The self-determination of online graduate students was studied in terms of the impact of autonomy, competence and relatedness upon their persistence. Unique to this study was the assessment of the potential influence of socio-cultural factors. As the majority of research into online university students’ persistence is generated from the US, Canada, UK and European countries assessing their own domestic populations, the global nature of this study provides a new perspective. Fifty-four online graduate students representing 26 countries participated representing 19 lesser developed economies and 7 developed economies. Collectivist versus individualistic cultures were equally represented. Self-determination Theory (SDT) was examined both in terms of the online classroom environment as well as overcoming life challenges for programme perseverance. A correlational matrix was used to reject the null hypothesis. Results indicated that statistically significant correlations exist among the three variables, and, in the instances of the variables of autonomy and relatedness, a significant negative correlation exists. The findings indicate that the participants displayed strong internal locus of control, self-directed learning, competency and relatedness in attaining success within the online environment programme. Cultural communitarianism values were not found to be of significant influence.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
1. Baumeister, R., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 497-529. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.117.3.497
2. Bissessar, C. S. (2014). Students’ perceptions of an online B.Ed. programme. Journal of Education and Practice, 5(10), 57-65.
3. Chen, K.-C., & Jang, S.-J. (2010). Motivation in online learning: Testing a model of self-determination theory. Computers in Human Behaviour, 26(4), 741-752. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2010.01.011
4. Cho, M., & Heron, M. (2015). Self-regulated learning: The role of motivation, emotion, and use of learning strategies in students’ learning experiences in a self-paced online Mathematics course. Distance Education, 36(1), 80-99. doi:10.1080/01587919.2015.1019963
5. Clarida, B. H., Bobeva, M., Hutchings, M., & Taylor, J. (2015). Strategies for Digital Inclusion: Towards a Pedagogy for Embracing and Sustaining Student Diversity and Engagement with Online Learning. IAFOR: Journal of Academic Education, 3(SE). https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.3.se.06
6. deCharms, R. (1968). Personal causation. New York: Academic Press.
7. Deci, E. L. (1975). Intrinsic motivation. New York: Plenum.
8. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behaviour. New York: Plenum Press.
9. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1991). A motivational approach to self: Integration in personality. In R. Dienstbier (Ed.), Nebraska Symposium on motivation: Perspectives on motivation, 38 (pp. 237–288). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
11. Durksen, T. L., Chu, M.-W., Ahmad, Z. F., Radil, A. I., & Daniels, L. M. (2016). Motivation in a MOOC: a probabilistic analysis of online learners’ basic psychological needs. Social Psychology of Education, 19(2), 241–260. doi:10.1007/s11218-015-9331-9
12. Filak, V. F., & Nicolini, K. M. (2018). Differentiations in motivation and need satisfaction based on course modality: a self-determination theory perspective. Educational Psychology, 38(6), 772–784. https://doi.org/10.1080/01443410.2018.1457776
13. Glenn, E. (2000). Citizenship and equality: Historical and global perspectives. Social Problems, 47(1), 1-20. doi: 10.2307/3097149
14. Guay, F., Vallerand, J., & Blanchard, C. (2000). On the Assessment of Situational Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation: The Situational Motivation Scale (SIMS). Motivation and Emotion, 24(3), 175-213.
16. Hartnett, M., St. George, A., & Dron, J. (2011). Examining Motivation in Online Distance Learning Environments: Complex, Multifaceted, and Situation-Dependent. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12(6), 20-38. Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/1030/1954
17. Held, M. F., Thoma, C. A., & Thomas, K. (2004). “The John Jones Show”: How one teacher facilitated self-determined transition planning for a young man with autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 19(3), 177-188.
18. Heo, J. C., & Han, S. (2018). Effects of motivation, academic stress and age in predicting self-directed learning readiness (SDLR): Focused on online college students. Education and Information Technologies, 23(1), 61–71.
20. Joo, Y. J., So, H.-J., & Kim, N. H. (2018). Examination of relationships among students’ self-determination, technology acceptance, satisfaction, and continuance intention to use K-MOOCs. Computers & Education, 122, 260–272. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2018.01.003
21. Kahn, P., Everington, L., Kelm, K., & Watckins, F. (2017). Understanding student engagement in online learning environment: the role of reflexivity. Educational Technology Research and development, 65(1).
24. Miltiadou, M., & Savenye, W. C. (2003). Applying social cognitive constructs of motivation to enhance student success in online distance education. Educational Technology Review, 11(1). Retrieved from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/17795/
26. Mullen, G. E., & Tallent-Runnels, M. K. (2006). Student outcomes and perceptions of instructors’ demands and support in online and traditional classrooms. Internet & Higher Education, 9(4), 257–266. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2006.08.005
28. Pelletier, L. G., Fortier, M. S., Vallerand, R. J., & Brière, N. M. (2001). Associations Among Perceived Autonomy Support, Forms of Self-Regulation, and Persistence: A Prospective Study. Motivation & Emotion, 25(4), 279–306. doi: 10.1023/A:1014805132406
30. Reis, H. T. (1994). Domains of experience: Investigating relationship processes from three perspectives. In R. Erber & R. Gilmour (Eds.), Theoretical frameworks for personal relationships (pp. 87-110). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
31. Ryan, R. M., & Connell, J. P. (1989). Perceived Locus of Causality and Internalization: Examining Reasons for Acting in Two Domains. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57(5), 749–761. doi: 10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.529
32. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Classic definitions and new directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(1), 54-67. doi: 10.1006/ceps.1999.1020
33. Ryan, R. M., Kuhl, J., & Deci, E. L. (1997). Nature and autonomy: Organizational view of social and neurobiological aspects of self-regulation in behaviour and development. Development and Psychopathology, 9, 701-728.