Autonomy, affiliation, and ability appear as main factors that influence online learners' motivation and learning outcomes, however, the relative salience of these three factors remains unclear in the online learning literature. Drawing on Deci and Ryan's self-determination theory, this study sought to bridge this gap by investigating the relative salience of perceived autonomy, affiliation, and ability on learner motivation and learning outcomes in two special education online programs (N = 262). This study found that the most salient predictor varied from categories of motivation and learning outcomes, and the number of significant predictors increased by participants' level of motivation/self-determination. Results of this study provide implications for online learner support.
Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal (KM&EL), Vol 2, No 1 (2010)