A review of predictive factors of student success in and satisfaction with online learning

  • Heather Kauffman Temple University
Keywords: online learning, learner characteristics, instructional design, online learning outcomes


Students perceive online courses differently than traditional courses. Negative perceptions can lead to unfavourable learning outcomes including decreased motivation and persistence. Throughout this review, a broad range of factors that affect performance and satisfaction within the online learning environment for adult learners will be examined including learning outcomes, instructional design and learner characteristics, followed by suggestions for further research, and concluding with implications for online learning pertinent to administrators, instructors, course designers and students. Online learning may not be appropriate for every student. Identifying particular characteristics that contribute to online success versus failure may aid in predicting possible learning outcomes and save students from enrolling in online courses if this type of learning environment is not appropriate for them. Furthermore, knowing these learner attributes may assist faculty in designing quality online courses to meet students’ needs. Adequate instructional methods, support, course structure and design can facilitate student performance and satisfaction.

Keywords: online learning; learner characteristics; instructional design; online learning outcomes

(Published: 27 August 2015)

Responsible Editor: Meg O’Reilly, Southern Cross University, Australia

Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2015, 23: 26507 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v23.26507


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How to Cite
Kauffman H. (2015). A review of predictive factors of student success in and satisfaction with online learning. Research in Learning Technology, 23. https://doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v23.26507
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