CEC Theses and Dissertations


The Effect of Alternate Forms of Feedback on Student Achievement and Motivation

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Steven R. Terrell

Committee Member

Laurie Dringus

Committee Member

Paul A Rendulic


This study examined the effect of a computerized Decision Support System (DSS) on sixth grade students' achievement and motivation. The study attempted to increase student motivation and achievement utilizing interactive graphical feedback and textual motivational messages, through the use of a computerized Decision Support System that was designed expressly for the study.

The population for the study was students enrolled in one south Florida school. Comparisons were made between two groups: one textual feedback group and one graphical group. Students entered their test grades into the DSS, which provided them with their grade point averages. The textual feedback group used a simple entry/output form of the DSS and received textual information about their grade point average. The graphical feedback group used the same DSS which also contained additional motivational messages and an interactive graphical representation of their grades, updated with each entry. Both groups had the ability to formulate future possibilities of grades. It was hypothesized that the graphical and motivational feedback would increase the intrinsic motivation of the students, and thereby boost their achievement.

A spelling achievement test was developed from spelling words provided by the teacher partaking in the study. Spelling tests were given to the students at the beginning of the study, and again at the end of the study to allow correlation of the data collected. Students' intrinsic motivation was measured with data obtained through the utilization of a special questionnaire designed for the study, which was given as both a pre-test and a post-test.

This research indicates that a student's intrinsic motivation is positively affected by the receipt of feedback through the utilization of a computer decision support system. By integrating the student into the decision making process, a student will be motivated to achieve, which demonstrates a distinct relationship between intrinsic motivation and spelling achievement.

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