Encouraging Active Learning in Higher Education: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective

Lucas Jeno, PhD student at bioCEED, has recently published the article “Encouraging Active Learning in Higher Education: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective”.


Based on the work of Self-Determination Theory, this article suggests how to implement Self-Determination Theory based principle in a learner-centered perspective. Higher education has traditionally rested on learning methods that render passive students. Societal changes require self-regulatory skills and an active motivational set. However, lack of theoretical, empirical and practical driven theory in implementation of learner-centered education has lead to a philosophical debate. It is argued for a holistic model for implementing principles derived from Self-Determination Theory (SDT) in a learner-centered paradigm. SDT makes specific prediction for nurturing vs. neglecting learning environments, and thus highly appropriate framework. An important differentiation between types of motivations that differs in relative autonomy, and social climates that may be perceived as amotivating, controlling, and informational is necessary for understanding learning and educational practices. Finally, practical recommendations for teachers in higher education to put into practice. It is argued for a system in which all levels of education supports motivation to support student motivation. Both the institutional level and teacher culture must have a learner centered perspective, further, pre-during-post class preparations are important for high quality learning.

Reference and link to the article

Jeno, L. M. (2015). Encouraging Active Learning in Higher Education: A Self-Determination Theory PerspectiveInternational Journal of Technology and Inclusive Education, 5(1), 716-721


About the author

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