General education courses can foster learning environments which hinder student motivation. Inquiry-based learning is a student-centered teaching method where motivation can be influenced by self-directed learning and is stimulated by a question or a problem. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine how student intrinsic goal orientation, critical thinking, and task value changed throughout the course of a general education statistics course after completing either a guided or open inquiry-based project. The type of inquiry project completed produced a statistically significant difference in student task value. Students who completed the open inquiry project possessed high task value for statistics as compared to the guided inquiry students. No statistical difference was found in intrinsic goal orientation or critical thinking based on the projects’ level of inquiry. Additionally, the pre-test values were a significant predictor of the differences seen in intrinsic goal orientation, critical thinking, and task value at the end of the course. Instructors should focus on developing student motivation early in their statistics courses and utilize an open inquiry project to increase student task value.