Margaret Katherine Hartnett

PhD, (Education)
Study Completed: 2010
College of Education

Citation

Thesis Title
Motivation to learn in online environments: An exploration of two tertiary education contexts

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Ms Hartnett’s research explored the nature of motivation of undergraduate learners studying to become primary school teachers while undertaking their degree online. Using case study methodology, she investigated student motivation as well as a range of factors that affected motivation when learning online. She found that different kinds of motivation can co-exist and that the type of motivation experienced by learners was influenced by factors within the learning environment. Multiple factors fostered the expression of high quality motivation. Most important among these were the relevance of the learning activity, clear guidelines, and ongoing feedback from the teacher. Supportive caring relationships were also important. Several factors also undermined the motivation of learners; most notably high workload, assessment pressure, and the perception that the learning activity lacked relevance. Results highlight that student motivation in online settings is more complex than previously thought. A range of practical guidelines were suggested for online instructors.

Supervisors
Dr Alison St George
Dr Jonathan Dron
Mr Benjamin Kehrwald

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