Students’ Motivation in Online Higher Education During the Pandemic


  • Jennie Karlsson
  • Filip Winzell
  • Yue Qiu
  • Zhankun Chen
  • Enrico Turato


Higher Education, Students, Teachers, Motivation, ERT, Pandemic, Self-Determination Theory


Compared to regular teaching, online teaching clearly has some advantages and disadvantages. Here we focus on the online teaching setting during the pandemic in higher education and mainly, but not limited to, in its effect on students' motivation. As a tool, we produced a survey that was circulated among both students, Ph.D. students and teachers. The questions included did not clearly hint at the motivation but were rather about behavior, tendencies and perceptions during the online learning and teaching. Results from the survey have been interpreted considering two motivation theories: the self-determination theory (SDT) and the six c’s (6C). What appeared from the survey is that most of the students and teachers (50%) generally felt a decrease in students’ motivation, but not a lot of decrease. A strong consistency was found between students’ self-perception and teachers’ perception of students. Further analysis of the answers from the “Autonomy”, “Competence”, and “Relatedness” aspects in SDT showed that autonomy was not much affected while relatedness experienced a non-negligible decrease.