Introduction to Self-Determination Theory: An approach to motivation, development and wellness

  • Created by Richard Ryan
  • Course Duration 21h
  • Price USD$
  • User Rating 4.8
  • Platform Coursera
  • Course Link Explore Course
Self-determination theory (SDT) is an empirically based theory of motivation and psychological development that is especially focused on the basic psychological needs that promote high quality motivation and wellness, and how they are supported in social contexts. SDT details how the styles and strategies of motivators such as parents, teachers, coaches, managers, and health-care professionals can promote or undermine engagement and the positive consequences that follow from it.

Discover the power of Self-Determination Theory in boosting motivation and wellness. Join Professor Richard Ryan’s engaging online course to gain valuable insights and practical applications. Enroll today!


Are you ready to embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery and empowerment? Welcome to the world of Self-Determination Theory (SDT), an empirically based approach to motivation, development, and wellness. In this article, we invite you to explore an exceptional online course, guided by the renowned Professor Richard Ryan, co-founder of SDT. Get ready to unlock your true potential and embrace a life filled with purpose and fulfillment. Enroll now and experience the power of SDT firsthand!

Course Overview

This engaging online course is designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of Self-Determination Theory and its impact on various aspects of life. With no previous experience required, the course welcomes learners of all backgrounds and interests. You’ll delve into the world of motivation and psychological development, gaining valuable insights that can transform the way you approach personal and professional challenges.

What You’ll Gain

By enrolling in this course, you’ll gain a profound understanding of the fundamental principles of Self-Determination Theory. As you progress through the modules, you’ll discover how autonomy, competence, and relatedness play pivotal roles in fostering high-quality motivation and promoting overall wellness. Professor Richard Ryan’s expert guidance will empower you to apply these principles to real-life scenarios, enriching your relationships, and enhancing your personal growth.

Who This Course is For

This course is tailor-made for individuals seeking to ignite the spark of self-motivation and those who wish to inspire and support others on their journeys of personal development. Whether you’re an educator, a coach, a healthcare professional, or simply someone eager to learn and grow, this course offers valuable insights that can be applied in diverse settings.

Understanding Self-Determination Theory (SDT)

Definition and Background: Self-Determination Theory, rooted in extensive research, focuses on understanding the basic psychological needs that drive human motivation and well-being. The theory emphasizes the role of autonomy, competence, and relatedness in nurturing and sustaining high-quality motivation.

Core Concepts: Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness: In this module, you’ll delve into the core concepts of SDT. Autonomy refers to the need to be in control of one’s actions and decisions, competence pertains to the desire for mastery and effectiveness, while relatedness centers on the need for social connections and a sense of belonging.

Importance of High-Quality Motivation: SDT emphasizes the significance of cultivating high-quality motivation over external rewards. By understanding the power of intrinsic motivation, you’ll discover how it leads to more profound engagement and a lasting sense of fulfillment.

Exploring Professor Richard Ryan’s Online Course

Course Structure and Duration: This comprehensive course spans approximately 21 hours, designed to be completed over three weeks with seven hours of study per week. The flexible schedule allows you to learn at your own pace, making it suitable for busy individuals.

Key Learning Objectives: As you progress through the course, you’ll gain proficiency in applying SDT principles in various aspects of life. From education and work to sports, healthcare, and psychotherapy settings, you’ll explore practical applications that can positively impact personal and professional environments.

Practical Applications in Various Settings: One of the highlights of this course is its emphasis on practical applications. Professor Richard Ryan will share insights into how SDT can be employed in educational institutions, workplace environments, sports coaching, healthcare practices, and psychotherapy sessions, fostering positive outcomes and holistic development.

The Benefits of Enrolling in the Course

Empowering Behavioral Persistence: SDT empowers individuals to persist in their endeavors by fostering a deep sense of purpose and internal motivation. By grasping the underlying principles, you’ll learn how to overcome obstacles and remain committed to your goals.

Enhancing Quality Relationships: Relationships play a vital role in human well-being. With SDT, you’ll understand the importance of supportive environments and how to cultivate meaningful connections that promote personal growth and fulfillment.

Fostering Healthy Developmental Processes: SDT provides a framework for healthy psychological development across the lifespan. From childhood to adulthood, the theory’s principles guide individuals towards a balanced and purposeful life journey.

Convergence of Behavioral Phenomenological and Neuropsychological Aspects: Dive into the fascinating convergence of behavioral and neuropsychological elements within SDT research. This module offers a deeper understanding of the science behind human motivation and behavior.

How to Get Started: Enrollment and Learning Experience

Accessing the Course on Coursera Plus: To kickstart your SDT learning journey, access the course on Coursera Plus, a comprehensive learning platform that offers a wealth of educational resources. With your subscription, you gain access to this course and many others in a cost-effective manner.

Flexible Schedule and Learning at Your Own Pace: Life is busy, and learning should be convenient. With this course, you have the flexibility to learn at your own pace, ensuring that your personal and professional commitments are well-balanced.

Shareable Certificate and LinkedIn Profile Boost: Upon course completion, you’ll earn a shareable certificate, showcasing your newfound expertise in SDT. Adding this certificate to your LinkedIn profile will undoubtedly impress potential employers and peers alike.

Quizzes, Assessments, and Skill Evaluation: The course includes quizzes and assessments to evaluate your understanding of SDT concepts. These interactive elements not only reinforce learning but also provide valuable feedback on your progress.


Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step towards unlocking your full potential with Self-Determination Theory. Through this transformative course, you’ve explored the core principles of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, gaining insights that can revolutionize the way you approach life. Embrace the power of intrinsic motivation, build meaningful connections, and foster personal growth. Enroll now and embark on a life-changing journey of self-discovery and empowerment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What prerequisites are required for this course?
There are no specific prerequisites for this course. It is open to learners of all levels and backgrounds.

2. How long will I have access to the course?
Once enrolled, you’ll have unlimited access to the course materials, allowing you to revisit the content whenever you wish.

3. Can I interact with Professor Richard Ryan during the course?
While the course is pre-recorded, you can participate in discussion forums and connect with fellow learners.

4. Is there a refund policy if I’m not satisfied with the course?
Coursera offers a 30-day refund policy for courses, ensuring your satisfaction as a learner.

5. Will I receive a physical certificate upon completion?
The certificate of completion is digital and shareable, making it easily accessible for showcasing your achievement.

Unlock the door to self-motivation and personal growth today. Enroll in our Introduction to Self-Determination Theory course and witness the positive changes it brings to your life!