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  • Vol. 9, No. 1. ISSN: 1473-8376 www.heacademy.ac.uk/johlste PRACTICE PAPER Promoting a mastery motivational climate in a higher education sports class Kevin Morgan (kmorgan@uwic.ac.uk) and Kieran Kingston (kkingston@uwic.ac.uk) School of Sport, University of Wales Institute Cardiff, Cyncoed Road, Cardiff, CF23 6XD, UK DOI:10.3794/johlste.91.236 ©Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism EducationAbstractThe lecturer can aim to develop a motivational climate that could strongly influence thedegree to which students perceive mastery of the tasks or outperforming others as important.This study aimed to evaluate the effects of an intervention programme to promote a masterymotivational climate on lecturing behaviours and student learning experiences in anundergraduate practical soccer module. As a consequence of the intervention, observationalanalysis of lecturer behaviours showed increases in student-set mastery goals, greaterdifferentiation of tasks, increased lecturer feedback on effort and progress to individualstudents, and more flexible time to learn. Group interviews with students revealed that themastery programme had a positive impact on their motivation and learning experiences.Keywords: task; authority; recognition; grouping; evaluation; target; TARGETIntroductionAccording to achievement goal theory (AGT) (Nicholls, 1984, 1989), in achievementsituations the goal of participants is to demonstrate competence or avoid demonstratingincompetence. Competence, however, can be construed in a number of ways, for example,outperforming others (ego-involved goal), or improving ones own learning and mastering thedemands of the task (mastery-involved goal) (Ames, 1992a). According to Roberts (2001)these conceptions of competence are determined by both dispositional and situationalfactors.While much of the research into AGT has focused on individual differences in dispositionalgoal orientations (tendencies to be task or ego involved in achievement settings) andassociated patterns of cognition and affect (Dweck, 1986; Dweck & Leggett, 1988; Nicholls,1984, 1989), some has considered how the structure and demands of the learningenvironment (referred to as the motivational climate) can evoke different achievement goalsand motivational patterns (Ames, 1984, 1992a, 1992b; Ames & Archer, 1988). The premiseof this research adopting a situational perspective is that individuals’ perceptions of themotivational climate determine their goals and subsequent motivational responses (Treasure,2001). Motivational climate is, therefore, defined as a situationally induced psychologicalenvironment directing goals of action (Ames, 1992a).Dr Kevin Morgan (Lead Author) is a Senior Lecturer in the UWIC School of Sport and specialises inthe area of Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy.Dr Kieran Kingston is a Senior Lecturer in the UWIC School of Sport and specialises in the area ofSport Psychology.
  • Morgan and Kingston (2010) Promoting a mastery motivational climate in a higher education sportsclassIn school physical education (PE) and youth sport settings, adaptive learning andmotivational patterns; for example, a positive attitude towards the activity, feelings ofsatisfaction, high perceptions of ability, the choice of challenging tasks, high intrinsicmotivation, and placing a high value on effort and the process of learning; have beenconsistently associated with perceptions of a mastery climate (e.g., Carpenter & Morgan,1999; Goudas & Biddle, 1994; Treasure, 1997). In contrast, a perceived ego climate hasbeen linked to less adaptive cognitive and affective responses, such as boredom, beliefs thatability rather than effort leads to success, a lack of enjoyment, and a negative attitude towardthe subject matter (e.g., Carpenter & Morgan, 1999; Ommundsen & Roberts, 1999;Treasure, 1997).Epstein (1989) identified the task, authority, recognition, grouping, evaluation, and timestructures (TARGET) as influential in determining motivation in school and homeenvironments. Later, Ames (1992a) adopted the TARGET acronym to encapsulate thestructures that foster a mastery motivational climate in achievement situations.According to Ames, to foster a mastery teaching environment the task structure shouldinvolve: (a) students in setting their own personal goals focused on self-referencedimprovement, (b) multiple activities in order to reduce the opportunity for normativecomparisons of ability, and (c) tasks which are differentiated to optimally challenge allstudents. The authority structure should encourage students to be involved in decisionmaking and leadership roles. Recognition and evaluation from the teacher should be givenprivately and be individually based on effort and progress; further students should beinvolved in self-evaluation against personal goals. Students should be grouped into smallmixed ability and co-operative groups and be given