For the Audio Interview assignment at Michigan State University I interviewed two highly motivated female subjects ages 16 and 83. The learners discussed diverse learning interests and perceived themselves as possessing divergent academic strengths. The interviews were conducted in the respective homes of each subject, wearing microphones and recorded with an iPhone. One subject is a close family friend and the other is the interviewer’s mother.
In both cases the participants comments reflected a wide variety of motivations including social comparison, self-efficacy, goal attainment, and intrinsic motivation inspired by the challenge or the task.
This interview was conducted in a semi-structured format, with a set of 26 questions targeted at uncovering motivations described throughout Chapter 8 of Dale Schunk’s “Learning Theories: An Educational Perspective”. During the interview subjects were occasionally to expand or clarify in their statements.
What I learned – the technology drove the selection of content which was presented in this audio report. While I felt that there were other examples of connection to motivation theory – for example both subjects talked intermittently of comparing themselves to others (social comparison) - the need to obtain audio clips that would sustain a narrative limited the examples I could use. In this case the medium truly was the message. Also, since the subjects of the interview were very socially close to the interviewer – a high degree of desirability effect may be present in their answers.