Title

Online learning: Are subjective perceptions of instructional context related to academic success?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

12-1-2009

Journal

Internet and Higher Education

Volume

12

Issue

3-4

DOI

10.1016/j.iheduc.2009.07.003

Keywords

Academic motivation; Achievement emotions; Distance education; Distributed learning environments; Military training; Self-regulation

Abstract

This study explored the extent to which students' thoughts, feelings, and actions are associated with the nature of an online course and how that course relates to them personally. Following completion of an online course in aviation physiology, service academy undergraduates (N = 481) completed a survey that assessed several motivational, emotional, and behavioral outcomes. Consistent with expectations, results from a logistic regression analysis revealed that students who said they were planning to become aviators upon graduation were more likely to report greater perceptions of task value and greater use of metacognitive control strategies than their non-aviator counterparts. On the other hand, after controlling for the other variables in the model, aviators were actually less likely to report being satisfied with the online course, an unexpected finding. Taken together, these results partially substantiate the social cognitive notion that subjective perceptions of the learning environment ultimately shape students' motivational and behavioral engagement in that environment. Implications for the theory and research of online learning are discussed.

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