Online Distance Learning in Higher Education: E-learning Readiness as a Predictor of Academic Achievement

Emel Dikbas Torun


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between e-learning readiness and academic achievement in an online course in higher-level education. The survey method was employed when collecting the study data, and the data-collection instrument used was the E-Learning Readiness Scale. The scale comprises 33 items and six sub-dimensions, including (1) computer self-efficacy, (2) internet self-efficacy, (3) online self-efficacy, (4) self-directed learning, (5) learner control, (6) motivation toward e-learning. The study participants comprised 153 freshmen who were taking an online English as a Foreign Language course. A relational model is proposed in this study to measure the predicted levels of readiness on academic achievement in online learning. Reliability analysis, Pearson correlation, linear regression analysis, and structural equation modelling were used to analyze and model the study data. Results indicated that self-directed learning is the strongest predictor of academic achievement, while motivation toward e-learning was found to be another predictor of academic achievement. Internet/online/computer self-efficacy and learner control were not found to be among significant predictors of academic achievement. It is concluded that, especially with the spread of Covid-19 worldwide, education is currently switching from face-to-face to online learning in an immediate and unexpected way; therefore e-learning readiness has to be carefully taken into consideration within this new educational paradigm.


E-learning readiness; self-directed learning; self-efficacy; academic achievement; online learning readiness; motivation; English as a Foreign Language

Full Text:



Al-Fraihat, D., Joy, M., & Sinclair, J. (2017). Identifying success factors for e-learning in higher education. In International conference on e-learning (pp. 247–255). Academic Conferences International Limited.

Alqurashi, E. (2016). Self-efficacy in online learning environments: A literature review. Contemporary Issues in Education Research (CIER), 9(1), 45–52.

Baeten, M., Dochy, F., Struyven, K., Parmentier, E., & Vanderbruggen, A. (2016). Student-centred learning environments: an investigation into student teachers’ instructional preferences and approaches to learning. Learning Environments Research, 19(1), 43–62.

Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological review, 84(2), 191.

Bell, P. D., & Akroyd, D. (2006). Can factors related to self-regulated learning predict learning achievement in undergraduate asynchronous Web-based courses. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 3(10), 5–16.

Bentler, P. M. (1980). Multivariate analysis with latent variables: Casual modeling. Annual Review of Psychology, 31, 419–456.

Bentler, P. M. & Bonett, D.G. (1980). Significance tests and goodness of fit in the analysis of covariance structures. Psychological Bulletin, 88, 588–606.

Brown, K. G., Howardson, G., & Fisher, S. L. (2016). Learner control and e-learning: Taking stock and moving forward. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 3, 267–291.

Browne, M. W., & Cudeck, R. (1993). Alternative Ways of assessing Model Fit. K.A. Bollen & J. S. Long (Eds.), Testing structural Equation Models (pp.136–162). Sage.

Cho, M. H., & Shen, D. (2013). Self-regulation in online learning. Distance education, 34(3), 290–301.

Chu, R. J., & Chu, A. Z. (2010). Multi-level analysis of peer support, Internet self-efficacy and e-learning outcomes–The contextual effects of collectivism and group potency. Computers & Education, 55(1), 145–154.

Cigdem, H., & Ozturk, M. (2016). Critical components of online learning readiness and their relationships with learner achievement. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 17(2).

Compeau, D. R., & Higgins, C. A. (1995a). Application of social cognitive theory to training for computer skills. Information systems research, 6(2), 118–143.

Compeau, D. R., & Higgins, C. A. (1995b). Computer Self-efficacy: Development of a measure and initial Test. MIS Quarterly, 19, 189–211.

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Human Behavior. Berlin: Springer Science & Business Media.

Duncan, T. G., & McKeachie, W. J. (2005). The making of the motivated strategies for learning questionnaire. Educational psychologist, 40(2), 117–128.

Eastin, M. S., & LaRose, R. (2000). Internet self-efficacy and the psychology of the digital divide. Journal of computer-mediated communication, 6(1), JCMC611.

Evans, T. (2000). 12 Flexible delivery and flexible learning. Flexible learning, human resource and organizational development: Putting theory to work, 211.

