Using scaffolded IBL to foster autonomous motivation of high school students within a physics practical
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The motivation of high school students towards science has been declining significantly over the past decade. This study investigates quantitatively what the effects of guided are IBL on the motivation profile of high school students, when compared to a DI variant of the same physics practicals around ionizing radiation. Previous research on the same practical demonstrated the importance of scaffolding in the IBL context for supporting the perceived competence of the students while retaining their sense of autonomy. Using convenience sampling, four different types of motivation (extrinsic, introjected, identified and intrinsic) were measured on DI (N=173) and IBL (N=176) variants of the practicals, with a pretest and posttest based on the SRQ-A questionnaire. On the basis of the different types of motivation, the Relative Autonomy Indexes were calculated. The gain in autonomous motivation is described as the difference in the RAI from pretest to posttest. Results proved that the motivation profile of students who performed an IBL practical do not change significantly (p = .159) in comparison to DI when the whole data sample is analysed together. However, when taking into account the different approaches for the ISP, a significant difference in the gain of autonomous motivation in favour of IBL is found. Students with both no prior preparation for the practical and no assessment for their work, show a significant preference for IBL (p = .009). Additionally, students with enough time to perform their practical are more autonomously motivated for IBL (p = .036). The results show that the approach in terms of preparation, time constraints and assessment of the practical is decisive for a significant change in the motivation profile to become evident. This significant preference for IBL is predominantly caused by a significant decrease in the external regulation in case of no preparation and no assessment (p =. 004). Students who have no time constrains are also significantly less externally regulated (p = .043).