Need satisfaction and collective efficacy in undergraduate blog-driven classes: A structural equation modelling approach


  • Shantanu Tilak The Ohio State University
  • Michael Glassman The Ohio State University
  • Joshua Peri The Ohio State University
  • Menglin Xu The Ohio State University
  • Irina Kuznetcova Akita International University
  • Lixiang Gao Peking University



self-determination theory, collaborative learning constructivism, self-efficacy, cybernetics


This paper investigates how psychological needs spurring self-determined motivation relate to collective efficacy for flourishing in online learning communities. Self-determination theory posits individuals experience intrinsic motivation to flourish at educational tasks because of targeted satisfaction of the three psychological needs: autonomy, relatedness, and competence. However, studies conducted to investigate collective, technology-assisted learning processes suggest competence and relatedness may play a pivotal role in online community engagement and knowledge-sharing. Moreover, informal gaming experiences may mirror the collaborative skills needed in online educational/professional communities. These insights suggest confidence in one’s abilities to contribute to a community, the perception of a strong, supportive social culture in the online classroom, and informal online experiences may lead to self-determined motivation enabling agents in distributed, technology-assisted classrooms to collectively flourish. Little work has been done to examine effects of need satisfaction on collective efficacy in using online technologies. To fill this research gap, we used structural equation modelling to investigate perceptions of 636 undergraduate students enrolled in classes within an education department at a midwestern university employing weekly asynchronous blogging. Our results suggest students’ experience with multiplayer gaming, and need satisfaction towards competence and relatedness correlate with higher collective efficacy in technology-assisted classrooms employing discussion forums.

Implications for practice or policy:

  • For instructors, student usership and design can spur motivation in online classrooms.
  • For researchers, understanding student perceptions of collaboration using technology can help understand how to design better technology-assisted classrooms.
  • The design of collaborative online educational communities should focus on creating positive social cultures and fostering competence for students.


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How to Cite

Tilak, S., Glassman, M., Peri, J., Xu, M., Kuznetcova, I., & Gao, L. (2022). Need satisfaction and collective efficacy in undergraduate blog-driven classes: A structural equation modelling approach. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 38(6), 75–90.