Measures of Student Motivation for STEM Classrooms

Validating a Rapid Measure of Student Motivation: Using the Expectancy-Value Theory of Motivation to Understand Student Achievement and Interest in STEM Classrooms

The goal of this project is to develop and validate a new measure of student motivation that can be used to understand the impact of interventions on student achievement and students’ interest in STEM disciplines. This project will help link teaching practices to increases in student motivation and persistence in STEM fields.

Existing motivation-based evaluation measures have a variety of limitations for routine, widespread use.  In contrast, the measure being developed in this project is designed to be rapid and practical (low response burden), intuitive, grounded in the social-cognitive framework of Expectancy-Value motivation, and not specific to a particular type of educational context or age range.

Project Status: 2012 - 2015

Funding Source: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Principal Investigator: Chris Hulleman

Partners: James Madison University's Motivation Research Institute, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS)


  • Getty, S., Hulleman, C. S., Barron, K. E., Stuhlsatz, A. M. & Marks, J.C. (2013, April). Factors that Affect Learning in High School Science; Measuring Motivation, Achievement, and Interest in Science. Paper to be presented at the annual meeting of National Association for Research in Science Teaching, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • Lazowski, R. A., Pastor, D., Hulleman, C. S., Barron, K. E., & Getty, S. (2012, October). Examining effects of expectancy, value, and cost in an online science curriculum: A Hierarchical approach. Paper presented at the Northeastern Educational Research Association annual conference. Storrs, CT.
  • Getty, S., Stuhlsatz, M., Beardsley, P., Stennett, B., Hulleman, C. S., & Barron, K. E. (2012, April). Carbon connections: The Carbon cycle and the science of climate. Poster presented at the 2012 Tri-Agency (NASA/NSF/NOAA) Climate Change Education PI Meeting, Arlington, Virginia.
  • Flake, J. K., Barron, K. E., Hulleman, C. S., Lazowski, R. A., Grays, M. P., & Fessler, D. (2011, May). Evaluating cost: The forgotten component of expectancy-value theory. Poster presented at the 23rd Annual Convention for the Association for Psychological Sciences, Washington, DC, May 26-29.