The Determinants of Students' Perceived Learning Outcomes and Satisfaction in University Online Education: An Empirical Investigation*

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    We thank the editor and two anonymous referees for their suggestions which improved the quality of this article significantly.

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ABSTRACT

In this study, structural equation modeling is applied to examine the determinants of students' satisfaction and their perceived learning outcomes in the context of university online courses. Independent variables included in the study are course structure, instructor feedback, self-motivation, learning style, interaction, and instructor facilitation as potential determinants of online learning. A total of 397 valid unduplicated responses from students who have completed at least one online course at a university in the Midwest were used to examine the structural model. The results indicated that all of the antecedent variables significantly affect students' satisfaction. Of the six antecedent variables hypothesized to affect the perceived learning outcomes, only instructor feedback and learning style are significant. The structural model results also reveal that user satisfaction is a significant predictor of learning outcomes. The findings suggest online education can be a superior mode of instruction if it is targeted to learners with specific learning styles (visual and read/write learning styles) and with timely, meaningful instructor feedback of various types.

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