Exploring Factors Affecting Graduate Students' Satisfaction toward E-Learning in the Era of the COVID-19 Crisis

Eur J Investig Health Psychol Educ. 2022 Aug 15;12(8):1121-1142. doi: 10.3390/ejihpe12080079.


Background: Shifting the educational system from a traditional to an online context during COVID-19 necessitated several considerations to assure students' satisfaction with e-learning.

Aim: This study aims to explore the factors influencing students' satisfaction with e-learning during the COVID-19 crisis. In particular, it tests multiple mediations, student factors, and system quality between students' satisfaction and each course evaluation and instructor's performance.

Methodology: In this cross-sectional study, 258 undergraduate and postgraduate students enrolled in online courses at multiple Malaysian universities were recruited using non-probabilistic purposive sampling. Data were collected using a questionnaire that assessed four factors that influenced students' satisfaction with e-learning during the COVID-19 crisis (i.e., instructor performance, course evaluation, student factors, and system quality) and analyzed using the partial least squares route structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM).

Results: The results indicated that the four factors were significantly associated with students' satisfaction with e-learning during COVID-19. Student factors and system quality were the most factors predicting students' satisfaction with e-learning. Findings indicate statistically significant relationships between the instructor's performance, student factors, course evaluation, and system quality on students' satisfaction. Furthermore, the results depict that both course evaluation and system quality serially mediate the relationship between instructors' performance and students' satisfaction.

Conclusion: This study finds that improving and enhancing student factors and system quality is critical for students' satisfaction with e-learning. Furthermore, e-learning platforms should contain new advances of computer-mediated technologies that enable collaboration, which is a critical factor in the success of e-learning systems.

Keywords: COVID-19; course evaluation; e-learning; instructor performance; student factors; students’ satisfaction; system quality.