Exploring undergraduate students’ motivation and engagement in China

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Research and Development in Higher Education Vol. 38: Learning for Life and Work in a Complex World

July, 2015, 528 pages
Published by
T. Thomas, E. Levin, P. Dawson, K. Fraser & R. Hadgraft

Viewing student engagement as a multidimensional construct, this study explored the motivation and engagement of undergraduate students in China. A sample of 1,131 students from 10 full-time universities in Beijing participated in a survey. The results showed that the Motivation and Engagement Scale for university/college students is a promising and valid instrument for assessing student engagement in Chinese universities. Chinese undergraduates simultaneously performed well in both adaptive and maladaptive motivation and engagement, indicating some influence from the cultural context of China. Four categories of learners were generated according to their motivation and engagement characteristics. Some consistent patterns of individual differences related to gender, grade, discipline and institution type were revealed. The results have implications for enhancing student engagement.

Keywords: student engagement; motivation and engagement wheel; undergraduate students; China