Fostering Students’ Autonomous Motivation using Eduscrum
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Motivation is crucial for education, as it can be considered the driving force behind persistence, retention, achievement and course satisfaction. However, secondary school students have been demonstrating a lack of motivation and engagement, especially for STEM subjects. This situation can be aggravated by the fact, that distance-learning caused by the COVID-19 crisis thwarts one of the main basic psychological needs; the sense of relatedness. In order to attempt to remedy these issues, basic elements of an agile learning technique called Eduscrum are investigated in 9th grade (Havo/VWO 3) secondary chemistry education classes (n=202), the hypothesis being that in accordance with the Self-Determination Theory, Eduscrum fosters the autonomous motivation. The study aims to unveil which mechanisms occur during the process and what parts of the Eduscrum design are most effective. Results were gathered by means of semi-structured focus group interviews and questionnaires. To analyse the data, a mixed methods cross-sectional conjecture mapping approach is used. A paired samples t-test showed that there was a significant gain in the Relative Autonomy Index for the first iteration, indicating a gain in the students’ autonomous motivation. The support of the basic psychological needs was reported by the students during focus group interviews. The teamwork, the freedom to schedule tasks and a simple and clear scrum board were reported to be mainly responsible for the increase in the students’ autonomous motivation for chemistry.