Higher Learning Research Communications

Digital Object Identifier





Objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore Chilean higher education English as a foreign language (EFL) students’ perceptions toward components of their fully online learning experience and their computer self-efficacy during the CoVID-19 pandemic and assess how these variables are influenced by age, gender, and language proficiency.

Method: Participants of the study were 236 undergraduate students (110 males and 126 females) who took a fully online EFL course in a professional institute in Chile. Likert-scale questionnaires were used to gather data on perceptions toward fully online language learning components (online participation, collaborative group work, instructional materials, and learning strategies and styles) and computer self-efficacy (CSE).

Findings: Participants held overall positive views toward fully online language learning components but had negative views toward online participation. Findings revealed significant relationships between computer self-efficacy and perceptions toward fully online language learning components. The perceptions that learners held toward fully online courses seem to be unaffected by gender and proficiency level, although gender did impact CSE.

Implications for Theory and Practice: Feeling disconnected from peers and the learning experience in general can lead to negative attitudes toward online learning as well as feelings of isolation. Learners may feel unmotivated, frustrated, and discouraged to continue participating in the course. Teachers can nurture a sense of community in the classroom by facilitating dialogue, providing timely feedback, moderating student discussions, and building social networks around learners. It is also important to promote healthy levels of computer self-efficacy that can positively influence perceptions toward group work and learning strategies.

Conclusion: Emergency remote teaching can have a negative impact on online participation. As more educational institutions provide their students with online options for attending classes, teachers should focus on increasing peer collaboration and interaction.