Effects of Online College Student’s Internet Self-efficacy on Learning Motivation and Performance

Aug. 01, 2014

Source: Innovations in Education and Teaching International, Vol. 51, No. 4, 366–377, 2014
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

The aim of this study was to determine how Internet self-efficacy helps students to transform motivation into learning action and its effect on learning performance.

The participants were 80 students (36 males and 44 females) enrolled in the Culture and Mental Health course at a university in northern Taiwan.
Two questionnaires, the Online Computer Technology Survey (OCTS) and Course Interest Survey (CIS), were used to collect quantitative data.
The authors applied quantitative analysis to elucidate the relationship between student-perceived Internet self-efficacy and learning performance.
The effects of Internet self-efficacy on student motivation and learning performance were evaluated through the analysis of variance.


The findings reveal that students with higher Internet self-efficacy performed better in the final exam than students with lower Internet self-efficacy.
It is then recommended that teachers should be aware of the level of their students’ Internet self-efficacy at the beginning of an online course and then provide some approaches/assistance for the low Internet self-efficacy students to support improvement so as to promote overall learning performance.

This study found significant differences between the male students and the female students in terms of online discussion
participation, final exam scores, confidence and Internet self-efficacy in the post-test.
Notably, the females participated more in online discussions than the males, and performed better in the final exam.
These gender-based differences may indicate that males and females have different learning priorities.
Learning online may allow male students to demonstrate their higher Internet self-efficacy and confidence; however, female students make an effort to perform better.

Both male and female students display a gap between belief and action.
On the one hand, the male students, with higher Internet self-efficacy, had inferior performance in the final exam but participated less in online discussions than female students.
On the other hand, the female students, in addition to Internet self-efficacy, there must be some other factors, such as study effort, self-discipline and time management which would also influence the learning performance of female students.
As a result, male and female students may behave differently in several ways while attending online courses. This calls for a follow-up study addressing how academic self-efficacy and Internet self-efficacy would affect students’ engagements in online courses.


There were two main results of this study; the first one is: it was proved that the Internet self-efficacy of learners is an important factor influencing learning performance and motivation (ARCS dimensions: confidence and relevance); and these influences are stronger for male students than for female students.
The second result of this study shows that Internet self-efficacy had less influence on learning performance for the female students than for the male students; however, Internet self-efficacy did influence the confidence and learning performance of the male students.

Updated: Jan. 19, 2016