Re: Self-Determination theory versus SCT and AT

From: Jim Rogers (
Date: Mon Feb 07 2005 - 17:42:51 PST


I'm not sure if I am going to help advance the answers YOU are looking
for but I have my own motivation ;)... I'm more interested in zooming
in on the individual while you might be looking for a more broad
prespective. In any case here are a a couple of ideas I had

1. It might help to clarify what your specific E-learning situation
is. You mentioned computers being unable to make decisions which might
indicate you are working with AI, one of the articles you cited referred
to Learning objects. These would be very different situations (I just
wrote 'contexts' but deleted it after my e-mail to Lara) than the one I
am working in which is based on asynchronous discussions. It would
certainly be easier for me to discern some of the key issues you are
wrestling with if you could provide some specifics

> Online learning is by far more complex than offline or classroom
> learning

2. I am going to say that maybe it is not THAT much more complex- a lot
goes on in the classroom. Students can also choose to participate or
not, can pay attention, can ask questions. I think that the online
courses seem more mysterious because we really can't observe what's
going on. But I think it leads to your question about

> How can this investigation be done on the basis of activity theory?
> what are the parameters? Well, then Rodrigo, would we not then exactly
> need methods like Landa's? Also, if you agree that an e-Learning
> environment continuously needs to investigate a learner's activity,
> teacher's activity will also need to be analysed. Hm, and then, how to
> combine or elaborate both learner's and teacher's activity?
3) This online research methodology is certainly an important issue we
need to look at. I suppose one important parameter depends on your
specific situation (see #1 above)- what information do you have access
to (e.g. student log files, on-line activities, asynchronous discussion
archives)? I tried for a couple of semesters to collect data soley from
asyncrhonous discussions but felt they really fell short in providing
only synthetic description of what was going on in the classroom. I
wanted to know more about "why" things were happening and not just
"what" was happening. Luckily I was able to get students from the class
who happened to be on campus and interviewed them. This really helped
me to understand why the students engaged (and didn't engage) in the
class activities which is why my interest in identity became central. I
started out, somewhat like lara, looking for something completely

If the discussion on the Hybridity article ever gets started we can all
talk about the complexity of the individual and their actions in
various contexts (still not sure if I am using this term correctly though)


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Mar 01 2005 - 01:00:04 PST