Motivational Perspectives on Students’ Responses to Learning in Virtual Learning Environments
Virtual learning environments are of special interest to educators because it is the province of educators to create, select, and provide environments that encourage learning. This is true whether the educator is concerned with very young children who have a very limited range of knowledge and skills, or mature learners whose experience has equipped them with extensive knowledge and well-developed learning strategies. It is the way environments set the framework or context for experiences that make them key tools whereby educators influence the direction of learning. Learning happens with or without the educator. However, the yardstick for evaluation of any educational endeavor is the degree that learning approximates the goals and outcomes valued by learners, educators, educational institutions, and educational systems. The chapters in this volume acknowledge that throughout history humans have used a wide range of technologies to design and construct environments to encourage the development of knowledge and skills in their young. However, the power of environments to promote learning has been accentuated by electronic information technologies as they offer an ever-increasing range of digital and virtual forms. These virtual learning environments have the potential to provide opportunities for active, flexible, and increasingly individualized learning experiences. Our examination of motivational perspectives will range widely across the electronic information technologies that are used in creating virtual learning environments, from the simplest forms of computer-aided instruction through to complex virtual reality environments.
KeywordsLearning Environment Cognitive Load Intrinsic Motivation Instructional Design Achievement Goal
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