the opportunity to change groups bothwithin and between sessions. Finally, the time structure should allow flexible time forimprovement and maximise time to practice and learn.In contrast, an ego climate would emphasise uni-dimensional competitive tasks, teacherauthority, normatively based public recognition and evaluation, homogenous ability groups,and time to practice would be inflexible (see Table 1). The TARGET guidelines were writtenfor school classroom lessons and have been applied to the youth sport and PE settings(Ames, 1992c). Some of these structures may not always be applicable to settings beyondthese settings (e.g., Higher Education) because, for example, of the constraints of thelearning environment with regards to the grouping and learning outcomes. TARGET behaviour Mastery climate Ego climate Task Self-referenced goals, Comparative goals, multi-dimensional, varied & uni-dimensional & differentiated undifferentiated Authority Participants given leadership roles Teacher makes all the & involved in decision making decisions Recognition Private recognition of improvement, Public recognition of effort and accomplishments normative ability and comparative performances Grouping Small mixed ability & co-operative Ability groups groups Whole class activities Evaluation Self-referenced. Private Normative & public consultations with teacher based on improvement & effort Time Flexible time for task completion Inflexible time for task and maximum time to learn completion Table 1: TARGET behaviours that influence motivational climate (Epstein, 1989; Ames, 1992b)Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 9(1), 73 – 84 74
  • Morgan and Kingston (2010) Promoting a mastery motivational climate in a higher education sportsclassIntervention studies manipulating the TARGET structures to create a mastery focusedteaching environment (Digelidis, Papaioannou, Laparidis, & Christodoulidis., 2004; Morgan &Carpenter, 2002; Solmon, 1996; Treasure, 1993) have described the enhancement ofstudents’ motivation and learning in PE settings. Specifically, students’ tended to be moretask oriented and less ego oriented; had higher levels of perceived competence, satisfactionand enjoyment; were less bored; preferred to engage in more challenging tasks; andbelieved success was the result of effort. In contrast, when the TARGET structures weremore ego-involving, students’ tended to be more ego oriented; had lower levels of perceivedability, satisfaction and enjoyment; were less interested in achievement tasks; and believedsuccess was the result of ability and deception.Taking this research further, Morgan, Sproule, Weigand and Carpenter (2005) used theBehavioural Evaluation Strategies and Taxonomies (BEST) software (Sharpe & Koperwas,1999) to create a computer-based observational measure of the TARGET structures in PEfor students aged 11-14. This measure allows researchers to film practical sessions andcode the teacher’s behaviours as mastery, ego or neutral, based on the TARGET concept.Furthermore, the computer software allows practitioners to self-evaluate teaching behavioursagainst Ames’ (1992a) guidelines for fostering a mastery climate.Based on self-observation and analysis of filmed lessons, using the behavioural TARGETmeasure (Morgan et al., 2005), Morgan and Kingston (2008) developed a masteryintervention programme for PE teachers of 13-14 year old students. There were five stagesto the intervention programme with each of the PE teachers. In Stage 1 the teachers werefilmed adopting their typical teaching behaviours and surveys were administered to measurestudents’ perceptions of the motivational climate and their cognitive and affective responses.Stage 2 involved an individual introduction to the TARGET behaviours (Ames, 1992a), whichincluded an explanation of the different TARGET structures followed by practical examplesfrom PE lessons and practice at coding the behaviours as mastery, performance or neither.In Stage 3 the teachers coded their own filmed lessons and the lead researcher conducted aseparate analysis using Morgan et al.’s (2005) measure. In Stage 4 the lead researcherdiscussed the teaching behaviours displayed in the filmed lessons with each individualteacher and the teachers then re-planned their original filmed lesson to be more mastery-involving. Finally, in Stage 5, they were re-filmed whilst following their new mastery focusedlesson plan and pupils completed a post-intervention survey.Results revealed that the mastery intervention programme was successful in fostering moremastery involving teaching behaviours and higher perceptions of mastery involving TARGETbehaviours. Statistical analysis revealed that the more disaffected pupils significantlyimproved their motivational responses whereas the more highly motivated pupils did not.However, a limitation was that qualitative methods were not used in order to explore thestudents learning experiences in more depth.The purpose of the