Motivation in hybrid courses : the influence of self efficacy and sense of classroom community on goal orientation

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2006-08

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Abstract

This study explored changes in goal orientations throughout the semester that might be influenced by self efficacy and a sense of classroom community in hybrid courses in which course management systems (CMS) were used. A hybrid course is distinguished from a traditional face-to-face classroom in that there is an extension of the class, and students interact online in addition to face-to-face. Data were gathered from 14 hybrid courses two times during a semester, once at the beginning of the semester and once again at the end, and were analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM) to investigate the relationships among the variables. Overall, the results indicated that each goal orientation changed throughout the semester, dynamically interacted with one another, and had unique relationship with self efficacy and sense of classroom community. More specifically, first, a sense of classroom community acted as a significant antecedent of goal orientations and mediated the relationship between pre-mastery goal orientation and post-mastery goal orientation. Second, self efficacy, another antecedent of goal orientations, mediated the relationship between pre-performance avoidance goal orientation and post-performance avoidance goal orientation. Third, post-performance approach goal orientation was influenced by sense of classroom community but not by self efficacy whereas post-performance avoidance goal orientation was influenced by self efficacy but not by sense of classroom community. Fourth, the nature of performance approach goal orientation at the beginning of the semester seemed to change throughout the semester as students gain or lose their competence and develop sense of classroom community. The results also showed that the collaborative function of the course management system most significantly contributed to the sense of classroom community in hybrid courses among four categories of functions (information delivery, external links, course materials, and collaborative function). Lastly, the study suggests ways for instructional designers and college teachers to identify and design courses that promote motivation and a sense of classroom community using various CMS functions, thereby enhancing teachers’ teaching and student learning.

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