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Essay: Assessing the Motivation of Accounting Students in Synchronous and Asynchronous Online Learning

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  • Published: 1 October 2019*
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  • Tags: Online learning essays

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Chapter 1
This chapter includes the background of the study, review of literature, theoretical framework, conceptual framework, research paradigm, statement of the problem, hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation and definition of terms.
Background of the Study
The World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11 declared COVID-19 a pandemic, pointing to the over 118,000 cases of the coronavirus illness in over 110 countries and territories around the world and the sustained risk of further global spread (Ducharme, 2020). To curb the spread of COVID-19, most governments have opted to employ quarantine protocols and temporarily shut down their educational institutions. As a consequence, more than a billion learners have been affected worldwide. Among this number are over 28 million Filipino learners across academic levels who have to stay at home and comply with the Philippine government’s quarantine measures (UNESCO, 2020). Educational institutions were forced to suspend face-to-face classes and only a few higher-ranked universities in the country were able to start the online learning immediately.
Cranton (2014) defines online learning as a formalized teaching and learning system specifically designed to be carried out remotely by using electronic communication. It may be asynchronous (where students do not need to be online at the same time) or synchronous (where students are online together) or some mixture of the two. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, school closures in over a dozen countries due to the COVID-19 outbreak have disrupted the education of at least 290.5 million students worldwide. Educators and students around the world are feeling the extraordinary ripple effect of the novel coronavirus as schools shut down amid the public health emergency (McCarthy, 2020). For some students, distance learning means switching to different class materials than they had been using before (Zhong, 2020).
In addition to the mentioned circumstances, Gautam (2020) claimed that online learning can be detrimental to the education process because of lack of continuity in learning, sense of isolation, and inability to focus on screens while reading or having a class. If motivation of students in online learning is left unchecked, this will negatively affect the learning of the students.
In fact, a study conducted by Figlio, Rush, and Yin (2010) reveal that the course performance of the students was higher in traditional lectures than in online learning courses. With this finding, it is undeniable that motivation can be a contributing factor to the course performance of students. Without a doubt, therefore, online learning whether synchronous or asynchronous, can cause an alarming problem for many students. Hence, it is precisely in this context that the researchers aim to assess the students’ motivation in the online learning environment, both synchronous and asynchronous. In particular, this proposed thesis aims to determine the motivation of the Accounting students at Father Saturnino Urios University, Butuan City and describe the difference of motivation in the aspects of synchronous and asynchronous learning. The researchers argue that there is a need to assess the students’ motivation in both synchronous and asynchronous form, ultimately because knowing and understanding the difference of motivation in synchronous and asynchronous type of learning will put the researchers in the best position to offer possible alternatives to the problem. Undeniably, it is when we performed some kind of diagnosis that we can offer intervention to the problem. Analyzing the student’s motivation in online learning and identifying its relevance to their academic learning are the foundation in addressing the problem.
Based on the researchers’ initial accumulation of information with some randomly selected Accounting students of Father Saturnino Urios University, indeed, there are a lot of factors and impacts that the online learning have, whether synchronous or asynchronous, to the motivation of students to learn. The researchers learned that most of the students are often times not motivated in studying because of poor internet connection, disturbances in their learning environment, and household responsibilities such as chores. Lack of motivation can be a degrading factor to the academic performance of the students. As a matter of fact, Gasco et al (2014) noted that motivation plays an important role in learning because it greatly explains academic performance. Further, Khatib (2010) showed in his research titled “Meta-cognitive Self-regulated Learning and Motivational Beliefs as Predictors of College Students’ Performance,” that students’ motivations and strategy use have some impact on student performance. Indeed, these are concrete proofs that online learning (synchronous or asynchronous) has impacts to motivation of the students. As already hinted, the researchers initially show that online learning whether synchronous or asynchronous may have impacts on the motivation of students towards learning.
Given the atop discussion, it is evident that there are indeed Accounting students in Father Saturnino Urios University who are struggling with regards to motivation, through this online learning platform. And as observed, there are a lot of factors and circumstances brought by online learning affecting the students’ motivation. Again, it is for this reason that the researchers attempt to compare the level of motivation of Accounting students of Father Saturnino Urios university in an online learning environment both synchronous and asynchronous to offer possible intervention with this matter.
Review of Literature

