Title

Academic motivation and self-regulation: A comparative analysis of undergraduate and graduate students learning online

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

12-1-2009

Journal

Internet and Higher Education

Volume

12

Issue

3-4

DOI

10.1016/j.iheduc.2009.02.001

Keywords

Developmental differences; e-Learning; Higher education; Online learning; Self-regulated learning; Web-based education

Abstract

To succeed in autonomous online learning environments, it helps to be a highly motivated, self-regulated learner. The present study explored potential differences between undergraduate (n = 87) and graduate students (n = 107) in their levels of academic motivation and self-regulation while learning online. In particular, this study provides a comparative analysis of undergraduate and graduate students' motivational beliefs (task value and self-efficacy), use of deep processing strategies (elaboration and critical thinking), and motivational engagement (procrastination and choice behaviors). As hypothesized, graduate students learning online reported higher levels of critical thinking than undergraduates. Moreover, after controlling for experiential differences, a logistic regression analysis indicated that graduate student membership was predicted by higher levels of critical thinking and lower levels of procrastination. On the other hand, undergraduate membership was predicted, somewhat paradoxically, by greater task value beliefs and greater intentions to enroll in future online courses. Implications for online instructors and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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