present study was to further extend this line of research into highereducation (HE) and to evaluate the effects of a mastery intervention programme on thelecturing behaviours that influence the motivational climate in a practical sports class.Additionally, qualitative analysis was used to gain a greater depth of understanding about thestudents’ learning experiences in a mastery condition than previous research of this nature.MethodParticipantsTwo HE lecturers were randomly assigned to an intervention group (1 male, aged 35; groupn = 16: 15 male, 1 female) and a control group (1 female, aged 25: group n = 18: 12 male, 6female). Participants provided voluntary informed consent to take part in the study and wereparticipating in a 12 week, Level 2 undergraduate practical soccer module. Ethical approvalfor all procedures was gained from the researchers’ university ethics committee.Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 9(1), 73 – 84 75 View slide
  • Morgan and Kingston (2010) Promoting a mastery motivational climate in a higher education sportsclassObservational measureAnalysis of the filmed sessions was conducted using Morgan et al.’s (2005) observationalmeasure of TARGET (see Table 2). The measure permits immediate analysis of datagathered through observations of teaching from video and audio recording of lessons.Validity was established by four researchers, experienced in teacher education andmotivational climate research, who met and agreed upon the teaching behaviours thatmatched with the different TARGET structures. Acceptable intra- and inter-reliability to ≥ 0.80(Bakeman & Gottman, 1986) was established during the development of the measure(Morgan et al., 2005). Mastery Neutral Ego Task 0 = Teacher set self- 3 = No clear goals 2 = Competitive goal referenced goal or cooperative group- 4 = Warm up/cool down referenced goal 1 = Students set own self- referenced goal or cooperative group- referenced goal 5 = Multi-dimensional/ 6 = Uni-dimensional/ different tasks same task 7 = Differentiated/suitably 8 = Undifferentiated/ challenging for all not suitably challenging for all Authority 9 = Pupils involved in 10 = Teacher makes all (Duration- leadership roles and / or the decisions toggle) decision making Recognition P = Recognition/evaluation E = General W = Recognition/ & Evaluation focused on individual effort, assessment/feedback evaluation focused on improvement/progress and (to no one in particular) individual effort, accomplishment in private improvement/progress R = Focus on luck and accomplishment in Q = Evaluation that allows Public equal opportunity for recognition and rewards T = Recognition/ evaluation focused on Y = Self- Evaluate against normative comparisons a set goal Grouping S= Small heterogeneous/ A = Homogeneous/ (Duration- mixed ability groups ability groups toggle) G = Change of groups D = Large group/whole class Timing Z = Flexible time to C = Inactive time X = Inflexible time to (Duration- practice, plan or evaluate practice, plan or toggle) evaluate Table 2: TARGET coding for the analysis of teaching behaviours that influence motivational climate (Morgan et al., 2005)ProceduresThere were five stages to the intervention programme, as identified in Figure 1. In Stage 1both HE lecturers were filmed teaching in their typical way. Both lecturers were familiar withbeing filmed during practical sessions and were therefore not distracted by the camera.Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 9(1), 73 – 84 76 View slide
  • Morgan and Kingston (2010) Promoting a mastery motivational climate in a higher education sportsclassStage 2 of the intervention involved the lead researcher educating the intervention grouplecturer with regards to the TARGET teaching behaviours (Ames, 1992a) associated withmastery and ego motivational climates (Table 1). This involved a verbal explanation of thedifferent TARGET structures and practical examples of the TARGET behaviours from videofootage of previously filmed sports teaching sessions. Further 10 minute video clips ofdifferent practical sports teaching episodes were then viewed and the intervention grouplecturer was trained to recognise and code the teaching structures as mastery, performanceor neutral, using the computer based behavioural measure of TARGET (Morgan et al., 2005)(see Table 2 for the coding categories). • voluntary informed consent Stage 1 • teachers filmed while adopting usual teaching style • education of intervention group teacher with Stage 2 regards to recognition and coding of TARGET behaviours • lead researcher and intervention group teacher jointly coding session from Stage 1 Stage 3 to assess TARGET behaviours • education of intervention group teacher on modifying teaching behaviours to support a mastery climate • both intervention and control teachers (and groups) filmed Stage 4 • lead researcher and intervention group teacher analysed lessons with respect to TARGET structures • further