Research Proposal

During this research assessment, I wanted to focus on the current situation most University students are experiencing which is the transition to online learning. Specifically how they will adjust working from home and what impact this will have on their motivation and productivity. 

My interest of this topic surfaced due the recent events surrounding the pandemic, leading to University transitioning to online learning. Before the new semester began, I had planned and set goals for myself in order to balance university, work and life. This has changed dramatically in the past couple of weeks with everything now being from home. The transition to online learning is a new experience for many students. Many expressed being overwhelmed and feelings of uncertainty towards adjusting to this new way of learning and raised concerns towards their motivation and productiveness. According to a study conducted by Hewson (2018) based on students perceptions of their online courses, 68% of the students were worried their motivation would be affected by their productivity due to concerns work/ life challenges could potentially get in the way. 

The physicality of going to a class and having that organised learning time is no longer available. The classroom aspect allows individuals to engage in learning with others and can lead to discussions with peers to understand content which an individual might not be able to achieve on their own. Therefore it is up to individuals to engage, participate and motivate in order to achieve self regulated learning. According to Yates (2004) “motivation is the internal power that drives individuals to act in order to satisfy their desire.” This was further investigated by Azrien and Adnan (2006) of the association between components of motivation and self-regulated learning. Study found that most of the motivational factors are significantly associated with the components of self-regulated learning.

This then leads to the second part of my study surrounding what students could implement in order to be productive and motivated. Im & Kang (2019) study based in Korea on students participating in online learning, focused on the factors which impact students and their learning achievements. One of the factors specifically considered was the Orientation of their goal achievements. It explained the individual learners approach, participation and attitude towards learning varied due to each students achievement goal orientation. Achievement goal orientation focuses how individual learners think about their motivations and attitude towards online learning. The individuals who had set these goals for themselves and kept themselves motivated by their goals, lead to positive achievements and outcomes to their participation in online learning. 

Similarly, Salazar (2012) explains when an individual has identified their goal, they should then establish a routine that will help to achieve their goal. During these uncertain times, routines can help to reduce stresses as it allows us to manage work/ life balances, set positive habits and prioritise self care. As students transition to online learning, establishing routines would be ideal in order to adapt to this new environment to learning. 

The research above directly relates to the current learning environment University students are participating in. Due to this pandemic, the usual student experience has been vastly affected with learning being transitioned to online. Many students will face stresses towards their motivation, productivity and how they will adjust to the new learning environment. What kind of goals and routines will students set for themselves in order to stay motivated and productive? I would like to analyse the goals and routines students have set for themselves and how this will affect their motivation and productivity. How will they maintain their goals and routines in order to stay productive and motivated? 


Azrien, M., & Adnan, M. (2006). Motivation, learning self-regulation arrangements and academic achievements in Arabic language studies among university students in Malaysia. (Master of Education Project Paper), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi. 

Hewson, ERF. 2018. Students’ Emotional Engagement, Motivation and Behaviour Over the Life of an Online Course: Reflections on Two Market Research Case Studies. Journal of Interactive Media in Education.

Im, T. and Kang, M., 2019. Structural Relationships of Factors Which Impact on Learner Achievement in Online Learning Environment. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 20(1).

Salazar, M. J. (2012) ‘Home–School Collaboration for Embedding Individualized Goals in Daily Routines’, Young Exceptional Children.

Yates, L. (2004). What does good education research look like?: Situating a field and its practices. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

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