An exploration of SDT need fulfillment in a synchronous online learning environment
DiVito, Andrew V.
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In this paper, I report results from a qualitative case study that explores SDT need fulfillment within a synchronous online learning environment. SDT addresses how the sociocultural conditions an individual experiences impact their motivation, development, and wellness. An individual who experiences sociocultural conditions that satisfy their needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness will develop autonomous motivation. As course instruction moves online, it is important to understand if and how online learning spaces can impact learner motivation. My data analysis and resultant code network reveal the fulfillment of the SDT need fulfillment pathway within a synchronous online learning environment. Additionally, the code network reveals that the structure of a course, the quality of communication and feedback, the provision of choice, and the instructor’s personability and commitment are all linked to need fulfillment. This study’s implications will inform course design within online learning environments and future research in online learning.