Online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic: Does social connectedness and learning community predict self-determined needs and course satisfaction?
Educational psychology in higher education
The present study investigated whether online students’ sense of community and self-determined need satisfaction predicted online course satisfaction during the COVID-19 pandemic. The sample consisted of 136 Australian university students who were studying online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students completed online surveys for sense of community (i.e., social connectedness and learning community), self-determined need satisfaction (i.e., relatedness, competence, and autonomy), and online course satisfaction. The study results indicated that learning community and social connectedness significantly predicted the self-determined needs and online course satisfaction, with learning community having a large effect size. Autonomy partially mediated the relationship between social connectedness and online course satisfaction; autonomy was the only self-determined need to predict online course satisfaction. It was concluded that online university students require learning communities and social connectedness to meet their needs and have a satisfying learning experience. The self-determined need of autonomy was the most important for student’s satisfaction with their course. These findings have implications for universities to build a sense of community in their courses to support students' needs and improve online course satisfaction.
- The COVID-19 pandemic changed the experience of university students in 2020.
- Learning community and social connectedness significantly predicted relatedness, competence, and autonomy in the tertiary students sampled.
- Need satisfaction of autonomy, competence, and relatedness significantly predicted online learning satisfaction
- Autonomy mediated the relationship between social connectedness and online learning satisfaction, and learning community and online course satisfaction
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, university students were more satisfied with their online courses when they were engaged in a learning community, socially connected to their peers and instructor, and felt their autonomy self-determined need was met.
Geary, E., Allen, K., Gamble, N., & Pahlevansharif, S. (2023). Online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic: Does social connectedness and learning community predict self-determined needs and course satisfaction?. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 20(1). https://ro.uow.edu.au/jutlp/vol20/iss1/13