Goal orientations of general chemistry students via the achievement goal framework
The Achievement Goal Framework describes students’ goal orientations as: task-based, focusing on the successful completion of the task; self-based, evaluating performance relative to one's own past performance; or other-based, evaluating performance relative to the performance of others. Goal orientations have been used to explain student success in a range of educational settings, but have not been used in post-secondary chemistry. This study describes the goal orientations of General Chemistry students and explores the relationship of goal orientations to success in the course. On average, students report higher task and self orientations than other orientation. Task orientation had a positive relationship with exam performance and self orientation had a negative relationship with exam performance. Clustering students showed that for the majority of students task and self orientations moved concurrently and students with low preference across the three orientations also performed lowest on exams. Finally, students in classes using Flipped-Peer Led Team Learning, a pedagogy designed to bring active learning to a large lecture class, showed higher task orientation than those in classes with lecture-based instruction.