Motivation, Academic Success, and Learning Environments: Comparing High School Face-to-Face and Online Courses




Daniels, Barbara M.

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The purpose of the study was to investigate and compare the motivation, learning strategy use, and achievement of classroom based and online students to describe differences and interpret the role of motivation and learning strategy use in online learning. Fifty one participants were included from two educational settings: thirty-one were from a traditional, classroom based setting, twenty were from an online course. All students were enrolled in one of three math courses: Algebra 1, Algebra 2, or Geometry. Eight scales from the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire were administered to students in both environments to assess motivation and learning strategy use. Other data collected were achievement scores: class grade and SOL test scores. Correlation analysis and regression analysis of sample responses confirmed the role of motivation in academic achievement and that the sample results showed patterns similar to that of the larger population. The investigation proceeded with a comparison of the two groups within the sample. T- tests were conducted to compare the groups; results indicated that online students reported significantly higher self efficacy and time management skills and that these constructs contributed to a significant difference in class grade. Further, these constructs may be useful to identify students who may need support to successfully complete an online class. The results are informative for educators who teach or design online classes and those who advise students considering online learning opportunities.



Online learning, Achievement, Motivation, High school