An exploration of self-determination theory in online teaching professional development

This study explored the perceptions of distance education teachers certified by the @ONE online teaching certification program. The researcher conducted a mixed methods study to explore the self-perceptions of participants who completed the @ONE online teaching certificate program with regard to their motivation, learning, and the program’s psychological needs supports during the training. Data was collected from a survey sent to participants after they completed the entire @ONE online teaching program. Self-determination theory (SDT) was used as the framework to survey the participants as well as interpret the results. The SDT Basic Psychological Needs Scale (BPNS) survey was administered to participants to explore the theorized innate human psychological needs supports of autonomy, competency and relatedness. The BPNS scores were statistically correlated with the participant’s scores of the CAP Perceived Learning Scale that measured the participants self-perceived overall learning as well as sub components of cognitive, affective, psychomotor learning after reflecting on the program. Results from the correlation analysis determined a significant relationship between the participants’ perceived competency with the psychomotor learning as well as the overall perceived learning. The results also concluded that the prior experience inversely affected the participants affective learning score which measured attitudes and motivation toward the professional development. Recommendations for further study on the motivation of online students, requirements for online teacher certification policy, and leadership concluded this study.