Goal Orientation As Determinant Of Academic Performance Of Under-Graduate Students

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M.Venkatesan , Dr. S. Prabu Shankar


This paper is aimed at studying the influence of goal orientation on academic performance of students studying at the undergraduate level. Goal orientation theory in the context of education has developed from explaining the behaviour and performance of individuals in academics (Dweck, 1986 & Nicholls, 1984). In the present day context goal setting has become one of the most widely researched theories in the field of education, psychology and management. In the context of the present study goal orientation has been defined as a, set of planned, systematic and well-coordinated efforts that an individual sets in order to achieve a goal by means of holding on to realistic objectives, methodical progress and sustained action. Based on the review of studies made by Colquitt & Simmering (1998), De Shon & Gillespie (2005), Farr et al. (1993), Ford et al. (1998), Gong et al. (2009) it has been observed that a majority of students at the undergraduate level, lack focus towards planning their future, lack determination in work towards achieving the goal, lack initiative to educate themselves and become aware of goal setting and achievement.

 This study has been carried out with 210 students at the under-graduate level studying in 6 professional and 4 non-professional colleges in Chennai and Thiruvallur Districts of Tamil Nadu. Findings of the study indicate that there exists significant relationship between goal orientation and its dimensions namely positive self-motivation, realistic perception, personality integration and autonomy with academic performance of undergraduate students. Based on the findings of the study it has been recommended that one or more of the following courses / programmes namely bridge course, life-skill course, orientation programme, skill development programme, professional development programme etc., conducted periodically in the colleges hold significant impact in creating awareness among undergraduate students on goal orientation which in turn will help them become aware of goal realization and achievement.

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