STUDENTS’ MOTIVATION IN DISTANCE HIGHER EDUCATION: THE ROLE OF INTRINSIC MOTIVATION

R. Kalantzi, D. Sideris, N. Spyropoulou, G. Androulakis

Hellenic Open University (GREECE)
Motivation affects learning and plays an important role in the field of education [1]. In addition, adult’s motivation for participating in lifelong learning is of immediate interest since it is regarded as a possible solution for the constantly rising unemployment [2]. According to the bibliography students have extrinsic (praises, grades, social and financial rewards) and intrinsic (mastering, knowledge) motivation [3]. It seems that learning most of the time is associated with intrinsic motivation [4]. The Hellenic Open University recently begun to offer six new postgraduate programs introducing several innovations in order to change the landscape of distance education in Greece since it’s the unique university that offers postgraduate studies with this method [5]. Aiming to improve the educational procedure of the new programs an evaluation questionnaire with open-ended questions was given to the students. Among other things, students were asked to describe the motives that led them chose each program. In this paper we discuss students’ intrinsic motivation and examine if it is differentiated according to various factors, such as students’ age and gender. Our sample is 1026 students of the six postgraduate programs that answered the questionnaire. By the analysis made we attempt to identify the factors that affect adult students’ intrinsic motivation in distance learning environments in order to improve teaching methodology and structure of existing and forthcoming programs.

References:
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[2] H. Ahl, “Motivation in adult education: a problem solver or a euphemism for direction and control?,” International Journal of Lifelong Education, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 385-405, 2006.
[3] R. Ryan and M. Deci, “Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation: Classic definitions and new directions,” Contemporary Educational Psychology, vol. 25, no.1, pp. 54-67, 2000.
[4] M. Csikszentmihalyi, “Intrinsic Motivation and Effective Teaching,” in Applications of Flow in Human Development and Education (M. Csikszentmihalyi, eds.), pp. 173-187, Dordrecht: Springer, 2014.
[5] R. Kalantzi, D. Sideris, N. Spyropoulou and G. Androulakis, “Changing the Gear: Adopting Inter-institutional Collaborative Course Development as the Policy for Distance Higher Education in Greece,” The Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education Conference, pp. 61-68, 2016.