Online Learning Self-Efficacy and Learning Satisfaction

Charity Obiyo Written by C-Baby · 2 min read >

Self-efficacy has been believed to be the key component to successful online learning with main focus on computer self- efficacy. Self-efficacy “is the belief we have in our own abilities, specifically our ability to meet the challenges ahead of us and complete a task successfully (Akhtar, 2008)”.

In this article reviewed, the keywords are “online learning self-efficacy and learning satisfaction”. To prove this further, the researcher identified multifaceted dimensions of online learning self-efficacy namely: “self-efficacy to complete an online course, self-efficacy to interact socially with class mates for academic purpose, self-efficacy to handle tools in a course management system (CRM), and self-efficacy to interact with instructor in an online course.”

Demographic variables such as gender courses taken and academic states were found to predict online self-efficacy.  Consequently, the researchers discovered that online learning self-efficacy foretold students’ learning satisfaction Shen, Cho, Tsai and Marra (2013).

Self-efficacy towards learning is a major determinant of academic success or failure. It was discovered that the higher the self-efficacy, the higher the success rate of that person in achieving excellent result.

Self-efficacy brings out one’s desire to learn/succeed. Hence, the article has been able to illustrate the importance of self-efficacy mainly to online learning setting as results have shown that the level of drop out and failure in online learning is higher than traditional learning setting.

In the article, three areas were considered in self-efficacy online leaning chiefly: technology, learning and social interaction. In previous research, it was found that moderate and positive attitudes by students to internet self-efficacy yielded greater online learning achievement than students with low internet self-efficacy. Same was discovered for learning self-efficacy) Artino (2008).

In social interaction, high self-efficacy to interact with instructors and contribute to online forum has yielded active interaction strategies in writing, responding and reflecting in students; Cho and Jonassen (2009).

The authors gave brief analysis, results and their views on past research; “online experience and self-efficacy Cho and Kim (2013), academic status self-efficacy Artino and Stephan (2009) and student satisfaction with online learning Womble (2008)”.  Based on this, the authors decided to further their research mainly on the role of self-efficacy in online learning environments by investigating the dimension of online learning self-efficacy, variables that are related to students online learning self-efficacy and the extent to which self-efficacy relates to student online learning satisfaction.

The authors investigated a total of 406 students who still enrolled in an online course; 37,2% undergraduates and 60.1% graduates, 74.1% female and 25.6% male. The ethnicity was mainly Caucasians- 60.1%  

The authors failed to have a gender range for their research as I believe that the gender gap of the participants was wide. The report did not compare the participants in this report with previous research.

In addition, the investigation was only based on online learning students unlike previous research that was based on both online learning students and traditional learning students.

Fortunately, the authors did not limit their investigation to previous research but decided to raise questions and investigate other factors that may contribute to online self-efficacy. This was done by identifying dimensions of online self-efficacy and measuring online learning satisfaction. The extent to which self-efficacy relates to student online learning satisfaction was performed by multiple regression analysis using the five self-efficacy factors namely: self-efficacy to complete an online course, self-efficacy to interact socially with classmates , self-efficacy to handle tools in a course management system, self-efficacy to interact with instructors in an online course and self-efficacy to interact socially with classmates for academic purposes”. These factors accounted to 35% of the variance in learning satisfaction D. Shen (2013). In addition, one of the major predictors of learning satisfaction was self-efficacy to complete an online course.

In conclusion, the authors did not just explore the technical and learning aspects of the online learning but likewise looked into the social interaction. Also, the authors considered multiple aspect of self-efficacy in online notions. They gave detailed results and opinions in each of the self-efficacy in online learning, the challenges and possible solutions to the challenges especially on how to promote social interactions with instructors and classmates.

Similarly, they were able to prove that technical and learning self-efficacy are not the only factors for successful online learning, but that self-efficacy to social interaction is also a very significant factor to the success of online learning.

It is of my opinion that, there should have been a gender range for the participants as the gap between the female and male (participants) was wide. Also, the authors did not put the traditional learning students into consideration. Hence, the article is slightly strong scientifically; it should be subject for further research.


Shen D, Cho M, Tsai C, Marra R and others (2013), Unpacking Online Learning Experiences: Online Learning Self-Efficacy and Learning Satisfaction

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