Development and evaluation of an open online course in sport psychology using self-determination theory principles

PhD Thesis


Martin, Neil Ian. 2017. Development and evaluation of an open online course in sport psychology using self-determination theory principles. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/5bfe1216eb038
Title

Development and evaluation of an open online course in sport psychology using self-determination theory principles

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorMartin, Neil Ian
SupervisorTerry, Peter
Kelly, Nick
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages427
Year2017
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/5bfe1216eb038
Abstract

The provision of free, open, and online content is a relatively new phenomenon through which education providers are exploring innovative new business models to bring their content to a global audience. Learning materials that are openly licensed and readily accessible have the potential to transform educational delivery and present learning and psychological growth opportunities for all. However, there is little consensus as to how best design and deliver open online courses, where barriers to access are low and dropout rates are high. With its strong focus on autonomy and high quality motivation, self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) provides an ideal frame of reference to approach the design and development of open online courses. The present research describes the design and evaluation of an open online course titled Elite Sport Performance: Psychological Perspectives, being the first of its type in the world. Three related studies were conducted, each building on the next: Study 1 provides an evaluation of a first iteration of the course run in 2013, which was deemed unsuccessful. The course was evaluated mainly using web analytic criteria and provided useful insights to support a completely new iteration of the course. Study 2 articulates a redesign of Elite Sport Performance: Psychological Perspectives that addressed supporting the three basic psychological needs of self-determination theory: autonomy, competence and relatedness, with a view to fostering intrinsic motivation to engage learners and optimise learning outcomes. A step-by-step approach using best practice techniques is provided. Study 3 presents an empirical evaluation of Elite Sport Performance: Psychological Perspectives that was released to a global audience in late 2015 with 1007 registrations from 73 countries. The final study includes engagement data derived from web analytics, self-determination theory metrics (e.g., satisfaction of basic psychological needs),
and qualitative feedback from participants. Additionally, data are presented around continuance intention and reasons for non-engagement to better contextualise motivational dynamics in an open online course environment. In general terms, when taken together, the second iteration of the course was successful and supported the design approach taken. The implications of the findings of the present research suggest that designing for open online courses is a unique context in which the needs of the learner need to be carefully considered. A set of recommendations to enhance the design of open online courses such as Elite Sport Performance: Psychological Perspectives are provided. Suggestions for further research, particularly surrounding the potential benefits to well-being and eudaimonic flourishing offered by open online courses are speculated.

Keywordsopen education; self-determination theory; user-centred design; basic psychological needs; sport psychology
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020520107. Sport and exercise psychology
Byline AffiliationsAustralian Digital Futures Institute
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