Persistence in any of the growing variety of e-learning formats is a longstanding and pernicious problem. The widely acknowledged nature of this issue makes the considerable gap in our understanding of students’ motivation to e-learn a serious concern. Building on initial studies, the current research examines important predictors and outcomes of students’ motivation for weekly review and extension e-learning experiences within a blended course.
The present study aimed to simultaneously provide variable and person-centred longitudinal perspectives on students’ motivations to e-learn, thereby illustrating the potential outcomes of these experiences and indicating how they might be better structured and supported.
Japanese students (n = 642) studying in a blended course of foreign language study (two classes a week, with weekly online review and extension activities) completed surveys at three time points across an academic semester of study. Prior language competency and final e-learning completion were also included in modelling.
Variable-centred results highlighted the essential role of teachers in supporting students’ ability, value and effort related motivations for studying online. All three motivations played an important role in predicting e-learning completion.
Person-centred results, tracking student movement between latent subgroups, confirmed the importance of teachers, but also indicated a prior competence threshold below which teacher efforts alone might be insufficient to support substantive motivation for e-learning, and thereby, e-learning completion. The theoretical and practical implications of the present study’s findings regarding teacher-support and initial content competence are discussed.
Fryer, L. K., & Bovee, H. N. (2018). Staying motivated to e-learn: person- and variable-centred perspectives on the longitudinal risks and support. Computers & Education.