Basic psychological needs satisfaction and self-regulated learning in the context of online learning : a mixed-method enquiry
1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
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Oulu : H. Ambahelagedara,
Online learning has become an obligation rather than a choice for many learners in higher education institutes. The COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 became a major cause of online education across the world. Therefore, learners’ mental health and their learning habits drew the interest of researchers in the fields of social sciences. Yet only a limited number of resources are available concerning students’ basic psychological needs satisfaction and self-regulated learning in the context of online learning. Hence, this study aims to investigate the impact of basic psychological needs; autonomy, competence and relatedness that are derived from the self-determination theory on learners’ self-regulated learning in online learning environments as well as the impact of online learning on learners’ basic psychological needs satisfaction and self-regulated learning. A mixed-method analysis was conducted. The participants were students from higher education institutes in Finland and Sri Lanka. 71 participants responded to the online survey and 7 selected participants took part in virtual interviews. The quantitative analysis revealed there is a moderate positive correlation between basic psychological needs satisfaction and self-regulated learning, meaning, the higher the learners’ basic psychological needs satisfaction is, the higher their self-regulation will be (moderately) during online learning. Furthermore, it revealed autonomy as the strongest predictor of learners’ use of self-regulated learning strategies during online learning. The qualitative analysis showed that different groups depending on their level of basic psychological needs satisfaction and the use of self-regulated learning strategies perceive many different factors of the online learning experience as fostering and hindering factors of their quality of learning. In conclusion, the study explores three important and timely phenomena in the field of education; online learning, basic psychological needs satisfaction and self-regulated learning to provide an in-depth interpretation of how each of these phenomena has a direct impact on adult learners’ quality of learning experience.
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