This study investigated what kind of supportive information can be effective in improving the situation where there were severe motivational challenges. Motivational and volitional email messages (MVEM) were constructed based on an integrated model of four theories and methods, which are Keller's ARCS model, Kuhl's action control theory, Gollwitzer's Rubicon model of motivation and volition, and Visser & Keller's strategy of motivational messages, and distributed with personal messages created based on audience analysis to a large undergraduate class. In order to examine the effects of the messages on motivation for the course, study habits (study time), and achievement (test grade), MVEM were sent to 30 students (Personal Message Group: PMG) with personal messages and to 71 students (Non-Personal Message Group: NonPMG) without personal messages. Results indicated that PMG showed a higher level of motivation, especially in regard to confidence, than NonPMG. Also, the mean test grade of PMG increased so that the initial difference of the test grade between the two groups significantly decreased. Although there was no difference between the two groups in study habits, the findings suggest that personal messages addressing specific individual problems raise the positive effects of MVEM constructed based on the integrated model. Future research directions are discussed.
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