Indifferent and careless school teachers bring much harm to a society. That is why the study of teachers' motivation, specifically learning motivation (LM), is one of the key points for educational psychology. This tradition receives a new incentive in the present epoch of intensive development of informational technologies and Internet based distance educational programs. Presently, investigations of LM relocate to a new technological learning environment. The purpose of this work is to find indicators of LM and methods of its quantification in online classes. One hundred eight graduate students which included current and prospective school teachers, who took the author's online psychology courses in 2011-2012, participated in the study. According to the study's results:1. There are three major indicators of LM: eagerness for acquisition of new knowledge in the field, initiative in discussing psychological and pedagogical issues with colleagues (classmates), and curiosity for educational innovations and news.
2. All participants can be distributed into three major categories: non-motivated (problem students), motivated, and overmotivated (enthusiasts).
3. Motivated students - interested, diligent, responsible, but not outright enthusiastic, constitute a majority (72%) of the investigated population. Together with over motivated individuals, they constitute an overwhelming majority (81%) of the total population.
The author concludes that on-line educational programs have a great potential for the analysis of students' LM. The study was conducted in a typical American college. Considering the results in a wider socio-cultural context, the author suggests that the much discussed failures of American school education, in all probability, are not caused by personal characteristics of the teachers.
Anna Toom, Touro College, United States
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