School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy


Gail Collins

Primary Subject Area

Education, General


assessment, e-Portfolio, chorus, motivation, persistence, self-regulated learning


Education | Music


The purpose of this qualitative instrumental case study was to examine the perceptions and experiences of middle school students who exhibit self-regulated learning and intrinsic motivation as they utilize e-Portfolio assessment in chorus. The theoretical framework for this study was Deci and Ryan’s self-determination theory, which defines intrinsic and extrinsic sources of motivation with three psychological needs being met: competence, relatedness, and autonomy. Students who were engaged in various levels of a middle school choral program were selected as participants using purposeful sampling. Data were collected through field notes generated during individual interviews, observations, and focus group discussions with selected student participants, as well as physical artifacts. Data were analyzed using reading and memoing, categorizing strategies, and connecting strategies. The results generated four themes that middle school chorus students perceived as sources of motivation regarding e-Portfolio assessment and self-regulated learning: (a) participation as a source of motivation in middle school chorus; (b) differentiated types of assessment are key motivating factors for achievement among advanced middle school chorus students; (c) chorus meets social and emotional needs for middle school students; and (d) middle school chorus students need various sources of motivation to participate or complete work. The implications of this study indicate that school policies and practices need to be reevaluated to include Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) strategies, required fine arts credits, competency-based grading strategies, and individualized goal setting and self-monitoring.