The pilot study was administered to 10 undergraduate students for testing (see appendix 1).
The main questionnaire (see appendix 2) was administered to 89 undergraduate students studying a range of courses, 35 men and 54 women. The ages ranged from 18-46+ and the mean age was between 18-25. The participants were approached in the university, either in a cafeteria or a main entrance, and briefed on the study. If they agreed to take part they were then given the questionnaire to fill out whilst the researcher was present. A group brainstorming session initially took place to identify the main focus of the study.It was determined that the main areas to be investigated would be level of engagement in studies, level of enjoyment of course, level of interest in course, future goals, social factors, life pressures and resources available. The pilot questionnaire was then devised (appendix 1) using questions related to these areas. The general ‘rules’ for questionnaire design discussed in the introduction were followed to reach a short, meaningful questionnaire.
After the pilot study had been completed, the results were inputted in to a statisticaldatabase and tested for internal reliability with a Cronbach alpha coefficient test. This was needed to identify and eliminate questions that reduced the internal consistency of the data. Any queries and comments raised in the pilot study were discussed and taken into consideration whilst making appropriate changes to standardize the questionnaire. The questionnaire was designed to measure factors involved in the motivation of students.
The main variable to which correlations would be examined against was the level of engagement in studies, as this is thought to be the main detector of motivation.This was compared to other variables such as enjoyment of course, knowledge of future goals, life pressures such as part time work etc to test the hypotheses stated. The structure of the questionnaire consisted of yes/no questions (to obtain background information on the student) and attitude scale questions (Q. 6, 20-25 refer to appendix 2).
The Likert scale (1932) was used in questions 20-25 to attain the subject’s views on various subjects whereby a statement was made, and subjects had to circle the option closest to their opinion (strongly agree, agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree and strongly disagree).Levels of engagement were measured in question 12 and 13 and enjoyment was measured in 20,21 and 25 in order to establish if the subject found the course interesting- 25a, 6c, and 6e. Questions 1,3,5 and 6b assessed whether the subject had future goals, possible effects of social factors were measured in 6a, 6d, 25b, 25c, 26 c d and e, and the availability of resources were addressed questions 16-19,24b c d and f (see appendix 2).