Student’s Motivation. Motivation is an important role in students’ interest in study that pushed them to learn and reach their target which is to have high grades at the end of the semester. In addition, extrinsic motivation provided positive outcome that makes the students become eager at getting reward or achievement from their CGPA results. According to Clark and Schroth (2010), motivation has two factors namely intrinsic motivation which is more driven on accomplishments out of obligations summed with showcasing satisfaction on achieving accomplishments and extrinsic motivation which determines behaviour that are done in achieving goal or reward surpassing the activity itself. Mills and Blankstein (2000) discovered that student who has a personality of being self-oriented and has high standard yielded in higher scores in examination. Eventually the assessing factor portrays extrinsic motivation as their benchmark in their academic goal has then proven to be positively correlated with the students resort to be competitive and also gain recognition by the public from their success (Mills and Blankstein, 2000). According to Remali et al. (2013), students with higher CGPA scores have higher intrinsic motivation. This conclusion was supported by Lee et al. (2010) that showed students are more inclined towards intrinsic motivation in producing academic excellence. It is also consistent with the results that can be found from other research done by Walker et al. (2006), Moneta and Spada (2009) and Clark and Schroth (2010) in a sense that students are intrinsically motivated in gaining more knowledge and to achieve things toward academic performance.
Motivating students has been a key challenge facing instructors in the contexts of online learning (Zhao et. al 2016). In which motivation is one of the bases of the student to do well in their studies. When students are motivated, the outcome is a good mark. In short, motivation is a way to pushed them study more to get high grades. According to Zhao (2016) motivation in an online learning environment revealed that there are learning motivation differences among students from different cultural backgrounds. Motivation is described as “the degree of people’s choices and the degree of effort they will put forth” (Keller, 1983). Learning is closely linked to motivation because it is an active process that necessitates intentional and deliberate effort. Educators must build a learning atmosphere in which students are highly encouraged to participate both actively and productively in learning activities if they want to get the most out of school (Stipek, 2002). John Keller (1987) in his study revealed that attention and motivation will not be maintained unless the learner believes the teaching and learning are relevant. According to Zhao (2016), a strong interest in a topic will lead to mastery goals and intrinsic motivation.
Positive learning encouragement, according to Sijun (2020), may help students increase their interest in learning, explain their learning objectives, and persevere in pursuing their own goals. Negative learning motivation, on the other hand, causes students to abandon their original learning goals, decrease learning time and frequency, and suffer academically, eventually losing interest in learning. Every teaching activity in education connects the needs to stimulate students’ learning motivation (Richards, Jack & Richard Schmidt, 2010).
Moreover, balance requirements and freedom in discussions where students are found to boost their competence by posting clear guidelines and freely express their thoughts. Clear class routines as also a strategy in boosting students’ competence recognized by undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty. Effective feedback pertains to the ability to give comments to students’ output or contributions on discussion found to be a unique motivating factor in an online learning. Collaboration as a motivating strategy is the ability to interact in an online discussion by creating small groupings to give students the opportunity to build good relationships in an online way. It can be seen that students’ learning engagement is an important factor affecting academic achievement (Kuh, 2001).
Engagement can be perceived with the interaction between students and teachers in online classes. Student engagement, according to Fredericks et al. (2004), is a meta-construct that includes behavioral, affective, and mental involvement. Despite the fact that there is a broad body of literature on behavioral (i.e., time on task), emotional (i.e., interest and value), and cognitive engagement (i.e., self-regulation and learning strategies), what sets engagement apart is its capacity as a multifaceted strategy. While there is substantial research on behavioral (i.e., time on task), emotional (i.e., interest and value), and cognitive engagement (i.e., self-regulation and learning strategies what distinguishes engagement is its ability as a multidimensional or “meta”-construct that encompasses all three dimensions.
Even though engagement cannot be directly observed in an online setting, behavioral interactions are good indicators are present such as the number of times students are visiting and re- visiting the materials in an online platform, by asking their feedbacks or comments, and through their output submissions (Kennedy, 2020). The sense of engagement may also differ in terms of gender, teacher support, peer support, and etc. In the study of Fredrick, Bluemenfeld and Friedel (2003) found out that girls have higher behavioral, emotional, and cognitive engagement than boys, teacher support and work orientation are significantly related to behavior, emotional and cognitive engagement of students. The varying factors of making students engage in online learning environment would classify students under high engaged and low engaged students. High engaged students were more positive about their online learning than low engaged students.

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