Examining Predictors of Student Motivation to Enroll in a Study Abroad Course from a Relative Costs Perspective
Raczkoski, Brandon Marc
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Education abroad is a collection of international learning experiences designed for students to increase their global competence and intercultural communication skills. Short-term study abroad courses, or experiences, are the most popular options for students wishing to gain such. Though empirical evidence supports the benefits of studying abroad, no evidence existed supporting the utility of the EVC model for assessing students' views on the perceived costs of enrollment. This study's purpose was to determine the perceived costs influencing students' motivations for enrollment in a short-term study abroad course or experience. This study examined the effects of gender, previous international experience, and first-generation status on motivation, whether relationships and differences existed between these variables, and perceived costs useful for predicting motivation to enroll. Data were analyzed using exploratory factor analysis, 2 x 2 x 2 factorial designs, Mann-Whitney U tests, and multiple regression analysis. It was concluded that both male and female students were equally motivated to enroll, students with previous international experience were more motivated to enroll than those without such experience, and students were similarly motivated to enroll regardless of college generation status. No statistically significant interaction effect existed between gender, previous international experience, and first-generation status. However, the main effect of previous international experience on motivation was statistically significant. In addition, no statistically significant interaction effect existed between gender, previous international experience, and first-generation status on perceived costs. The main effect of previous international experience on perceived costs, however, was statistically significant. Finally, LOVA cost, previous international experience, task effort cost, and gender predicted motivation to study abroad. It was concluded that the PCoSAI should be used to measure students' perceived costs for enrolling in short-term study abroad courses or experiences. It was recommended that international programs coordinators (1) design targeted educational interventions pertaining to forecasted conceptions of what students view as losing or giving up and the amount of physical or psychological effort they anticipate exerting by enrolling, (2) provide international learning experiences for students before college, and (3) convene panels so students with previous international experience can share such during recruitment events.
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