education on modifying teaching behaviours to intervention group teacher • teachers filmed while adopting usual teaching style Stage 5 • lead researcher and intervention group teacher analysed lessons with respect to TARGET structures Figure 1: Diagrammatical representation of the interventionStage 3 involved the lead researcher and the intervention group lecturer jointly coding theteaching session described in Stage 1. Based on this analysis certain teaching behaviourswere identified to enhance the mastery focus of the soccer sessions and suggestions weremade by the lecturer for modifying the teaching behaviours during the next filmed session.The implementation of Stages 1 to 3 of the intervention with the control group lecturer tookplace “weeks after the completion of the module, consistent with the university’s ethicalprocedures, and the control group students benefited accordingly in their soccer lectures inthe following academic year.In Stage 4 both lecturers were filmed for the second time. Following this, the interventiongroup lecturer and the lead researcher jointly analysed the TARGET behaviours to identifyany changes in the mastery involving focus of the session, and to set further masteryJournal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 9(1), 73 – 84 77
  • Morgan and Kingston (2010) Promoting a mastery motivational climate in a higher education sportsclassbehavioural objectives for the final filmed session. During this second video analysis phasethe intervention group lecturer took the lead in coding the behaviours and the leadresearcher assisted. The purpose of this was to develop the HE lecturer’s ability to codeindependently in the next stage in order to use the software as a means of reflection onpractice.Stage 5 involved both lecturers being filmed for the third and final time. The interventiongroup lecturer and the lead researcher then analysed the teaching behaviours individually toidentify any changes in the mastery involving focus of the third filmed session and met todiscuss their findings.Group interviewsOne week after the completion of the 12 week teaching programme, the lead researcherconducted four group interviews (two with the intervention group students and two with thecontrol group students), with four students in each group. In this study, the researcher wasnot the lecturer and students were made aware that their responses were totally confidentialand that the lecturer would not get to hear them. The researcher facilitated the discussionand ensured equal input amongst participants. The interviews were recorded on a digitalvoice recorder.Following an introduction to the purpose of the interview, the participants were asked if theyhad noticed any significant changes in the teaching behaviours since the first filmed session.The researcher then questioned the participants about each of the TARGET structures andasked them to share their thoughts and feelings about any changes they had perceived inthe lecturers’ behaviours and what impact this had on their learning experience.ResultsObservational and group interview dataThis section reports the observational findings combined with the group interview responsesin relation to each of the TARGET structures. Using Morgan et al.’s (2005) TARGETmeasure, two researchers simultaneously undertook video analysis of the TARGET (Ames,1992a) behaviours of both lecturers in their three filmed sessions. One hundred percentagreement was achieved in assessing the behaviours. This was possible because of theflexibility of the BEST software (Sharpe & Koperwas, 1999), which permitted the tworesearchers to pause the system for discussion until complete and unambiguous agreementwas reached. Discussions were short and decisions were reached quickly and easily due tothe fact that the researchers were experienced at this type of analysis.For each of the three filmed sessions in both groups, the mean percentage frequency ofmastery, ego and neutral behaviours (as a proportion of all coded behaviours in thatparticular TARGET structure) was calculated for the task, recognition and evaluation. Themean percentage duration of mastery, ego and neutral behaviours (as a proportion of thetotal session time) was calculated for authority, grouping and time. Group interviews weredeductively analysed based on Ames’s (1992a) description of the TARGET structures.The interview responses clearly indicated that there were perceived changes in TARGETrelated teacher behaviours by participants in the intervention group, whereas the TARGETbehaviours of the control group lecturer were perceived to be consistent throughout. Therewere a number of mastery structures observed and reported by the students in the controlgroup including the setting of clear learning aims, the questioning and giving of authority tostudents, positive and corrective feedback on effort and improvement, and mixed abilitycooperative groups. However, both the behavioural analysis of the TARGET structures (seeTables 3a, 3b and 3c) and the student interview responses illustrated a higher level ofchange in the intervention group lecturer’s behaviours compared to the control group. Thesechanges in observed behaviours, supported by specific detail from the group interview data,are reported under the TARGET headings in the following sections.Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 9(1), 73 – 84 78
