Asynchronous distance education courses employing Web-based instruction: Implications of individual study skills self-efficacy and self-regulated learning

Date of Completion

January 2001


Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Technology of




Though research in the areas of study skills self-efficacy (SSSE) and self-regulatory learning (SRL) has been accomplished for traditional classroom learning and synchronous distance education learning, no such research has been undertaken for asynchronous distance education learning. For research into individual affective characteristics of asynchronous distance education learners, samples consisting of both undergraduate and graduate students were divided into three groups based on instructional method: traditional classroom (N = 149), synchronous distance education (N = 67), and asynchronous distance education (N = 130). This research attempted to determine if students, enrolled in asynchronous distance education courses, possessing more developed SSSE and SRL achieved higher end-of-course grades than their peers with lower SSSE and SRL. Additionally, the research attempted to ascertain whether the students with higher SSSE and SRL were more likely to indicated that they would enroll in future courses offered through distance education technology, and whether there was any interaction between end-of-course grades and the method of instruction. The instrument used for this research was a self-reported, 55 item questionnaire that contained both demographic questions and Likert scale items. The outcome variable, achievement, in the form of end-of-course grades, was obtained directly from the instructors for each of the courses. ^ The results of this research were mixed. The confirmatory factor analysis provided empirical evidence for a four factor structure to the questionnaires. ANOVAs indicated that there were no statistically significant differences between high and low SSSE and SRL groups, with respect to achievement, in the asynchronous distance education group. Discriminant function analysis determined that the best predictors for whether a participant indicated that they would take another asynchronous distance education course was their end-of-course grade and their text based critical thinking (a subset of SSSE). There was no interaction, in any of the groups, between achievement and instructional method. Additional analysis of the data indicated some interesting findings that will be examined in future research. Overall, the results of this investigation supported some of the findings of previous research but further research is needed in the area of student affective characteristics that enhance the learning experience in courses offered through asynchronous distance education. ^