Digital support for student engagement in blended learning based on self-determination theory
Computers in Human Behavior
Thomas has expertise in quantitative and designbased research methodologies. His specializations include learning technology, and motivation and learning. He has served as a co-chair of the international conference International Mobile Learning Festival. Currently, he is the associate editor of Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET) and the book review editor of Interactive learning Environments, and an international scholar of Centre for Selfdetermination Theory. He is an
... inning educator and School-University Partnership Director, from his time with the University of Hong Kong. He recently proposed a model of student engagement for online learning. See Abstract Student engagement in a blended learning environment is very different from that in a traditional classroom environment, and is fostered by satisfying three innate needs identified in self-determination theory (SDT): autonomy, relatedness, and competence. Related studies have emphasized teacher support to satisfy the three students' need, but not digital support. The founders of SDT recently stated that SDT-based research should focus on problems associated with learning technologies. Accordingly, this study proposed digital support designs to fulfill the three abovementioned needs, examined their effectiveness, and investigated how the developed forms of digital support and teacher support contributed to student engagement. The study adopted a sequential explanatory mixed methods research design and involved 426 Grade 11 students. The findings were as follows. (i) Compared with teacher support, digital support better engaged students in blended learning by satisfying their needs. (ii) Teacher support was closely related to student engagement. (iii) The relationship between digital support and student engagement varied. Possible explanations are the benefits of offering multiple modalities, considering learning expertise, and applying emotional designs. The findings contribute to SDT by adding a new perspective, namely digital support, and thereby proposing a new framework for needs support in blended learning.