Motivation Scale Background and Scoring Guide Donna L. Sundre (2000) Center for Assessment and Research Studies James Madison University Standardized tests play an important role in providing interested parties with information concerning student achievement and growth. When test results are analyzed, score interpretations are often questioned on several fronts: it is possible that a lack of motivation to perform well on these tests may produce scores that are spuriously low. When performances are lower than expected, many stakeholders, generally relying on anecdotal evidence, insist that these low results are due to lack of motivation. The true meaning of test scores remains in question. Are the scores lower than the students’ true achievement level, or is the observed performance an accurate indication of achievement? In either case, the lack of validity information quiets the conversation and perhaps stifles needed reform. Rarely is a measure of motivation available to help inform interpretations. Lack of motivation may present a potential threat to appropriate interpretation of score meaning. Knowing how large a threat it represents would be very useful. Researchers have been interested in trying to gauge examinee motivation in a variety of testing conditions to explore the presence and magnitude of this potential source of score bias. Wolf and Smith (1995) published the first version of the motivation scale. This scale consisted of eight items and was considered unidimensional. Other researchers using the scale often found two orthogonal factors that seemed to measure Importance (five items) and Effort (three items). Sundre (1999) revised the original scale by adding two items and modifying the wording of others in an effort to further delineate and
strengthen the two factors. The revised Motivation Scale, the Student Opinion Scale (SOS) is comprised of 10 items using a five-point likert scale ranging from 1 “Strongly Disagree” to 5 “Strongly... [continues]
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