Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Graduate Education

First Advisor

Patricia C. Kornelis


This action research study investigated how an authentic learning experience impacted the motivation and engagement of students toward finding intrinsic value in meaningful work in a sophomore English classroom at a private Christian high school in the Midwest. The participants were 57 sophomores at the high school taking required English 10. The students participated in an authentic learning experience (ALE) designed by their teacher in which they were split into 10 teams, each team writing and designing one issue the sophomore class’s newspaper. The 57 students completed an anonymous survey at the conclusion of the authentic learning experience. Eight students were randomly chosen to be interviewed about their experiences in the ALE. The results of the study suggested that authentic learning experiences do contribute to the overall motivation and engagement of students to find intrinsic value in their work.


Action Research Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Education