Demotivating Online Formative Assessment Strategies at an Open Distance Learning University
Keywords:demotivating online formative assessment strategies, online learning, open and distance learning (ODL), motivation, persistence
Online formative assessment strategies are an important element in the level of engagement needed for motivating students learning online in open distance learning (ODL) because they are key in offering large-scale interactive participation. While many studies have looked at the advantages of online formative assessment strategies, they have neglected demotivating online formative assessment strategies that students struggle with. To ensure the quality of the online assessment, it is also important to understand the nature of assessment practices that demotivate students from persisting with their studies. This is because the type of online assessment that students struggle with should guide the choice and design of the online formative assessment strategies. Therefore, this article identifies online formative assessment strategies that demotivate students from participating persistently in online formative assessment in ODL in order to improve the design and development of online learning. This study used a developmental research approach to carry out a descriptive quantitative case study survey involving 112 purposefully sampled students, of which 58 responded, who were registered for a master’s in education in ODL course at an ODL university in South Africa. A thematic coding process was adopted during the analysis of students’ responses to an online Google form. Though students differed in their choices of the online formative assessment strategies that demotivated them in their studies, there was consensus on seven significant themes. The socio-technological perspective and the self-determination theory were used as the theoretical frameworks to drive the investigation since they encompassed all relevant aspects of the design of online learning and motivation to learn online. Information regarding demotivating online formative assessment strategies provide insight to course leaders and instructional designers attempting to build successful online learning strategies that motivate students to participate persistently in online learning environments.
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