Stability and Change in Adolescents’ Task- specific Achievement Goals for Learning Mathematics with an Intelligent Tutoring System

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Individuals’ achievement goals are known to influence learning behaviors and academic achievement. However, prior research also indicates that undergraduates’ achievement goals for psychology coursework vary from assignment to assignment. The effect of stability of achievement goals on learning behaviors and outcomes has yet to be explored. This study examined how adolescents’ achievement goals varied over mathematics units completed in an intelligent tutoring system, and whether strength or variability in achievement goals influenced behavior or achievement. At the group level, achievement goals correlated significantly from unit to unit; mean scores were not significantly different over time. However, individuals’ goal scores changed reliably across units. No relationships were found between the strength of students’ achievement goal scores and learning behaviors or performance. However, students with stable mastery approach goals achieved better grades than those with more variable mastery-approach goals. Students with stable performance-approach goals engaged in fewer help-seeking behaviors than those with variable performance approach goals.


Education | Educational Psychology