 lead to parking spaces near the venue.
From Dortmund main station, take the S-Bahn "S1" in the direction of Solingen on track 7 to the stop "Dortmund-Universität" (price level A). The S-Bahn runs every 15 minutes during peak hours on weekdays and takes about 6 minutes. From Düsseldorf, the S-Bahn runs every 30 minutes. Directly at the S-Bahn station you will find the CDI building, which houses the Center for Research on Education and School Development.
One of the university's landmarks is the H-Bahn, which has two terminuses on the North Campus. One is located directly above the S-Bahn station and is easily accessible from it by elevators. The other is located in the center of Campus North at the bridge between the University Library and the Mensa, right next to the Audimax. The H-Bahn runs from here to the South Campus and the Eichlinghofen district.
Dortmund has an airport connected with some destinations in Central Europe. There are regular flights, for example, to Amsterdam, Berlin, Dresden, Katowice, Krakow, Leipzig-Halle, London, Munich, Nuremberg, Paris, Poznan, Stuttgart, Vienna and Zurich. For the approximately 20 kilometers from the Dortmund airport to the campus, you can take the bus to the main train station and from there the S-Bahn. Faster is usually the use of a cab. Far more international flight connections are offered by the Rhine-Ruhr Airport in Düsseldorf, about 60 kilometers away, which can be reached directly by S-Bahn from the university station.