ADULT ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS’ EXPERIENCES OF ONLINE LEARNING AND MOTIVATIONS FOR PERSISTENCE DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Date of Award
Education Specialties (Ph.D.)
The unprecedented shift to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic presented a unique opportunity to research adult English language learners’ lived experiences of online learning and motivations for persistence. With the growing trend of offering online learning to adult learners and concerns over the high attrition rates associated with this method (Nagel, 2009), it is critical to analyze adult English language learners’ lived experiences of online learning and motivations for persistence to inform pedagogical practices that will promote learner retention in online formats. The purpose of this study was to extend the current research through the lens of self-determination theory and the idea that when individuals’ basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness are satisfied, intrinsic motivation is promoted (Deci & Ryan, 1985). Research shows learners who are intrinsically motivated undertake learning for inherent satisfaction, become actively engaged, and persist when faced with challenges (Ryan & Deci, 2000b). Using a phenomenological approach, this study was designed to examine the lived experiences of six participants from one adult literacy center located in the Northeastern United States who had participated in online learning for at least 6 months during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings from a series of semi-structured interviews indicated four major themes: challenges of online learning for adult English language learners, needs of adult English language learners in online learning, benefits of online learning for adult English language learners, and adult English language learners’ motivations for persistence. Results show that when considering adult English language learners’ basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness as a way to promote motivation, educators should account for learners’ unique cultural differences, including backgrounds, attitudes, and goals.
Searby, Patricia F., "ADULT ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS’ EXPERIENCES OF ONLINE LEARNING AND MOTIVATIONS FOR PERSISTENCE DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC" (2023). Theses and Dissertations. 537.