University Students’ Motivations and Attitudes Towards Online Learning in the Post-pandemic Era: A Comparative Study


With the growth of emerging technologies and the recession of the pandemic, online learning remains a crucial tool for assisting students in their academic pursuits. Despite that studies have shown that learners’ motivation and attitudes are key elements influencing student performance, especially in online learning scenarios, little is known about students’ current motivations and attitudes concerning learning online in the post-pandemic era. Therefore, the current study has twofold objectives. The overarching purpose of this study is to examine students’ current attitudes and motivations towards online learning in the United States and China. The sub-objective is to compare the similarities and differences between their motivations and attitudes. A mixed-method study was employed to investigate 165 Chinese and American university students from diverse institutions. Data were collected from an online survey and a semi-structured interview. Quantitative findings indicated that motivations from both United States and China students were at average levels. Nonetheless, Chinese students’ motivation was higher than American students regarding social engagement, intrinsic motivation, and extrinsic motivation. Qualitative results showed that American students’ attitudes toward online learning were more unfavorable than Chinese learners, that there could be many technical issues throughout the learning process, and that the learning environment might make them uncomfortable. Implications based on these findings for instructors in the current online teaching were suggested and discussed as follows.

Author Information
Xingxing Xie, Boston College, United States
Lingying Che, Tsinghua University, China

Paper Information
Conference: SEACE2023
Stream: Learning Experiences

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon