In this work, LM in three categories of students – motivated, unmotivated and overmotivated – was explored. Fifty graduate students, which were current and prospective school teachers and took the author’s online psychology courses in 2012-2013, participated in the study. The research methodology included developing the rules of coding students’ course work, designing the 100-scale of LM for representing their individual as well as collective data, and collecting info about students’ academic achievement in this course. According to the results, students’ LM has two co-existing components – pragmatic (grade-oriented) and cognitive (knowledge-oriented). Three mentioned categories of students differ in quantity as well as quality of their LM. Further analysis showed that a) motivated students constituted a majority 74% of the population; they were rather pragmatically than cognitively oriented learners, b) unmotivated (problem) students, whose even pragmatic motivation was very low, represented 18.5% of the population, and c) overmotivated (enthusiastic) individuals that is, curious, and eager to get knowledge without being encouraged or rewarded, constituted the smallest part 7.5% of the total population. Considering these results in a wider socio-cultural context, the author suggests that prevalence of pragmatically motivated students among current and prospective school teachers, the shortage of enthusiastic learners and growth of problem learners can be possible significant causes affecting quality of the modern US primary school education.
Toom, A. (2015). Issues of online distance education: Learning motivation of current and prospective school teachers. In Proceedings of the 13th annual Hawaii International Conference on Education (pp. 13-26). Honolulu, Hawaii: Hawaii International Conference on Education.