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Applying Social Cognitive Constructs of Motivation to Enhance Student Success in Online Distance Education

, , Arizona State University, United States

AACE Journal Volume 11, Number 1, ISSN 1065-6901 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA


This article relates findings from a review of the literature on six motivational constructs studied in traditional environments to online education concepts to identify methods for ensuring student success in online courses. The six motivational constructs are (a) self-efficacy, (b) locus of control, (c) attributions, (d) goal orientation, (e) intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation, and (f) self-regulation. The six motivational constructs have been thoroughly investigated in traditional face-to-face classrooms and in a wide variety of educational disciplines. Very few studies, however, have explored the significance of the constructs in the online environment. The purpose of this article is to discuss the areas of online education and academic motivation, and to suggest methods for ensuring student success in the online environment based upon the findings of the literature review.


Miltiadou, M. & Savenye, W.C. (2003). Applying Social Cognitive Constructs of Motivation to Enhance Student Success in Online Distance Education. AACE Journal, 11(1), 78-95. Norfolk, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved March 25, 2019 from .


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