What's the Big Idea?
: The role of social interaction as a motivator in online classes

  • Ronald Snyder

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Education (EdD)


Online education has the potential for radically altering the field of education within our lifetime. Unfortunately, too many programs are being developed as a cost saving measure with little regard to the pedagogical needs of this emergent field. If this field is to develop in such a way that it meets the needs of the future generations, it must be grounded in theories of learning and motivation.
This paper describes a research study of behavioral intentions to use a virtual learning environment for international high school students. Unlike many other earlier technology acceptance studies, it is grounded in a rich motivational theory of learning: Selfdetermination theory. The study also includes a new conceptual diagram, the Motivation Enhanced Technology Acceptance (META) Model to study of the phenomenon of technology acceptance from a motivational perspective. This is a Design-based research study and, as such, has both practical and theoretical goals. It seeks to refine theories of technology acceptance and use by grounding them in Self-determination theory. It also seeks to provide a usable solution to guide practitioners in designing online course.
Date of Award19 Jun 2019
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorIoannis Costas Batlle (Supervisor) & Sam Carr (Supervisor)


  • Self-determination theory
  • Technology acceptance
  • Relatedness
  • Sense of community index
  • Online learning
  • Virtual Learning
  • Psychological sense of community
  • Motivation

Cite this