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Education Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 242417, 7 pages
Research Article

Motivational Processes in Online Learning: The Role of Tutorship for Laboratory Activities through the Semistructured Self-Evaluation Tests

Department of Education, Roma Tre University, Via Milazzo 11 B, 00185 Rome, Italy

Received 17 November 2013; Revised 8 March 2014; Accepted 8 March 2014; Published 7 April 2014

Academic Editor: Gwo-Jen Hwang

Copyright © 2014 Valeria Biasi and Gaetano Domenici. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This contribution highlights the role of  affective processes in multimedia learning conducted by e-learning platform used in the General Psychology online laboratory activities, based on semistructured self-evaluation tests following the model proposed by Domenici (2005). These tests include items with a closed- and open-ended structure requiring the student to answer within space restrictions and, in some cases, within context simulations. This enables scorers to give generally univocal and objective scores thereby assuring high test validity and reliability. The focus is on the psychological aspects of the online tutor’s role and its effects on learning levels. Students who completed the online laboratory activities through the semistructured self-evaluation tests ( ) obtained an average score of 27.7 in the objective examination; students who did not complete the activities or who never even started them ( ) obtained an average score of 25.7. These differences are statistically significant ( ; ). The advantages of online learning are highlighted: developing an active attitude towards learning, enabling the individualisation of learning, and strengthening motivation with regard to knowledge, self-assertiveness, and sociality. This motivational activation reinforces convergent and divergent cognitive skills, owing to the semistructured tests, which facilitate knowledge and study method acquisition.