Are undergraduates' perceptions of choice and structure within a course related to sense of autonomy, academic emotions, and self-regulated learning strategies?
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This study investigated how students’ perceptions of course choice and structure are related directly or indirectly to their sense of autonomy, academic emotions, and use of self-regulated learning strategies with the hypothesis of significant relationship of these two areas of instructional practice to those outcome variables. In this study, a total of 601 undergraduate students were asked to respond to surveys on perceived choice, perceived structure, perceived autonomy, academic emotions, and self-regulated learning strategies as well as basic course characteristic information measure with regard to a specific course in which they were enrolled. Structural Equation Modeling suggested both students’ perceived choice and perceived structure in the classroom had small but positive relationships to their perceived autonomy. Regarding the relationships between these two teaching strategies and academic emotions, the level of students’ perceived choice was directly associated only with higher feeling of enjoyment, but indirectly related to all four academic emotions with mediation of the level of perceived autonomy in the direction that one would predict (i.e, higher enjoyment and pride, lower anger and anxiety). On the other hand, perceived structure predicted those four academic emotions not only directly but also indirectly via sense of autonomy in predicted direction. Regarding their relationships with self-regulated learning strategies, neither perceived choice nor perceived structure directly predicted use of self-regulated learning strategies. However, their relationships were supported through the mediation of academic emotions, sense of autonomy, or both. This research helps to provide a clearer picture of autonomy supportive teaching. In particular, this study might help to understand how provisions of choice and structure, which are controversial instructional methods about autonomy supportive teaching, influence the entire process of learning including academic emotions and self-regulation of learning as well as sense of autonomy.