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The Importance of Motivation in Online Learning

Abstract

This chapter begins by looking broadly at learning as a process of knowledge construction and the increasing role of digital technologies in this process within tertiary education contexts. This is followed by an introduction to online learning along with definitions, discussion of foundational online learning concepts and contemporary pedagogical approaches used in online learning environments. Next, the reasons why motivation is an essential consideration in online teaching and learning contexts are explored. Then, existing research into motivation to learn in online environments is discussed in light of contemporary theoretical motivation frameworks. Finally, self-determination theory (SDT)—an intrinsic-extrinsic theory of motivation—is discussed in detail. In particular, the continuum of human motivation that outlines a range of different types of extrinsic motivation and the underlying psychological concepts of autonomy, competence and relatedness that SDT is built on are discussed. In doing so, justification for the use of SDT as the conceptual framework for this work is provided.

Keywords

  • e-learning
  • Online learning
  • Motivation
  • Self-efficacy
  • Interest
  • Goal orientation
  • Self-determination
  • Intrinsic
  • Extrinsic
  • Autonomy

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Hartnett, M. (2016). The Importance of Motivation in Online Learning. In: Motivation in Online Education. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-0700-2_2

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