Lars Erik Kjekshus: "Socially induced motivation in learning: coping with digital interaction in higher education under the pandemic"

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a total digital disruption of all activities at universities. New digital tools and arenas replaced the daily physical interactions between students and professors. How did this affect motivation and learning outcomes?

This article, by Ida Poppe and Lars Erik Kjekshus, uses the pandemic as a prism to understand how and why social relations and interaction are important in the educational system. Published in Current Psychology. 

Bildet kan inneholde: font, oppskrift, utgivelse, magenta, elektrisk blå.


Data were obtained from 26 informants in two case studies (study programs). A total of 12 in-depth interviews with employees and 4 group interviews with 14 students were performed at Oslo University during the pandemic (2020–2021). 

Lars Erik Kjekshus and Ida Poppe explore an alternative understanding of social ties in relation to the educational process and the importance of social interaction in sensemaking and self-determination theory concepts. As digital disruption creates a social disconnect for most actors, it becomes prevalent that social activity, both formal and informal, seems to be an important source of motivation for both students and faculty members at the university. They introduce the concept of socially induced motivation as an important aspect of learning. The tendencies in the informants’ accounts of the social interaction are perceived in this context as sensemaking the university as an organization and how it solves its missions and assignments. Socially induced motivation is an important concept, both in relation to work in general and specifically to work in higher education. Their study shows why universities should strive to facilitate socially induced motivation in the future.

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Emneord: Higher Education Policy, education, Digitalisation, Covid-19, Sensemaking, Social interaction
Publisert 15. aug. 2022 12:27 - Sist endret 15. aug. 2022 15:10