Learner Readiness for Online Learning: Scale development and student perceptions

Mon-Ling Hung
Chien Chou
Chao-Hsiu Chen
Zang-Yuan Own


The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a multidimensional instrument for college students’ readiness for online learning. Through a confirmatory factor analysis, the Online Learning Readiness Scale (OLRS) was validated in five dimensions: self-directed learning, motivation for learning, computer/Internet self-efficacy, learner control, and online communication self-efficacy. Research data gathered from 1051 college students in five online courses in Taiwan revealed that students’ levels of readiness were high in computer/Internet self-efficacy, motivation for learning, and online communication self-efficacy and were low in learner control and self-directed learning. This study found that gender made no statistical differences in the five OLRS dimensions, but that higher grade (junior and senior) students exhibited significantly greater readiness in the dimensions of self-directed learning, online communication self-efficacy, motivation for learning, and learner control than did lower grade (freshman and sophomore) students.


Distance education and telelearning, Gender studies, Teaching/learning strategies


The results of this study reveal that two readiness dimensions need special attention: learner control and self-directed learning. Teachers may need to help students develop self-directed learning and learner-control skills and attitudes, especially for online learning contexts. For example, teachers may need to improve the clarity of their syllabus and course structure before students can direct themselves toward taking full control of their own learning. Thus, teachers can help students to establish their own time- and information-management skills
Teachers of online courses need to encourage students, especially those with lower self-efficacy in online communication, to participate more extensively in the discussions, to bravely express their thoughts, to form better friendships, and to seek assistance when facing problems online. Since motivation is one of the important factors in online learning, teachers should help students stay motivated in online learning.

APA Citation

Hung, M. L., Chou, C., Chen, C. H., & Own, Z. Y. (2010). Learner readiness for online learning: Scale development and student perceptions. Computers & Education, 55(3), 1080-1090.

About the Study

Links to Article https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C50&q=learner+readiness+for+online+learning%3B+scale+development+and+student+perceptions&btnG=
Mode Online
Publication Type Journal Article
In Publication Computers & Education
Type of Research Quantitative
Research Design Survey research (qualitative or quantitative)
Intervention/Areas of Study Student readiness
Level of Analysis Student-level
Specific Populations Examined Undergraduates
Peer-Reviewed Yes
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest
Specific Course or Program Characteristics
Outcome Variables of Interest
Student Sample Size 500 +
Citing Articles https://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=8582356568873328774&as_sdt=5,50&sciodt=0,50&hl=en