Multiple-goal learners and their differential patterns of learning

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Educational Psychology, Page: 439-456

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Ng, Chi-hung (Clarence)
motivation; achievement goals; learning; multiple goals; distance learners; Education
article description
The hypothesis in this study was that different types of multiple‐goal learners would have different patterns of learning. A sample of 797 adult distance learners enrolled in different programs offered by a distance learning university in Hong Kong completed a questionnaire assessing their goals, use of strategies, motivational beliefs, and attitudes towards the course they were doing. Two‐stage cluster analyses found a group of single‐goal learners (mastery focused) and three groups of multiple‐goal learners with different focuses in their goal profiles: performance focus, work focus, and multiple focuses. These four clusters of learners differed in terms of use of learning strategies, regulatory strategies, motivational beliefs, and attitudes towards the course. Learners focusing on work‐related goals or performance goals achieved better examination results than did those focusing on multiple goals or solely on mastery goals.