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Exploring Motivation in an Online Context: A Case Study

, , Massey University, New Zealand ; , Athabasca University, Canada

CITE Journal Volume 14, Number 1, ISSN 1528-5804 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA


With the increasing ubiquity of new technologies, many claims are being made about their potential to transform tertiary education. In order for this transformation to be realized, however, a range of issues needs to be addressed. Research evidence suggests that motivation is an important consideration for online learners. This paper reports on one aspect of a case study situated within a larger study that investigates the nature of motivation to learn of preservice teachers in an online environment. Using self-determination theory as an analytical framework, the focus here is on the underlying concepts of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. The ways in which certain social and contextual factors can foster perceptions of these needs being met are explored. These factors are known to have a supportive effect on learner motivation. Most prominent among these were the relevance of the learning activity, the provision of clear guidelines, and the ongoing support and feedback from the lecturer that was responsive to learners' needs. Supportive, caring relationships were also important.


Hartnett, M., St. George, A. & Dron, J. (2014). Exploring Motivation in an Online Context: A Case Study. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 14(1), 31-53. Waynesville, NC USA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. Retrieved August 24, 2019 from .


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