Teacher self-efficacy in online education: a review of the literature

  • Michael Corry George Washington University
  • Julie Stella George Washington University
Keywords: online education, online learning, distance education, teacher education, self-efficacy


Although empirical validation of teacher self-efficacy in face-to-face environments continues, it remains a relatively new construct in online education. This literature review, which was conducted over academic databases and which examined work published in the past 15 years, explores three areas of research about teacher self-efficacy in online education: (1) ease of adopting online teaching, (2) online teaching self-efficacy in comparison to demographic and experience variables and (3) changes in teacher self-efficacy in professional development scenarios where self-efficacy was measured before and after treatment. Research studies demonstrate agreement (or no discernible disagreement) in the importance of system/curriculum quality in the implementation of online learning and the recognition that a measure of self-efficacy in online pedagogy has not yet been empirically derived. Researchers continue to examine the balance of technological and pedagogical knowledge that supports the development of teacher self-efficacy, the role of learner self-efficacy in teacher self-efficacy and whether teacher self-efficacy differs fundamentally in online education. In addition, it seems clear that empirical validation of the association of teacher self-efficacy and student success has yet to occur in online education with the rigour seen in face-to-face modes of delivery.

Published: 17 October 2018

Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2018, 26: 2047 - http://dx.doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v26.2047


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Michael Corry, George Washington University
Michael Corry is Director of the Center for the Advancement of Research in Distance Education (CARDE) at the George Washington University in Washington, DC where he is also an Associate Professor of Educational Technology Leadership (ETL).  Dr. Corry's research interests include distance education and other educational technologies.  Prior to his current position as Director of CARDE, Dr. Corry served for over 12 years as the Director of the ETL program at GWU. Dr. Corry is intimately involved with course design and delivery as well as management of this pioneering program delivered via distance education. Dr. Corry is also currently very involved with the GWU Online High School (GWUOHS).  He has numerous publications and presentations involving his research interests including four books. He holds a PhD from Indiana University.

Julie Stella, George Washington University
Julie Stella is a researcher at the Center for the Advancement of Research in Distance Education (CARDE), which operates under the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at George Washington University in Washington, DC. She is also a doctoral student in Applied Research in Special Education at George Washington University and an adjunct instructor. Ms. Stella holds a Master of Arts degree in Technical Communication from Minnesota State University and a Master certificate in Education from Johns Hopkins University. She has over ten years of experience as a consultant in software development. Ms. Stella’s research interests include education technology and developmental science, especially regarding their impact on students with disabilities.

How to Cite
Corry M., & Stella J. (2018). Teacher self-efficacy in online education: a review of the literature. Research in Learning Technology, 26. https://doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v26.2047
Review Articles