  • Morgan and Kingston (2010) Promoting a mastery motivational climate in a higher education sportsclass Task goals (M% frequency) Task design Task (M% frequency) differentiation (M% frequency) Group Session St Lec Ego No Warm Multi- Uni- Diff Undiff Mas Mas set up dim dim I 1 0 89 11 0 0 0 100 0 100 2 20 80 0 0 0 10 90 60 40 3 0 86 0 14 0 33 67 33 67 C 1 0 100 0 0 0 0 100 31 69 2 0 86 0 0 14 0 100 0 100 3 0 100 0 0 0 0 100 0 100 Table 3a: Observed TARGET Behaviours Authority Recognition & Evaluation (M% duration) (M% frequency) Group Session Mast Ego Private: Public: Self- Ego General Luck Effort & Effort & eval Imp Imp I 1 30 70 2 46 0 8 43 1 2 62 38 8 58 2 0 26 6 3 82 18 2 60 3 0 32 3 C 1 25 75 4 58 0 0 38 0 2 52 48 2 60 0 0 38 0 3 62 38 4 53 0 0 43 0 Table 3b: Observed TARGET Behaviours Grouping (M% duration) Time (M% duration) Group Session Mix ability Ability Whole Flexible Inflexible Inactive groups groups class I 1 31 0 69 0 40 60 2 37 0 63 0 64 36 3 63 0 37 58 29 13 C 1 35 0 65 0 44 56 2 26 0 74 0 57 43 3 24 0 76 0 70 30 Table 3c: Observed TARGET Behaviours Group I = intervention, C = controlTaskThere was a 0-20% increase in observed student set mastery goals from filmed session oneto two in the intervention group, but no evidence of students setting their own goals in thecontrol group. Focus group data supported this finding and highlighted the positive impact ofindividual goal setting on student motivation. For example: He developed goal setting a few weeks into the sessions and then you were continually reminded throughout the sessions to check your goals. You were constantly thinking have you achieved your goals and evaluating yourself.Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 9(1), 73 – 84 79
  • Morgan and Kingston (2010) Promoting a mastery motivational climate in a higher education sportsclassThere was a strong feeling amongst the groups that this improved intrinsic motivationbecause: It helps you get something out of the session that you want to achieve instead of it being something that the lecturer wants you to have. If you can relate it to yourself it keeps you interested.There was some caution expressed by students regarding requests to set their own goals.They felt that its value depended on the experience of the participants, as suggested by onestudent: If you’ve been playing for a while you know the sort of goals to set, but if you are a beginner you need to be told that these are the things you need to know for a particular skill. You have to be realistic as well, as otherwise your motivation will decrease if you haven’t achieved them.Lecturer-set mastery goals, as opposed to competitive goals, were clearly evident in bothgroups from the first observed session and this did not change as a result of the intervention.However, there was also a feeling amongst some group members that competitive goalswere included and an important aspect within sport, especially in team games as articulatedby the following: He does bring some competition into it because it’s a competitive sport isn’t it. If you are defending against two attackers then you have to be competitive to try and stop them getting to the goal. He does include competitive goals but not too much that it doesn’t fit with the overall goals. I think because we are sports students that competitiveness is innate.The setting of multi-dimensional tasks by the lecturer of the intervention group increasedfrom 0 to 33% of all tasks, from filmed session one to three; these changes were notobserved for the control group. Furthermore, the frequency of task differentiation was moreevident in sessions two and three compared to session one in the intervention group,whereas in the control group no such changes were evident. Consistent with theobservational findings, interview data revealed perceptions of greater differentiation withinthe intervention group sessions as the weeks progressed: Last week he came around and told us to do something more difficult because we had the technical ability, while others continued doing something else. So we went straight into something at say the third level of difficulty, whereas others were still on the first level.This increased differentiation combined with personal goal setting of the intervention groupappears to have had a positive effect on engagement and confidence, as evidenced by thefollowing: Whereas in the beginning possibly it was only the better players who were having more of an influence on the game, today a lot more people were getting involved and were a lot more confident with the ball, which I think comes from focusing on developing your own skills during the sessions.AuthorityThe decision making opportunities and leadership roles increased in both groups as themodule progressed, though the change was more marked in the intervention group. This wasprimarily due to the learning outcomes and session content which was planned for the latterpart of the module involving the students in coaching tasks. For the intervention group, thischange in the authority structure was also reflected in the group interviews:Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 9(1), 73 – 84 80
