Measuring University Students’ Perceptions and Attitudes toward Sudden Transition to Online Learning and Academic Self- Efficacy

Mona Saad Alamri


Online learning has unquestionably shaped contemporary education. The emergence and spread in recent months of the COVID-19 virus, with the attendant preventative implementation of social distancing, has significantly enhanced online learning’s influence. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where strict social distancing precautions were implemented early in the pandemic, thousands of college students were rapidly shifted from conventional to online instructional environments. Now that these students have a semester of experience with online learning, the time is propitious to explore these students’ online learning experiences. One concept in connection with which students’ online learning experiences have not been extensively studied is that of academic self-efficacy. The present study seeks to investigate Jeddah University students’ experiences with online learning in light of their assessments of their academic self-efficacy. Employing a combined descriptive/correlational research design organized around a pair of survey instruments—one designed to query students’ online learning experiences and a second designed to measure their senses of their academic self-efficacy—the present study investigates attitudes of a population of 1,167 Jeddah University undergraduate students randomly selected from the available pool of 16,893 individuals. The study finds that student attitudes with respect to both online learning and self-efficacy are high. It shows, furthermore, significant statistical correlation between students’ highly positive experiences with online instruction and their high senses of their academic self-efficacy. By developing the understanding regarding student attitudes and self-efficacy, this research opens avenues for further research into the connections between online learning and students’ self-perceptions. Moreover, the study’s findings hold significant implications for bettering Saudi Arabian e-learning, an outcome fully in keeping with the policy goals outlined in the 2030 vision.


Online Learning, Academic Self-Efficacy, Student Perceptions

Full Text:



Adams, J., & DeFleur, H. (2005). The acceptability of a doctoral degree earned online as a credential for obtaining a faculty position. American Journal of Distance Education, 19(2), 71-85.

Akbari, E., Eghtesad, S., & Simons, R. (2012). Students’ attitudes towards the use of social networks for learning the English language. International Conference: “ICT for Language Learning, 5th Edition.”

Allen, E., & Seaman, J. (2011). Going the distance: Online education in the United States.

Artino, Jr., A. R. (2012). Academic self-efficacy: From educational theory to instructional practice. Perspectives on Medical Education, 1(2), 76-85.

Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84(2), 191-215.

Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. W.H. Freeman/Times Books/Henry Holt & Co.

Behjat, F., Yamini, M., & Bagheri, M. (2011). Adjunct learning: Mixing the cyber world with face-to-face writing instruction. International Review of Social Sciences and Humanities, 2(1), 230-239.

Borozdina, N. (2019). Russian university EFL students’ perceptions of a two-week online academic writing course. Theses and Dissertations.

Castaño-Muñoz, J., Duart, J. M. & Sancho-Vinuesa, T. (2014). The Internet in face-to-face higher education: Can interactive learning improve academic achievement? British Journal of Educational Technology, 45(1), 149-159.

Cavanaugh, C., Barbour, M., Brown, R., Diamond, D., Lowes, S., Powell, A.Van der Molen, J. (2009). Research committee issues brief: Examining communication and interaction in online teaching. Vienna, VA: International Association for K-12 Online Learning. https://www.

Chemers, M. M., Hu, L., & Garcia B. F. (2001). Academic self-efficacy and first-year college student performance and adjustment. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(1), 55-64.

Cinkara, E. & Bagceci, B. (2013). Learners’ attitudes towards online language learning; and corresponding success rates. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 14(2), 118.

Crawford, E. & Rausch, D. (2012). Hybrid learning model: Best practice in doctoral level learning. In T. Bastiaens & G. Marks (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2012, (pp. 102-108). AACE.

El-Gamal, S., & El-Aziz, R. A. (2012). Improving higher education in Egypt through e-learning programs: HE students and senior academics perspective. International Journal of Innovation in Education, 1(4), 335-361. https://10.1504/IJIIE.2012.052738

Erarslan, A., & Topkaya, E. Z. (2017). EFL students’ attitudes towards e-Learning and effect of an online course on students’ success in English. Literacy, 3(2), 80-101.

Gaziano, J., & Liesen, L. (2004). Student attitudes toward online learning: A case study. Presented at the Illinois Political Science Association Conference.

Gluchmanova, M. (2015). The importance of ethics in the teaching profession. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 176, 509-513.

Hattie, J. (1985). Methodology review: Assessing unidimensional of tests and ltenls. Applied Psychological Measurement, 9(2),139-164.

