Academic student satisfaction and perceived performance in the e-learning environment during the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence across ten countries

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PLoS One. 2021 Oct 20;16(10):e0258807. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0258807. eCollection 2021.


The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically shaped higher education and seen the distinct rise of e-learning as a compulsory element of the modern educational landscape. Accordingly, this study highlights the factors which have influenced how students perceive their academic performance during this emergency changeover to e-learning. The empirical analysis is performed on a sample of 10,092 higher education students from 10 countries across 4 continents during the pandemic’s first wave through an online survey. A structural equation model revealed the quality of e-learning was mainly derived from service quality, the teacher’s active role in the process of online education, and the overall system quality, while the students’ digital competencies and online interactions with their colleagues and teachers were considered to be slightly less important factors. The impact of e-learning quality on the students’ performance was strongly mediated by their satisfaction with e-learning. In general, the model gave quite consistent results across countries, gender, study fields, and levels of study. The findings provide a basis for policy recommendations to support decision-makers incorporate e-learning issues in the current and any new similar circumstances.

PMID:34669757 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0258807