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Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research
written by Nicholas Hall and David J. Webb
The role of autonomy in the student experience in a large-enrollment undergraduate introductory physics course was studied from a self-determination theory perspective. A correlational study investigated whether certain aspects of the student experience correlated with how autonomy supportive (versus controlling) students perceived their instructors to be. An autonomy-supportive instructor acknowledges students' perspectives and feelings and provides students with information and opportunities for choice while minimizing external pressures (e.g., incentives or deadlines). It was found that the degree to which students perceived their instructors as autonomy supportive was positively correlated with student interest and enjoyment in learning physics (β = 0.31***) and negatively correlated with student anxiety about taking physics (β = -0.23**). It was also positively correlated with how autonomous (versus controlled) students' reasons for studying physics became over the duration of the course (i.e., studying physics more because they wanted to versus had to; (β = 0.24***). This change in autonomous reasons for studying physics was in turn positively correlated with student performance in the course (β = 0.17*).  Additionally, the degree to which students perceived their instructors as autonomy supportive was directly correlated with performance for those students entering the course with relatively autonomous reasons for studying physics (β = 0.25**). In summary, students who perceived their instructors as more autonomy supportive tended to have a more favorable motivational, affective, and performance experience in the course. The findings of the present study are consistent with experimental studies in other contexts that argue for autonomy-supportive instructor behaviors as the cause of a more favorable student experience.
Subjects ADS Supplements Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- General
Education - Basic Research
- Learning Theory
- Research Design & Methodology
= Data
= Statistics
- Student Characteristics
= Affect
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Researchers
- Professional/Practitioners
- Administrators
- Educators
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Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.10.020116
Keywords:
Motivational Theory, SDT, Self Determination Theory, student autonomy
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created July 27, 2015 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
December 13, 2022 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 26, 2014
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Record Link
AIP Format
N. Hall and D. Webb, , Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 10 (2), 020116 (2014), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.10.020116).
AJP/PRST-PER
N. Hall and D. Webb, Instructors’ Support of Student Autonomy in an Introductory Physics Course, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 10 (2), 020116 (2014), <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.10.020116>.
APA Format
Hall, N., & Webb, D. (2014, August 26). Instructors’ Support of Student Autonomy in an Introductory Physics Course. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res., 10(2), 020116. Retrieved February 5, 2023, from https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.10.020116
Chicago Format
Hall, Nicholas, and David Webb. "Instructors’ Support of Student Autonomy in an Introductory Physics Course." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 10, no. 2, (August 26, 2014): 020116, https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.10.020116 (accessed 5 February 2023).
MLA Format
Hall, Nicholas, and David Webb. "Instructors’ Support of Student Autonomy in an Introductory Physics Course." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 10.2 (2014): 020116. 5 Feb. 2023 <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.10.020116>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Nicholas Hall and David Webb", Title = {Instructors’ Support of Student Autonomy in an Introductory Physics Course}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {10}, Number = {2}, Pages = {020116}, Month = {August}, Year = {2014} }
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%A Nicholas Hall %A David Webb %T Instructors' Support of Student Autonomy in an Introductory Physics Course %J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. %V 10 %N 2 %D August 26, 2014 %P 020116 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.10.020116 %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Hall, Nicholas %A Webb, David %D August 26, 2014 %T Instructors' Support of Student Autonomy in an Introductory Physics Course %J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. %V 10 %N 2 %P 020116 %8 August 26, 2014 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.10.020116


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