Learners' motivation to collaborate in online learning environments : A situational and social network analysis

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201606092206
Title: Learners' motivation to collaborate in online learning environments : A situational and social network analysis
Author: Noponen, Miska
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, Institute of Behavioural Sciences
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2016
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201606092206
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/163637
Thesis level: master's thesis
Abstract: Learning in collaboration with others with the support of a computer has been found to improve learning results and increase learner satisfaction in comparison to other methods of learning online, when implemented successfully. Many studies have, however, found that it is common that there is very little social interaction when learning online. This has been shown to be related to students dropping out, low levels of motivation and generally fails to harness the benefit of learning in collaboration with others.The aim of this study is to analyze learner's motivation to collaborate in an online course. Some studies regarding the motivation to collaborate exist in the tradition of computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) but very few have taken into account the situational nature of motivation. The participants in this study were students taking part in an online course on responsible business at a university in Finland (N = 179). Their motivation was sampled by triggering the Situational Motivation Questionnaire (SIMS) when they performed collaborative acts, using what is termed context-sensitive ecological momentary assessment. The students' patterns of interaction were studied using social network analysis based on their use of the chat function afforded by the learning platform. Students were found to experience more extrinsic than intrinsic forms of motivation to collaborate on a situational level. Motivation did not appear to be affected by progression in the course or deadlines. Participation in the social interaction was moderately high, varied a lot from student to student and appeared to be clustered to sub-groups within the social network. Intrinsic motivation was more likely to be experienced in positions of lower centrality and betweenness in the social network. Due to there being very little earlier research into this topic using similar methods, these results provide important new insights into why students collaborate in an online environment.I jämförelse med andra former av lärande på nätet, har datorstött lärande i samarbete med andra har visats förbättra lärande resultat och tillfredställelse då det lyckas. Många studier har dock visat att social interaktion i lärande på nätet är sällsynt, vilket har samband till dropout, låg motivation och förlorar nyttorna av kollaborativt lärande. Strävan med denna studie är att analysera studenrandes motivation att samarbeta under en kurs på nätet. Få studier finns om motivationen att samarbeta i datorstött kollaborativt lärande och ännu färre har tagit i beaktande motivationens situerade natur. Deltagarna i forskningen var studeranden som var med i en kurs om ansvarsfull handel på ett universitet i Finland (N = 179). Deras motivation analyserades genom att automatiskt be dem fylla i ett mätinstrument (Situational Motivation Scale) då de betedde sig kollaborativt. Sociala nätverket som uppstod ur deras samarbete härleddes ur hur de använde chat-funktionen som fanns på lärplattformen. Studerandena upplevde mer externa än interna former av situerad motivation för att samarbeta. Motivationens slag påverkades inte av kursens framfart eller deadlines. Studerandena deltog relativt ofta i social interaktion men det varierade mycket mellan studeranden och formade mindre grupper bland kursens deltagare. Interna former av motivation upplevdes mindre sannolikt i centrala eller "betweenness" centrala positioner i sociala nätverket. Det finns bara lite forskning om detta tema som har använt motsvarande forskningsmetoder. På grund av detta ger forskningens resultat viktig information om varför individer samarbetar då de lär sig på nätet.
Subject: Computer-supported collaborative learning
Situational motivation
Learning communities
Discipline: Education (General and Adult education)
Kasvatustiede (yleinen ja aikuiskasvatus)
Pedagogik (allmän och vuxenpedagogik)


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