Objectives: This study applied self-determination theory (SDT) to investigate the relationship between students' autonomous motivation and tutors' autonomy support in medical students' academic achievement.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. Out of 204 students in a fundamental medical science course, 199 participated in the study. Data was collected using two questionnaires: the Learning Self-Regulation and Learning Climate Questionnaires. The score of the course assessment was the measure of academic achievement. Data was analyzed and reported with descriptive and inferential statistics (mean, standard deviation and multiple regression analysis).
Results: Mean score (±standard deviation) of the autonomous motivation, tutors' autonomy support, and academic achievement were 5.48±0.89, 5.22±0.92, and 5.22±0.92. Multiple regression results reported students' autonomous motivation was associated with improvement of students' academic achievement (β=15.2, p=0.004). However, augmentation of tutors' autonomy support was not reflected in the improvement of students' academic achievement (β = -12.6, p = 0.019). Both students' autonomous motivation and tutors' autonomy support had a contribution of about 4.2% students' academic achievement (F = 4.343, p = 0.014, R2 = 0.042).
Conclusions: Due to the unique characteristic of our medical students' educational background, our study shows that tutors' autonomy support is inconsistent with students' academic achievement. However, both autonomous motivation and support are essential to students' academic achievement. Further study is needed to explore students' educational background and self-regulated learning competence to improve students' academic achievement.
- academic achievement
- autonomous motivation
- autonomy support
- self-determination theory