Holcomb, L. B., King, F. B., & Brown, S. W. (2004). Student traits and attributes contributing to success in online courses: Evaluation of university online courses. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 2(3), 1-17.

Honicke, T., & Broadbent, J. (2016). The influence of academic self-efficacy on academic performance: A systematic review. Educational Research Review, 17, 63-84.

Khan, M. (2016). Saudi Arabia’s vision 2030. Defense Journal, 119(11), 36-42.

Meece, J. L., Blumenfeld, P. C., & Hoyle, R. H. (1988). Students’ goal orientations and cognitive engagement in classroom activities. Journal of Educational Psychology, 80(4), 514-523.

Moore, J. L., Dickson-Deane, C., & Galyen, K. (2011). E-learning, online learning, and distance learning environments: Are they the same? The Internet and Higher Education 14(2), 129-135.

Nassoura, A. B. (2012). Students’ acceptance of mobile learning for higher education in Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Learning Management Systems, 1(1), 1-9. 10.12785/ijlms/010101

Neuville, S., Frenay, M., & Bourgeois, E. (2007). Task value, self-efficacy and goal orientations: Impact on self-regulated learning, choice and performance among university students. Psychologica Belgica, 47(1-2), 95-117.

O’Malley, J., & McCraw, H. (1999). Students’ perceptions of distance Learning, online learning and the traditional classroom. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 2.

Pajares, F. (1996). Self-efficacy beliefs in academic settings. Review of Educational Research, 66(4), 543-578.

Rhema, A., & Miliszewska, I. (2014). Analysis of student attitudes towards e-learning: The case of engineering students in Libya. Issues in informing science and information Technology, 11(1), 169-190.

Schrum, L. & Hong, S. (2002). Dimensions and strategies for online success: Voices from experienced educators. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Network, 6(1), 57-67.

Schunk, D. H. (1991). Self-efficacy and academic motivation. Educational Psychologist, 26, 207-231.

Schunk, D. H., & Ertmer, P. A. (2000). Self-regulation and academic learning: Self-efficacy enhancing interventions. In M. Boekaerts, P. R. Pintrich, & M. Zeidner (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation (pp. 631-649). Academic Press.

Schunk, D. H., & Pajares, F. (2009). Self-efficacy theory. In K. R. Wentzel & A. Wigfield (Eds.), Handbook of motivation at school (pp. 35-53). Routledge.

Shaer, B., Khabou, M. A., & Fuchs, A. (2009). Effect of student location on assessment of instruction and grade assignment. Distance Learning, 6(4), 21-29.

Silver, B. B., Smith, E., & Greene, B. A. (2001). A study strategies self-efficacy instrument for use with community college students. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 61(5), 849-865.

Tallent-Runnels, M. K., Thomas, J. A., Lan, W. Y., Cooper, S., Ahern, T. C., Shaw, S. M., & Liu, X. (2006). Teaching courses online: A review of the research. Review of Educational Research, 76(1), 93-135.

Usher, E. L., & Pajares, F. (2008). Sources of self-efficacy in school: Critical review of the literature and future directions. Review of Educational Research, 78, 751-796.

Wang, C. D. C., & Castañeda-Sound, C. (2008). The role of generational status, self-esteem, academic self-efficacy, and perceived social support in college students’ psychological well-being. Journal of College Counseling, 11(2), 101-118. 10.1002/j.2161-1882.2008.tb00028.x

Wolters, C. A., & Pintrich, P. R. (1998). Contextual differences in student motivation and self-regulated learning in mathematics, English, and social studies classrooms. Instructional Science, 26, 27-47.

Zhang, D., & Zhou, L. (2003). Enhancing e-learning with interactive multimedia. Information Resources Management Journal, 16(4), 1-14.

Zimmerman, B. J. (2000). Self-efficacy: An essential motive to learn. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 82-91.

Zimmerman, B. J. (2002). Becoming a self-regulated learner: An overview. Theory into Practice, 41(2), 64-70.

Zimmerman, B. J., Bandura, A., & Martinez-Pons, M. (1992). Self-motivation for academic attainment: The role of self-efficacy beliefs and personal goal setting. American Educational Research Journal, 29(3), 663-676.

Zhao, Y. (2003). Recent developments in technology and language learning: A literature review and meta-analysis. CALICO Journal, 21(1), 7-27.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2013-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

International Journal of Education and Literacy Studies  

You may require to add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.