Supporting students’ intrinsic motivation for online learning tasks: The effect of need-supportive task instructions on motivation, self-assessment, and task performance

Norman Biliwang MENDOZA, Zi YAN, Ronnel Bornasal KING

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Self-determination theory argues that students' intrinsic motivation is cultivated when teachers teach in ways that meet students' basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness (i.e., need-supportive teaching). However, the suspension of in-person teaching and learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic has urged teachers to search for strategies to practice need-supportive teaching online. This study tested the effect of need-supportive task instruction on students' situational intrinsic motivation in an online language learning task. We also examined whether the ensuing intrinsic motivation on the task would positively predict task performance directly or indirectly through self-assessment practice. Controlling for pre-test situational intrinsic motivation, secondary school students randomly assigned to the need-supportive task instruction (n = 56) showed significantly higher situational intrinsic motivation than those in the control group (n = 50). The need-supportive task instructions had a medium effect size on intrinsic motivation. Although such intrinsic motivation had no direct effect on task performance, it yielded significant indirect effects via self-assessment practice. Post-hoc moderated mediation analysis demonstrated that the indirect effect of intrinsic motivation on task performance was specific to students in the need-supportive task instruction group. Overall, need-supportive statements embedded in task instructions generated increased intrinsic motivation on an online task. As schools transition to the new normal of education, this study presents a unique opportunity for educators to implement theoretically informed, brief, and sustainable interventions to support students' motivation and learning online. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104663
JournalComputers & Education
Volume193
Early online dateNov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Nov 2022

Citation

Mendoza, N. B., Yan, Z., & King, R. B. (2023). Supporting students’ intrinsic motivation for online learning tasks: The effect of need-supportive task instructions on motivation, self-assessment, and task performance. Computers & Education, 193. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2022.104663

Keywords

  • Situational intrinsic motivation
  • Need-supportive task instructions
  • Wise intervention
  • Self-assessment practice
  • Online teaching and learning

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