Development research applied to improve motivation in distance education

Lya Visser, Tjeerd Plomp, Wilmad Kuiper

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This study introduced motivational strategies in the student support system of a distance education program, offered by the University of London (England) and implemented by the International Extension College in Cambridge (England). The program prepares international students for a diploma or masters degree in distance education. The study extended existing student support with motivational strategies in the form of motivational communications that should serve to help distance education students to become or stay motivated, so that they will successfully complete their courses. The ARCS (Attention, Relevance, Confidence, Satisfaction) model of motivational analysis was used for design and development of the MMSS (Motivational Messages Support System). Development research was used for addressing questions on the validity, practicality, and effectiveness of the motivational messages. The study examined the extent to which motivational messages based on the ARCS model are effective in distance education courses, and the difference in effectiveness and cost-efficiency between the personalized and collective process of enhancing motivation through motivational messages. Data were gathered through student questionnaires, student interviews, tutor records, and tutor interviews. Findings indicated that the messages were effective and appreciated by students; no significant difference was found between the use of collective and personalized messages as regards effectiveness. (MES)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication21st Annual Proceedings of Selected Research and Development
Subtitle of host publicationPapers Presented at the National Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT)
EditorsKristin E. Sparks, Michael Simonson
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 1999
Event1999 AECT National Convention - Houston, United States
Duration: 10 Feb 199914 Feb 1999
Conference number: 21


Conference1999 AECT National Convention
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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