  • Morgan and Kingston (2010) Promoting a mastery motivational climate in a higher education sportsclass He asked us how we would progress a basic four on two onto another level to challenge the defenders. So we had to think as a group how we could make this benefit the defenders. In the past weeks he has done that himself but today he asked us to do it.The positive effects of student authority was acknowledged and valued in the interventiongroup interviews: There was no power divide the power was amongst the group if you like. He gave a lot of autonomy to the group and that’s important to enhance your motivation, and you don’t realise it until you reflect on it.However, although students generally reflected in a positive manner to being given authoritywithin sessions, a minority would have preferred it if the lecturer had adopted a moreautocratic approach: “I’d personally rather it if he just did it himself…I think it’s just time”.Recognition and evaluationIncidences of private individual feedback were found to increase four-fold from observedsession one to two in the intervention group, but this reverted to baseline levels at sessionthree. This may be explained by the added focus on this aspect by the researcher duringStage 3 of the intervention, but less of a focus in Stage 4, resulting in a return to more typicalteaching behaviours in filmed session three. This may be a limitation of the intervention thatneeds to be considered in future research of this nature.Interview data supported the change to more private individual feedback by the interventiongroup lecturer in session two. For example, one student commented that: He comes around well and talks to you individually. He doesn’t stop it and say now we’ll do this, he just has a quiet word while other groups are still working, which I think is good.The wider benefits of such private individual feedback were evident from quotes such as: I think it’s a bit more personal if he comes up to you privately. He can say well done in front of everyone without really thinking but if he’s actually come on to you to say it privately, perhaps it’s a bit more important.However, the logistical difficulties of providing private individual feedback to a large groupwith only one member of staff were also acknowledged: “I get personal individual feedbacksometimes but to give individual feedback to everyone in the group is not practical in thissituation”.There was a small increase in the frequency of mastery feedback given publicly to individuals(in situations where others could hear) in the intervention group. Although public feedback isconsidered to be more ego-involving (Ames, 1992a), some students felt that “it gives youconfidence if you get a well done in front of other people” and that “it’s more important howhe criticises you, publicly or privately….if I get criticised publicly it can give me a kick up theass like, but other people may take it to heart”. Furthermore it was perceived by some thatpublic feedback is important for the learning of the whole group: “if he does give individualfeedback he makes sure others are around so that they can benefit from the feedback aswell”.Although there were few instances, self-evaluation increased in the intervention group butwas not evident in the control group. Normatively, comparative feedback was observed insession one for the intervention group but was eliminated in sessions two and three. It wasnot observed in any of the three sessions for the control group. General feedback to thewhole group (neutral) decreased from session one in the intervention group, yet increasedalbeit marginally in the control group.Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 9(1), 73 – 84 81