Fisher, S., Howardson, G., Wasserman, M. E., & Orvis, K. (2017). How do learners interact with e-learning? Examining patterns of learner control behaviors. AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction, 9(2), 75–98.

Garrison, D. R. (1997). Self-directed learning: Toward a comprehensive model. Adult education quarterly, 48(1), 18–33.

Greene, J. A., & Azevedo, R. (2009). A macro-level analysis of SRL processes and their relations to the acquisition of a sophisticated mental model of a complex system. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 34(1), 18–29.

Grolnick, W. S., & Ryan, R. M. (1987). Autonomy in children’s learning: An experimental and individual difference investigation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52(5), 890–898.

Guglielmino, L. M., & Guglielmino, P. J. (2003). Identifying learners who are ready for e-learning and supporting their success. Preparing learners for e-learning (pp. 18–33).

Gulbahar, Y. (2009). E-learning. Pegem A Publication, Ankara.

Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cut-off criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modelling, 6(1), 1–55.

Hung, M. L., Chou, C., Chen, C. H., & Own, Z. Y. (2010). Learner readiness for online learning: Scale development and student perceptions. Computers & Education, 55(3), 1080–1090.

Hutcheson G., & Sofroniou N. (1999). The multivariate social scientist: Introductory statistics using generalized linear models. Sage.

Jöreskog, K. G., & Sörbom, D. (1993). Lisrel 8: User’s guide. Chicago: Scientific Software.

Jossberger, H., Brand-Gruwel, S., Boshuizen, H., & Van de Wiel, M. (2010). The challenge of selfdirected and self-regulated learning in vocational education: A theoretical analysis and synthesis of requirements. Journal of vocational education and training, 62(4), 415–440.

Jung, E., Kim, D., Yoon, M., Park, S., & Oakley, B. (2019). The influence of instructional design on learner control, sense of achievement, and perceived effectiveness in a supersize MOOC course. Computers & Education, 128, 377–388.

Kaur, K. & Abas, Z. W. (2004). An assessment of e-learning readiness at the open university Malaysia. International conference on computers in Education, ICCE 2004, Melbourne, Australia.

Keramati, A., Afshari-Mofrad, M., & Kamrani, A. (2011). The role of readiness factors in E-learning outcomes: An empirical study. Computers & Education, 57(3), 1919–1929.

Kirmizi, Ö. (2015). The influence of learner readiness on student satisfaction and academic achievement in an online program at higher education. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology-TOJET, 14(1), 133–142.

Knowles, M. S. (1975). Self-directed learning: A guide for learners and teachers.

Kruger-Ross, M. J. & Waters, R. D. (2013). Predicting online learning success: Applying the situational theory of publics to the virtual classroom. Computers & Education, 53, 761–774.

Kuo, Y. C., Walker, A. E., Belland, B. R., & Schroder, K. E. (2013). A predictive study of student satisfaction in online education programs. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 14(1), 16–39.

Lee, T. H., Shen, P. D., & Tsai, C. W. (2008). Applying web-enabled problem-based learning and self-regulated learning to add value to computing education in Taiwan’s vocational schools. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 11(3), 13–25.

Lin, B., & Hsieh, C. T. (2001). Web-based teaching and learner control: a research review. Computers & Education, 37(4), 377–386.

Lim, C. K. (2001) .Computer self-efficacy, academic self-concept, and other predictor of satisfaction and future participation of adult distance learners. The American Journal of Distance Education, 15(2), 41–51.

Lim, D. H. (2004). Cross cultural differences in online learning motivation. Educational Media International, 41(2), 163–175.

Lopes, C. T. (2007). Evaluating e-learning readiness in a health sciences education institution. Proceedings of IADIS International Conference of E-Learning, Porto, Portugal.

Lynch, R., & Dembo, M. (2004). The relationship between self-regulation and online learning in a blended learning context. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 5(2).

McVay, M. (2000). How to be a successful distance learning student: Learning on the Internet. Pearson Custom Publication.

Muse, H. E. (2003). The web-based community college student: An examination of factors that lead to success and risk. The Internet and Higher Education, 6, 241–261.

