Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Instructional Design and Development

Committee Chair

Dr. Shenghua Zha


Finding ways to motivate learners in online courses can be difficult when the interaction between the instructor and the learner is conducted through written text. The use of syllabi is an important component to help guide learners and provide them with course expectations. A poorly written or misinterpreted syllabus can contribute to a negative experience. When the syllabus is perceived in a way that promotes negative feelings, the learners may have a more difficult time being successful in the course. The purpose of this study was to determine how a video-enhanced syllabus affects motivation in an online course.

The courses included in this research were taught fully online and used a common course structure. The research questions for this study were identified as:

  1. How was the learner's intrinsic motivation affected by the use of a video-enhanced syllabus?
  2. How did the use of a video-enhanced syllabus affect the learner's value in the course?
  3. How did the use of a video-enhanced syllabus affect the learner's expectancy of success in the overall course?

The assumptions that I made were that learners would become more intrinsically motivated, feel there was more value in the course, and would feel more expectancy of success from implementation of a video-enhanced syllabus.

I used an instrument aimed at measuring motivation, with a focus on intrinsic motivation. The three variables that were the driving force behind this study were intrinsic motivation, value, and expectancy. The instrument was created by modifying and combining appropriate items from the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory survey instrument, and the Expectancy, Value, Cost scale. The results of the study were not significant and suggest that further investigation should take place with a larger sample.

The results from the interest/enjoyment subscale revealed an overall increase in intrinsic motivation with the experimental group, however caution was advised in interpreting the results due the small sample size. The value/usefulness scale revealed no significant difference between the control and experimental group. There was no statistically significant difference for expectancy between the control group and the experimental group.