  • Morgan and Kingston (2010) Promoting a mastery motivational climate in a higher education sportsclassGroupingThe duration of the session spent in mixed ability cooperative groups, as opposed to wholeclass, increased markedly from session one to three (31% to 69% of the whole time in mixedability groups) for the intervention group, whereas in the control group it decreased to a smalldegree (35% to 24%). The positive impact of heterogeneous grouping on the lower abilitystudents’ learning was acknowledged in the interviews: “last week we were all in mixed abilitygroups, so people of a lower ability were working with people of a higher level and they seemto be getting better as a result”. However, there was a feeling from some students that if theywere “put into ability groups then the standard would go up, because there is no doubt that inmixed ability groups some people do bring the standard down”. Consistent with Ames’(1992a) recommendations for a mastery climate, there was also variety of groupings withinsessions, illustrated by the following quote: “you tend to change groups throughout thesession so you end up in a different group to the one you started in”.There was an interesting conflict identified between task differentiation, which is a masterystructure (Ames, 1992a), and mixed ability grouping which, according to some students,made it more difficult to differentiate tasks between groups because not all students were ofthe same ability level. Therefore, the mixed ability groups tended to work at similar levels,whereas some students felt that if the groups had been based on ability it would have beeneasier for the lecturer to add further challenges to some groups to develop them at their ownlevel of ability. This was illustrated by one student who felt that mixed ability groups “canbring the better players down and put added pressure on the weaker players, which they cantake as a challenge or adopt an attitude that they don’t want to play”. This student went on tosuggest that groups of the students’ own choice were the most effective.TimeFlexible time increased from 0% to 58% of the whole session in the intervention group fromobserved session one to three, whereas there was no flexible time evident in the controlgroup sessions. There was a large decrease in inactive time (when students were notactively engaged in a learning task but were listening to the teacher) from 60% to 13% of thetotal class time in the intervention group over the three observed sessions. The inactive timealso decreased from 56% to 30% in the control group. The increase in intensity of thesessions and activity time was evident in the intervention group interviews: I think we have started to work a lot harder over the last few weeks. I remember one of the first sessions we had we were in four grids and it was really static. It was a cold morning and everyone was just standing around and didn’t look interested. I think we’ve learned and these last few weeks everyone has started pretty sharp. They move now and they want to get involved.The mastery climate fostered by the intervention group lecturer was encapsulated by onestudent in the group interviews when he said, “when I started enjoying the sessions I begansetting my own motivational goals and became more determined at improving”. A furtherresponse clearly identified the increasing levels of intrinsic motivation of the students as aresult of the intervention programme: I was in the car on the way up and …….. and me were talking about it. Its 9am on a Friday morning and its tipping down with rain and we thought to ourselves, why are we doing this? …..and then we said it’s because we actually enjoy it”.ConclusionThe behavioural analysis of the TARGET structures, supported by the group interviews,identified a number of positive effects associated with the mastery intervention programme.Specifically, findings revealed increases in student set mastery goals, greater differentiationof tasks, more individual feedback on effort and progress, increased mixed ability groupings,and flexible and active time in sessions. There were also a number of issues identified inrelation to the implementation of Ames (1992a) TARGET structures in a HE environment.Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 9(1), 73 – 84 82
  • Morgan and Kingston (2010) Promoting a mastery motivational climate in a higher education sportsclassSome of these issues included the level of students’ experience required to set effectivelearning goals, the need and desire for competitive goals, the level of authority to givestudents within sessions, the administering of public versus private feedback, and the conflictbetween mixed ability groups and differentiation of tasks for optimal challenge. Futureresearch will need to consider these structures in more detail in order to identify a model ofbest practice in HE. The broader implications of this study could also be evaluated byfocusing on other subject areas and the interrelationship of the TARGET structures. Suchpedagogical research could potentially shape future teaching and learning strategies, andassist HE lecturers in creating more effective learning environments.ReferencesAmes, C. (1984). Competitive, cooperative, and individualistic goal structures: A motivational analysis. In R. E. Ames & C. Ames (Eds.), Research on motivation in education: Student motivation (pp.177- 199). New York: Academic Press.Ames, C. (1992a). Achievement goals and the classroom motivational climate. In J. L. Meece & D. H. Schunck (Eds.), Student perceptions in the classroom (pp. 327-348). