Simmering, Marcia J. and Posey, Clay and Piccoli, Gabriele (2009) Computer self-efficacy and motivation to learn in a self-directed online course. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, Vol. 7 (1), p. 99-121. eISSN 1540-4609. Article.
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Despite the increased use of new learning technologies, there is still much to be learned about the role of learner characteristics in online learning. The purpose of this study was to examine how subjects' characteristics normally associated with effective training (i.e., initial motivation to learn and self-efficacy) related to learning in a self-directed online course. From an analysis of 190 respondents, computer and Internet usage prior to the start of class were positively related to individuals' computer self-efficacy and computer self-efficacy was positively related to learning. However, contrary to expectations, computer self-efficacy was not related to initial motivation to learn and motivation to learn was not related to learning in the class. Post hoc analysis of qualitative data enabled a rich explanation of the findings, including an evaluation of the unexpected relationships among the variables of interest and the nature of self-directed courses in virtual learning environments.
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