Dissertation Information for Kyong-Lee Kim
- Kyong-Lee Kim
- Instructional Technology
- Indiana University (USA) (2005)
- Theodore Frick
- Susan C. Herring
- Elizabeth Boling
- Curtis J Bonk
MPACT Status: Incomplete - Not_Inspected
Title: Adult learners' motivation in self-directed e-learning
Abstract: As with traditional instruction, learner motivation is important in designing effective e-learning courses. However, lack of motivation has been a major concern in theory and practice for facilitating successful online learning environments. A review of literature indicated that there is little empirical knowledge on how to motivate online learners, particularly in self-directed e-learning settings (SDEL). Research questions addressed in this study included: (1) what motivates or inhibits adult learning in SDEL? (2) does adult learner motivation change as he or she goes through SDEL? (3) what factors are related to motivational change during SDEL?
This study used mixed methods. A content analysis was conducted on three SDEL courses in order to better understand the learning context. Twelve qualitative interviews of typical learners were conducted to identify major motivational factors. Analysis of these interview results led to construction of a 60-item Web survey of adult learners who had taken one or more SDEL courses ( n = 368). Approximately 60 percent of the respondents were from corporate settings and 40 percent from higher education. A factor analysis of 33 survey items led to identification of three strong factors: 'e-learning is not for me'; 'e-learning is right for me'; and 'I don't want to be all by myself'.
Results from both qualitative and quantitative analyses indicated that learners started SDEL for personal or professional development, and that they chose the online training option because of its flexibility and convenience. Both qualitative and quantitative results suggested that lack of motivational quality in the e-learning course was a key factor for some learners who decided not to complete the course, followed by lack of time. A stepwise multiple regression analysis resulted in five factors that significantly contributed to predicting the learner's reported motivational change: (1) E-learning is right for me; (2) satisfaction with their learning experience; (3) interactivity with an instructor or technical support personnel; (4) age (negative relationship); and (5) learning setting (corporate more than higher education).
Implications of findings from this study are discussed for design of self-directed e-learning environments that may help increase or sustain learner motivation.