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Ames, C. (1992b). Classrooms: Goals, structures, and student motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84, 261-271. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.84.3.261Ames, C. (1992c). Achievement goals, motivational climate, and motivational processes. In G. C. Roberts (Ed.), Motivation in sport and exercise (pp.161-176). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.Ames, C., & Archer, J. (1988). Achievement goals in the classroom: Students learning strategies and motivational processes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 80, 260-267. doi:10.1037/0022- 0663.80.3.260Bakeman, R., & Gottman, J. M. (1986). Observing instruction: An introduction to sequential analysis. New York: Cambridge University Press.Carpenter, P. J., & Morgan, K. (1999). Motivational climate, personal goal perspectives, and cognitive and affective responses in physical education classes. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 4, 31-44.Digelidis, N., Papaioannou, A., Laparidis, K., & Christodoulidis, T. (2004). A one year intervention in 7th grade physical education classes aiming to change motivational climate and attitudes towards exercise. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 4, 195-210. doi:10.1016/S1469-0292(02)00002-XDweck, C. S. (1986). Motivational processes affecting learning. American Psychologist, 41, 1040- 1048. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.41.10.1040Dweck ,C. S., & Leggett, E. L. (1988). A social cognitive approach to motivation and personality. Psychological Review, 95, 256-273. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.95.2.256Epstein, J. (1989). Family structures and student motivation: A developmental perspective. In C. Ames & R. Ames (Eds.) Research on motivation in education: Goals and cognitions (pp. 259-295). New York: Academic Press.Goudas, M., & Biddle, S. (1994). Perceived motivational climate and intrinsic motivation in school physical education classes. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 2, 241-250. doi:10.1007/BF03172783Morgan, K., & Carpenter, P. (2002). Effects of manipulating the motivational climate in physical education lessons. European Physical Education Review, 8, 207-229. doi:10.1177/1356336X020083003Morgan, K., & Kingston, K. (2008). Development of a self-observation mastery intervention programme for teacher education. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 13, 109-129. doi:10.1080/17408980701345634Morgan, K., Sproule, J., Weigand, D., & Carpenter, P. (2005). A computer-based observational assessment of the teaching behaviours the influence motivational climate in physical education. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 10, 83-105. doi:10.1080/1740898042000334926Nicholls, J. G. (1984). Achievement motivation: Conceptions of ability, subjective experience, task choice, and performance. Psychological Review, 91, 328-346. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.91.3.328Nicholls, J. G. (1989). The competitive ethos and democratic education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Ommundsen, Y., & Roberts, G. C. (1999). Effect of motivational climate profiles on motivational indices in team sport. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 9, 389-397. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0838.1999.tb00261.xRoberts, G. C. (2001). Advances in motivation in sport and exercise: conceptual constraints and convergence. In G. C. Roberts (Ed.), Advances in motivation in sport and exercise (pp. 1-50). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.Sharpe, T., & Koperwas, J. (1999). BEST: Behavioral evaluation strategy and taxonomy software. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 9(1), 73 – 84 83
  • Morgan and Kingston (2010) Promoting a mastery motivational climate in a higher education sportsclassSolmon, M. A. (1996). Impact of motivational climate on students’ behaviors and perceptions in a physical education setting. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 731-738. doi:10.1037/0022- 0663.88.4.731Treasure, D. (1993). A social-cognitive approach to understanding childrens achievement behavior, cognitions, and affect in competitive sport. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.Treasure, D. C. (1997). Perceptions of the motivational climate and elementary school children’s cognitive and affective response. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 19, 278-290.Treasure, D. (2001). Enhancing young people’s motivation in youth sport: An achievement goal approach. In G. C. Roberts (Ed.) Advances in motivation in sport and exercise (pp. 79-100). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.Submitted February 2009. Revised July 2009. Final Version August 2009. Accepted September 2009.Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 9(1), 73 – 84 84