Learning flow, motivation, and community of inquiry in an online graduate degree program
The purpose of this exploratory study was (1) to investigate how student perceptions of cognitive presence, social presence, and teaching presence in an online Community of Inquiry are related to motivation, (2) how student perceptions of cognitive presence, social presence, teaching presence, and motivation are related to learning flow, and (3) to explore how individual learners perceive their learning flow experience in courses in an online master’s degree program. A sequential explanatory (QUAN→qual) mixed method design was employed. A total of 77 students participated in this study. Multiple linear regression analysis and path analysis were adopted to identify the relationships among the factors of interest for the quantitative data analyses. Student interviews were administered to provide the qualitative data to support interpretation of the quantitative results. Motivation had a strong positive relationship with each of the three presences (cognitive presence, social presence, and teaching presence) of the Community of Inquiry framework. Teaching presence, social presence, and cognitive presence statistically significantly predicted students’ perceptions of motivation. Learning flow had a strong positive relationship with motivation and each of the three presences (cognitive presence, social presence, and teaching presence) of the Community of Inquiry framework. Cognitive presence and motivation statistically significantly predicted students’ perceptions of learning flow. Teaching presence and cognitive presence had a positive direct effect on motivation. Cognitive presence and motivation had a positive direct effect on learning flow, and there was a partial mediation effect of motivation between cognitive presence and learning flow. The identified key themes that emerged from the data about students’ perceptions of their learning flow experience were as follows: 1) students are deeply absorbed in learning when learning activities or materials are pragmatic and relevant to their real life situation, 2) instructors’ guidance encourages students and promotes their learning flow, 3) students are immersed in learning when they are able to construct and confirm meaning through assignments, 4) weekly online discussions evoke learning flow, 5) collaboration has an impact on students’ learning flow, and 6) distractive learning environments obstruct learning flow. Based on the results, implications for instructional strategies to enhance student learning flow in students' online learning activities were developed. Limitations of the study and suggestions for future research were discussed.
Richardson, Purdue University.
Instructional Design|Educational psychology|Educational technology
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