Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Theory, Policy, and Practice

Document Type



Large numbers of students attending community college lack essential college success skills (motivation and study strategies). Many of these students do not complete their degree programs. Identifying learning and teaching methods that promote the development of lifelong learning skills in addition to content acquisition is essential. This quasi-experimental research design study examined the effect of alternative multiple-choice question design on student motivational strategies for learning and retention. Participants were 59 students enrolled in a Microsoft® Office applications course at a public gulf coast community college. The discrete-option multiple-choice (DOMC) test was designed to limit cheating and guessing on tests. The designers of the test suggested that the test format might require students to change how they prepare for exams. Results showed that the test format can change both the motivational beliefs and learning strategies of students. The present study indicates that it is possible, to affect student retention at the course level by changing the test format. Students who have low levels of interest and lower levels of intrinsic goal orientation may be at risk for non-retention. Students taking the alternate form of multiple-choice test versus the traditional format held higher levels of intrinsic value overall. Results indicate that the discrete-option multiple-choice (DOMC) question format promoted student self-efficacy (SE) and intrinsic value (IV) in the treatment group. The significant change in the control group (traditional multiple-choice test format) was the decreased score of intrinsic value from semester start to end. Student grade point average continues to be an indicator of college completion. This research may be of interest to educators and instructional course designers.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Kennedy, Eugene



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Education Commons