• Dennis Walther Nielsen
  • Patrick Brøndum Jensen
4. semester, Sports Science, Master (Master Programme)
Introduction: According to literature, the evaluation form in physical education in the Danish high schools is recognized as being informal and characterized by a lack of standards. Because of this, the students have a tendency to feel a lack of clarification about the curriculum objectives. A possible result of this is that some students get frustrated when they are giving their grades in physical education. To accommodate this issue, some high schools implement final course tests, in the hope that this will clarify the objectives in the physical education lessons and provide teachers with grading evidence. In this matter, literature indicates that student’s motivation for physical education is affected by different factors, such as tests. Objective: The objective of this study was to examine in which way high school students are motivated in physical education, when a final course test is implemented. Methods: The present study was performed as a qualitative case study. The case consisted of a 1.g class from a Danish high school and 17 students (6 boys & 11 girls) participated in this study. The empirical findings were gathered over a course of four lessons (time: 4 weeks – one lesson each week). The course was initiated with the teacher giving the students information about the final course test, and that the test would be included in the grading. The data for this present study was collected from video observations from each lesson, an individual student-logbook from each lesson, and interviews. After the course an interview was held with the teacher, and two group interviews were held with the students. In the group interviews there were 15 out of the 17 students present. In the group interviews the Stimulated Recall Method (STR) (Patrikainen, Toom, & Vesterinen, 2010) was used, were each student was presented with a video clip of him or her from one of the video observations. In the analysis of the data, themes and categories were made, from the individual studentlog books and the group interviews. Results: The analysis indicated that the implementation of the final course test effected the student’s motivation. The data indicated that the student’s motivation could be divided in five categories: 1. The students had a need for feedback. 2. The students had a need for competence, relatedness, and flow. 3. The student’s goals were task6 and performance oriented. 4. The final course test promoted nervousness and performance anxiety. 5. The final course test increased the student’s focus on grades. The results indicated that the final course test supported more clarification about the objectives of the course. The results indicated that the students primarily were extern motivated in the course, and that students goals primarily were task oriented in the first three lessons and performance oriented in the last lesson with the final course test. Conclusion: The study concludes that when implementing a final course test, the students are externally motivated by the anticipation of rewards, such as grades. The study also concludes that the final course test encouraged the students to adopt a performance goal perspective. The study also concludes that the final course test is likely to clarify the teacher’s curriculum objectives in the course. The study also concludes that the students are motivated by their perception of their ability to accomplish in the task they are given. In this matter, the findings suggest that the final course test promotes nervousness and performance anxiety among the students. As a result of this the student’s perception of ability is negatively affected and this indicates to have a negatively affect on the student’s motivation. Keywords: Motivation, Physical Education, Final course test, Students, Self- Determination Theory, Achievement Goal Theory, Self-efficacy, Flow Theory.
Publication date5 Jan 2016
ID: 225087674