Running Head: Online and Traditional Student Differences


The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the differences in demographic characteristics, motivational orientation, self-efficacy, and attitudes about technology between students who enrolled in a course offered in the traditional setting and those enrolled in the same course online. The two groups, each comprised of 27 students, were administered self-report measures to evaluate their levels of technological self-efficacy, attitude toward technology, and motivational orientation. Participants also reported their age, number of online courses taken, and gender. Results indicated that the two groups did not differ in terms of their attitudes about and feelings of self-efficacy toward technology. Despite many similarities in motivational orientation, online students did report higher levels of interest, curiosity, and intrinsic motivation, suggesting that students in online courses may prefer autonomy in the course design. Further research is necessary to determine whether students seek out online courses because they possess motivation or if online courses create motivation.

KEYWORDS: Motivational Orientation, Online Learning, Self-Efficacy.