Unpacking online learning experiences: Online learning self-efficacy and learning satisfaction

Demei Shen, Moon Heum Cho, Chia Lin Tsai, Rose Marra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

280 Scopus citations


Self-efficacy is believed to be a key component in successful online learning; however, most existing studies of online self-efficacy focus on the computer. Although computer self-efficacy is important in online learning, researchers have generally agreed that online learning entails self-efficacy of multifaceted dimensions; therefore, one of the purposes of the current study was to identify dimensions of online learning self-efficacy. Through exploratory factor analysis, we identified five dimensions of online learning self-efficacy: (a) self-efficacy to complete an online course, (b) self-efficacy to interact socially with classmates, (c) self-efficacy to handle tools in a Course Management System (CMS), (d) self-efficacy to interact with instructors in an online course, and (e) self-efficacy to interact with classmates for academic purposes. In addition, the role of demographic variables in online learning self-efficacy was investigated. Demographic variables, such as the number of online courses taken, gender, and academic status were found to predict online learning self-efficacy. Furthermore, we found that online learning self-efficacy predicted students' online learning satisfaction. Results are discussed, and implications for online teaching and learning are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-17
Number of pages8
JournalInternet and Higher Education
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Learning satisfaction
  • Online learning
  • Online learning self-efficacy
  • Self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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