July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Educational Research and Methods
The COVID-19 pandemic brought about unprecedented academic disruptions to postsecondary education, including engineering education. A considerable decrease in student motivation became a major issue for online learning during the pandemic. This paper attempts to address these questions: How did the online instruction environment affect engineering students’ motivation and self-directed learning? How did these changes, in turn, affect their learning outcomes? We used survey data collected from a large Canadian engineering school and conceptualized self-directed learning from a social cognitive perspective to address these questions. Our findings revealed that students’ self-directed learning capabilities mediated the effects of learning environment factors on estimated grades and perceived gains in competency development; and student motivation had both direct and indirect effects on these learning outcomes. In their comments, students ascribed lack of motivation to multiple aspects of the online learning environment and felt that decreased motivation affected their learning. Our analysis demonstrated the significant role of student motivation in an online environment and suggested that the decrease in motivation became a major affective barrier to learning. Thus, the extensive online instruction during the pandemic offered both challenges and opportunities for producing self-directed learners. We recommend that engineering schools implement more interventions to help engineering students enhance their self-directed learning capabilities.
Liu, Q., & Sweeney, J., & Evans, G. (2021, July), Exploring Self-directed Learning Among Engineering Undergraduates in the Extensive Online Instruction Environment During the COVID-19 Pandemic Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37145
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