“Students are most motivated to learn when they feel they are competent, they belong to and are supported by a community, and they are in control of their own learning i.e. autonomous” (Svinicki 2016, p.6).
Self-determination theory is a theory of motivation in which the basic needs of feeling competent, autonomous and related to others are being met. Thwarting these needs can lead to controlled motivation (i.e. pressure to behave in certain ways) or being unmotivated (Deci & Ryan 2012).