PUPILS’ AUTONOMY, COMPETENCE AND RELATEDNESS AS DETERMINANTS OF ONLINE LEARNING ENGAGEMENT DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
University of the Free State (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 17th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2023
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in setbacks as well as opportunities for the education system. Setbacks in the sense that most schools across the globe were closed during the hit of the pandemic while only the developed countries were able to switch over to online teaching and learning mode immediately. However, schools in developing countries were shut down for more than six (6) months before resorting to online teaching and learning thereby affecting their normal school calendar. This pandemic has brought online learning opportunities as that is the only way to keep the school calendar ongoing despite any future pandemic. However, there is a dearth of literature on the determinants of pupils’ online learning engagement. Thus, this research used a correlational survey to explore how pupils’ autonomy, competence, and relatedness impact their online learning engagement within the theoretical framework of self-determination theory (SDT). A sample of 156 primary six pupils participated in the study. Pupils’ autonomy scale (α = .87), Pupils’ perceived competency scale (α = .91), Pupils’ perceived relatedness scale (α = .75) and Pupils’ engagement scale (α = .83) were used to collect data. Data were analysed using structural equation modelling and regression analysis. The results showed that pupils’ autonomy, competence, and relatedness are significantly (p < .05) related to their online learning engagement. This practically implies that pupils’ autonomy, competence, and relatedness are important factors in their online learning engagement. Theoretically, the results of this research have strengthened the tenets of the SDT. Thus, pupils should be encouraged to develop their online learning autonomy, online learning competence, and relatedness to teachers in order to enhance their online learning engagement.
Keywords: Autonomy, competence, online engagement, pupils, relatedness.