Situating Students’ Motivation in Cooperative Learning Contexts: Proposing Different Levels of Goal Orientations

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The present studies aimed to reexamine college students’ achievement goal orientations by situating their motivation in a cooperative learning context. The authors proposed and validated a scale of 3 levels of trichotomous achievement goal orientations. In Study 1, confirmatory factor analyses supported that, in laboratory cooperative learning contexts, college students adopt trichotomous achievement goal orientations at each of the following 3 levels: (a) individual, (b) individual-within-a-group, and (c) group. Results also supported students’ abilities to identify those 3 levels within each trichotomous achievement goal orientation. The results of Study 2 supported the scale's structural validity again, and its relations with other related motivational and emotional variables were examined. Results allow for better understanding of students’ motivation situated in cooperative learning contexts.