Paris, S. G., & Paris, A. H. (2001). Classroom applications of research on self-regulated learning. Educational psychologist, 36(2), 89–101.

Pillay, H., Irving, K., & Tones, M. (2007). Validation of the diagnostic tool for assessing tertiary students’ readiness for online learning. High Education Research & Development, 26(2), 217–234.

Pintrich, P. R. (2004). A conceptual framework for assessing motivation and self-regulated learning in college students. Educational psychology review, 16(4), 385–407.

Piskurich, G. M. (2003). Preparing learners for e-learning. John Wiley & Sons.

Reigeluth, C., & Stein, R. (1983). Elaboration theory. Instructional-design theories and models: An overview of their current status (1983), 335–381.

Robertson, J. (2011). The educational affordances of blogs for self-directed learning. Computers & Education, 57(2), 1628–1644.

Roper, A. R. (2007). How students develop online learning skills. Educause Quarterly, 30(1), 62.

Ryan, R. M. & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55(1), 68.

Saadé, R. G., He, X., & Kira, D. (2007). Exploring dimensions to online learning. Computers in Human Behavior, 23(4), 1721–1739.

Saks, K., & Leijen, Ä. (2014). Distinguishing self-directed and self-regulated learning and measuring them in the e-learning context. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 112, 190–198.

Santosh, S., & Panda, S. (2016). Sharing of knowledge among faculty in a mega open university. Open Praxis, 8(3), 247–264.

Schermelleh-Engel, K. & Moosbrugger, H. (2003). Evaluating the fit of structural equation models: Tests of significance and descriptive goodness of fit measures. Methods of Psychological Research Online, 8(2), 23–74.

Shyu, H. Y., & Brown, S. W. (1992). Learner control versus program control in interactive videodisc instruction: What are the effects in procedural learning. International Journal of Instructional Media, 19(2), 85–95.

Siemens, G., & Yurkiw, S. (2003). The roles of the learner and the instructor in e-learning. In G.M. Piskurich (ed.), Preparing learners for e-learning (pp. 123–138). John Wiley & Sons.

Smith, P. J., Murphy, K. L., & Mahoney, S. E. (2003). Towards identifying factors underlying readiness for online learning: an exploratory study. Distance Education, 24(1), 57–67.

Tang, S. F. & Lim, C. L. (2013). Undergraduate students’ readiness in e-learning: a study at the business school in a Malaysian private university. International Journal of Management & Information Technology, 4(2). 198–204.

Tsai, M. J., & Tsai, C. C. (2003). Information searching strategies in web-based science learning: The role of Internet self-efficacy. Innovations in education and teaching international, 40(1), 43–50.

Vuorela, M., & Nummenmaa, L. (2004). How undergraduate students meet a new learning environment? Computers in Human Behavior, 20(6), 763–777.

Wang, A. Y., & Newlin, M. H. (2002). Predictors of web-student performance: The role of self-efficacy and reasons for taking an on-line class. Computers in human behavior, 18(2), 151–163.

Wang, C. H., Shannon, D. M., & Ross, M. E. (2013). Students’ characteristics, self-regulated learning, technology self-efficacy, and course outcomes in online learning. Distance Education, 34(3), 302–323.

Warner, D. Christie, G., & Choy, S. (1998). Readiness of VET clients for flexible delivery including online learning. Brisbane: Australian National Training Authority.

Yilmaz, R. (2017). Exploring the role of e-learning readiness on student satisfaction and motivation in flipped classroom. Computers in Human Behavior, 70, 251–260.

Yukselturk, E., & Bulut, S. (2007). Predictors for student success in an online course. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 10(2), 71–83.

Yurdugül, H., & Alsancak-Sırakaya, D. (2013). Çevrimiçi öğrenme hazır bulunuşluluk ölçeği: Geçerlik ve güvenirlik çalışması. Eğitim ve Bilim, 38(169).

Yurdugül, H., & Demir, Ö. (2017). Öğretmen yetiştiren lisans programlarındaki öğretmen adaylarının e-öğrenmeye hazır bulunuşluklarının incelenmesi: Hacettepe üniversitesi örneği. Hacettepe Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 32(4), 896–915.



  • There are currently no refbacks.