Differential influences of achievement approach goals and intrinsic/extrinsic motivation on help-seeking in e-learning

August 22, 2013

Considering the importance yet paucity of help-seeking in e-learning, the present study investigated the motivational antecedents of help-seeking among online college students. We explored and compared the influences of achievement approach goals from the old and new achievement motivation models (Elliot & McGregor, 2001; Elliot, Murayama, & Pekrun, 2011) on online students’ help-seeking through intrinsic/extrinsic motivation. Path analyses were used to test two models of help-seeking among college students from four online educational psychology classes (N = 93) based on the two models of achievement goals. Our results showed that the new 3 × 2 model was a better fit than the old 2 × 2 model, suggesting that the achievement approach goals of the new model differ from those of the old model conceptually as Elliot, Murayama, and Pekrun (2011) posited. Second, our results revealed both unexpected direct and indirect positive influence of performance- and other-approach goals on online students’ help-seeking behaviour through extrinsic motivation. Third, while mastery-approach goals indirectly predicted help-seeking through intrinsic motivation, self- and task-approach predicted help-seeking in a dramatically different manner. Self-approach goals displayed indirect influence on help-seeking through intrinsic motivation similar to mastery-approach, yet task-approach displayed a negative direct influence on help-seeking. These results suggested the potential positive impact of self-approach and the detrimental influence of task-approach goals on help-seeking in e-learning environment. Conceptual issues and pedagogical implications for online instructions are discussed.

Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal

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