Beyond Conventional Classroom Learning: Linking Emotions and Self-Efficacy to Academic Achievement and Satisfaction with Online Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Chooi-Seong Lai

Department of Social Science, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Malaysia.

Kah-Mun Au

Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Malaysia.

Chee-Seong Low

Department of Social Science, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Malaysia.


Keywords: Mental well-being, Distress, Anxiety, Academic achievement, Self-efficacy in online learning, Satisfaction with online learning.


This study examined the impact of online learning on students’ mental well-being, distress, anxiety, academic achievement and satisfaction with online learning. A total of 915 undergraduates in Malaysia and Indonesia responded to the Google Classroom Evaluation survey. Results indicated that students’ mental well-being was negatively impacted by financial difficulties, concern that their physical health may suffer due to exposure to Covid-19, and a lack of motivation for online learning. Analysis of emotional factors revealed distress and feelings of nervousness when classes were conducted online. Overall, participants were satisfied with the online learning experience, as was evident from the academic achievement in courses conducted with above average CGPA. Multiple regression analysis indicated that distress, anxiety and self-efficacy in online learning were significant predictors of satisfaction with online learning, with self-efficacy in online learning making the largest contribution. However, academic achievement was not a significant predictor of satisfaction with online learning. It is recommended that higher learning institutions provide counselling, behavioral adaptations and study techniques to support students in managing their distress and anxiety surrounding online learning, which is anticipated to continue throughout 2021 due to the increase in virus cases.


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