You are here:

The effect of intrinsic motivation on student achievement in an economics Web-based treatment module

, Arizona State University, United States

Arizona State University . Awarded


Research has established that intrinsic motivation has a positive effect on academic achievement. This study examined the effects of intrinsic motivation on academic achievement using identical economic content in web-based and paper-based treatment modules. In addition, this study explored the relationship between intrinsic motivation and environmental factors such as age, gender and ethnicity. The study of intrinsic motivation is important to the continued success of our students. Through a greater understanding of intrinsic motivation, along with the use of web-based instruction, educators can implement teaching methods, materials and learning environments that foster and cultivate greater academic achievement.

Sixty-seven seventh and eighth grade students (29 females, 38 males) participated in the study. The students were assigned to treatment groups as intact classes; the eighth graders were assigned to the web-based treatment module, and the seventh graders were assigned to the paper-based treatment module. Students were instructed using a business curriculum that was designed to teach middle school students how to start their own businesses. All of the students participated in classroom lectures, discussions, business simulations and in-class cooperative learning activities. Following this classroom instruction, students in the paper-based module worked in their curriculum workbooks and used paper-based materials. Alternately, the students in the web-based module worked on the web-based curriculum, which included an interactive web-site and web-based materials. The findings in this study suggested that intrinsic motivation can predict academic achievement. Interestingly, intrinsic motivation and academic achievement revealed both a linear and non-linear relationship. The students within the web-based treatment module scored higher on the posttest and received more class points; however, the results were not significant. The non-linear relationship showed that students in the web-based module, with a high score on the motivational analysis, had significantly higher posttest scores than students in the paper-based module. However, treatment alone did not predict academic achievement. But the findings did suggest that students within the web-based treatment were more likely to complete the final class project. Further, the findings also suggested that environmental factors such as age, gender and ethnicity did not have an effect on intrinsic motivation or academic achievement.


White-Taylor, J.D. The effect of intrinsic motivation on student achievement in an economics Web-based treatment module. Ph.D. thesis, Arizona State University. Retrieved August 12, 2020 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.

For copies of dissertations and theses: (800) 521-0600/(734) 761-4700 or